Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast with Mark Mascia
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Introducing Mark Mascia
Today’s guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast interview has over 17 years of real estate investment experience and a career portfolio valued at over $1.5 billion.
He founded Mascia Development LLC in 2006 and is now the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.
Prior to becoming a successful entrepreneur for the past 12 years, Mark oversaw a $500,000,000, 26-story development in Manhattan while he worked for Archstone, a former Fortune 500, publicly traded real estate company.
From early on, Mark has been working closely with some of the country’s wealthiest families and continues to do so today with his own company.
How The Dots Joined Up For Mark Mascia
Having two Masters degrees from New York University and George Washington University, Mark is an adjunct professor at NYU’s Institute of Real Estate
He has also started his own charity, Invenium Inc., that works tirelessly to provide educational pathways and medical support all over the world.
Mark has exceptional talent at conveying concise and meaningful messages to any audience, a skill he partly contributes to learning from his hero, Warren Buffett.
He has been studying Warren for most of his life and truly believes in being transparent, honest, and ethical in order to bring his investors the best results.
Alongside his ever-growing success in both real estate investing and education, Mark has been featured in many prominent industry publications and has been a guest on several panels and podcasts.
So is his success built around knowing the subject better than most, or being in a market which is needed more than most?
And how do you tackle so many things without leaving yourself burnout and exhausted by the effort?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Mark Mascia.
During the show we discussed such weighty subjects with Mark Mascia such as:
How the subprime market caused the world to suffer, and why Mark managed to squeeze past unhurt.
We discuss why the world is waiting to be an entrepreneurial success, without doing the simple things first.
Why it is so important to never stop learning in your life no matter where you get in your development .
Mark shares his passion for helping new entrepreneurs and real estate experts to get their portfolios of the ground.
How To Connect With Mark Mascia
If you enjoyed this episode of Join Up Dots then why not listen to some of our favourite podcast episodes such as Niall Doherty, Lolly Daskal or the amazing Alfie Best
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Mark Mascia Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:25]
Yes, good morning, Jia. Good morning. And thank you for being here on another episode of the Join Up Dots motivation or podcast interview, originally inspired by the words of Steve Jobs back in the day. And of course, we hear from Steve later, but he’s got his own vibe. And that vibe is bringing listeners from across the globe. So thank you so much for being here, wherever you are. Well, thank you so much as well to today’s guest because he is a guest joining us on the Join Up Dots podcast interview, who has over 17 years of real estate investment experience and a career portfolio valued at over one point 5 billion Yes, hold back ladies. 1.5 billion. Now he founded mass yet development in 2006. And he’s now the chief executive officer and chairman. Now prior to becoming a successful entrepreneur for the past 12 years, he oversaw a 500,000,026 story development in Manhattan. While he worked for art stone, a former fortune 500 publicly traded real estate company. Now from early on, he’s been working closely with some of the country’s wealthiest families, and continues to do so today with his own company, having two masters degrees from New York University and George Washington University. He is also an adjunct professor at NYU Institute of real estate. He’s also started his own charity in venom, but works tirelessly to provide educational pathways and medical support all over the world. He has exceptional talent at conveying concise and meaningful messages to any audience. I think he’s pretty emotional team told me that I skill he partly contributes to learning from his hero, Warren Buffett. And he’s been studying Warren for most of his life and truly believes in being transparent, honest, and ethical in order to bring his investors the best results alongside his ever growing success in both real estate investing and education. He’s been featured in many prominent industry publications, and has been a guest on several panels, and of course, podcast. So easy success built around knowing this subject better than most, or being in a market, which is needed more than most. That’s a good question. And how do you tackle so many things without leaving yourself burnt out and exhausted by the EPA? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up. With the one and only Mr. Mark Messier. Good morning, Mark. How are you sir?
Mark Mascia [2:50]
I’m excellent. David, thank you very much for having me.
David Ralph [2:52]
It’s good to have you here. Because we need somebody who’s got 1.5 billion in his pocket? Can Can you can you lend us a few pounds? Can you can you? Can you
Mark Mascia [3:04]
be clear that it’s not all my money? That was other people’s money that we use? So yes, unfortunately, I can’t lend you a billion yet.
David Ralph [3:10]
I’m always fascinated with people who get into real estate. Does it become a bit like monopoly for you? Does it? Is it that kind of it’s not your money, you’re just the bank, and you’re putting a property here and a property there? Is it like real life monopoly?
Mark Mascia [3:27]
It can be I mean, for some of our families that we work with, we’ve acquired a ton of property on like a single street or in a single city, or state. So in some cases, it can feel like that. But yeah, because we’re using other people’s money. It’s, it doesn’t feel like I’m winning the game of Monopoly, it feels like we’re winning it for our customers.
David Ralph [3:44]
What about when you’re not winning? Mark? What What does it like to win?
Mark Mascia [3:48]
Yeah, well, you know, in the I started the company in 2006, and 2008 910, are very much felt like not winning, you know, we raised 10s of millions of dollars and had to give it all back lost, you know, 30 to $100,000 of our own money in that timeframe in terms of just legal costs and things like that, and luckily never lost $1 of investor money and had to turn back the keys steady project or never reneged on our mortgage. So we’ve been really fortunate in those circumstances, but certainly have had our fair shares and knocks on the head, as far as you know, pursuing projects that didn’t work out or getting left at the altar at the final day of closing with a seller that, you know, turns totally crazy or something like that. So definitely, not all just straight up hill, for sure.
David Ralph [4:32]
Now, I only bought two houses in my time, but the first house I bought, the seller went crazy. And when we got around there, he wouldn’t leave. And we actually had to get the police round, because I had bought a property, it was my property and he wouldn’t leave. And he was sitting there with his budgerigar in a cage in his dressing gown. And yeah, he wouldn’t leave. Now, away from that on less than a personal note. What fascinated me with your story. And you’ve already alluded to it was a course back in the day, we had the sort of the subprime market crash, where people basically brought the market to its knees, and it happened almost overnight. Now, for somebody that was in that, was it something that you fall at a time? This is the world’s worst being? Oh, my God? Or was there a glimmer of actually, we can learn from this?
Mark Mascia [5:29]
Yeah, I mean, so again, we were really lucky in 2000 678 timeframe that we hadn’t purchased a ton of ton of stuff. So we didn’t have, you know, we had just been getting our start. So we had bought some things and had done some things. But for the most part, they were planning to be long term ownership. Anyway, so wasn’t something we were looking to trade at that time. And so nothing got worked out and kind of problems at that at that time, which was a real huge benefit. I think the world would have felt very differently to me, had I done, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars of transactions before 2008. So for us, yeah, as you alluded to David, it felt a lot like opportunity. There was a lot of learning and, you know, things that we could see that hadn’t happened before or hadn’t happened in the same way before and felt like more more positive to come out of it the negative just because we weren’t, you know, sitting of top huge real estate empire that was crumbling underneath us at that time.
David Ralph [6:20]
Well, with everything this this is what always, it doesn’t surprise me because I know if you’re involved in it, it must be the world’s worst thing. But I’d never discovered anything that couldn’t ultimately be rebuilt. And when you got that business, I say your network is your net, your network? Is your net worth people that saw it all disappear overnight. Wasn’t it just as a case of cleansing, and then rebuild in a more structured way? Isn’t isn’t always a positive in it?
Mark Mascia [6:52]
Yeah, I mean, easy for the thing is we didn’t lose hundreds of
David Ralph [6:56]
Mark Mascia [6:58]
Right. But no, I generally 100% agree with you, I think, you know, especially as you’ve gone through it once. And I think this is what we’ve seen with our own company. You know, when I first started the company, it felt like, all I wanted to do is protected every single possible way from people trying to steal it from me or bankrupt it or do terrible things to me. And then as I realized over time, it’s less less That and more like, I’ve learned a skill set that no one can ever take away. So yeah, this whole company can crumble around me from some terrible thing happening or some terrible market condition. And obviously, I work to still defend that. But it’s not the only thing that I focus on anymore, I’m more focused on the growth and the learning because that’s, that’s something that can never be never be taken away, like you’re alluded to. And then the same with the network. I mean, I think that’s, that’s also part of it, the relationships we’ve built, you know, the investor relationships, and the network, community relationships, you know, those are always there, whatever happens as long as you, you know, maintain your credibility and, you know, be a good person and things like that.
David Ralph [7:53]
Now, this is obviously an entrepreneurial show, where we’re trying to inspire the world to take control of their own future. And I read the other day, but in the next 10 years, 62% of the jobs in America will be at risk, either by automation, or they’re just not required anymore. And we’ve seen that time and time again, I I bought an Amazon Echo from my dad, who’s 81. And all he could say was, you realize you’re killing the radio industry. Bye, bye. And I said to him, but it’s gonna happen we had Betamax we moved to VHS, it went to LaserDisc. Then, you know, DVDs. When was the last time you bought a DVD never happens, you just sort of stream also move through? dg, when you look at that, you wonder with those staggering figures of 62%? Why there’s not more people racing home every night to start their own sort of coffee table industry?
Mark Mascia [8:51]
Yeah, I mean, I think after being an entrepreneur for, you know, 13 years, and so and seeing lots of ups and downs, and having a lot of successes, but also having a lot of, you know, traffic challenges through the years, I definitely firmly believe it’s not for everyone. So I get why not everyone’s racing on doing it. I do wonder sometimes those who have a lot of interest and are sort of on the fences and wondering and waiting, you know, what, what it is they’re waiting for, if it’s true, like they have to lose their job and be part of those large percentages you mentioned of being kind of like, no longer needed? If that’s the final turning point, or what or listening to the shows like this and getting motivated. Hopefully, that would, that would be a much more positive way to do it. Starting on a good note like that. But yeah, it is. It’s interesting. I mean, I’ve seen I’ve also seen, you know, in 2008. And other thing that was kind of interesting that happened was everyone became unemployed all at once. Yeah, at least in my industry, and everyone started their own business, right. And what you found was starting your own business at that time really was a euphemism for unemployed, there wasn’t a lot of people that were motivated to start their own business, they were just like, well, I gotta put something on my resume that I’m not just sitting around. And so they would do that. And, you know, the ones who were really into it and motivated and wanted to actually be an entre or like myself and a handful my friends and things, it did really well in lasted. But the vast majority of the people I know, at that time that started their business, you know, went back to being an employee as soon as the job was available. And again, it’s not a pejorative, I’m not saying that being an employee is a bad thing or whatever. It’s not It’s not that at all, it’s I just think certain people are, you know, much more suited for it than others is my personal opinion. So what they got then what
David Ralph [10:23]
super talent has mark and he’s he’s gang of the may have an image of you. I don’t know why of The Goonies remember The Goonies. And of course, I love it. Yeah, I just imagined you and your mate cycling around on your bikes and having a great time. Obviously, you were a lot older than that. But what what talents did mark and his mates have to make a success?
Mark Mascia [10:45]
I think it’s, well, I think never, never stop learning. I think it’s part of it. I mean, most of the people that I knew were through NYU, real estate master’s degree. And so they had obviously pursued additional education. And I think they listen to podcasts, read books, do all the kind of things that you know, constant, improve yourself, whether you’re learning, you know, a little something simple, that changes your life in a big way, or you’re constantly hearing the same thing over and over again, until it finally sticks. I think a lot of it is definitely geared towards just never ending improvement and just kind of learning always, but also learning and changing from those experiences not expecting the same outcome from doing the same error, not expecting a different outcome for doing the same things over and over again, I think, you know, a lot of what I’ve learned is just kind of like, mental toughness to be like, kicked in the face 100 times and not give up and go to the next thing and try another thing. Because, you know, it’s easy to stand in a position of having come out the other side of terrible situations and be like, Oh, yeah, you know, like, I’m pretty good at this. But it’s not so easy. When you’re going through. Every time something happens, I still feel like I’m, you know, back to the very beginning and have no idea what I’m doing. And it’s terrible. So you have to have to have that willingness to kind of put up with the punishment, because it is worth it in the long run. But at the time, and it definitely doesn’t always feel like it,
David Ralph [11:56]
I have had times I’ve had more than just times, it’s been quite a constant, where, from the outside, it’s hugely successful what I’ve created, but inside, it just felt like I was just making up as I go along. I, you know, I would walk up to my office, I would turn the computer on and be what should I do today, and a lot of it didn’t go anywhere, it was just kind of wasted months and years of doing stuff. It’s like that ice sculpture, isn’t it, where you get that block of ice and you chip away, chip away, and then suddenly you think that’s what it is. And then you can start speeding up at the beginning is all about sort of chipping away to find, find what you should be doing, do you think?
Mark Mascia [12:41]
Yeah, hundred percent. And I also think, you know, due to your illusion of The Goonies, which I love, you know, it wasn’t quite as formal as that group where we got together every day, but I do think having a group of people, you know, whether you call it a network, or mastermind, or whatever you want to call it helps a lot, because going through something, you know, it’s like friends of mine that were in the military, you know, they meet up with a bunch of military buddies, and they explained it to me as like, you know, something I could never understand having not been in the military, that they just have this kind of connection and bond and shared experience, you know, with people that were not in the military civilians. And I feel the same way about the entrepreneurs. I mean, obviously, I’m not quitting and saying it’s as hard as serving in the military, I didn’t mean it in that way. But just sort of a similar thing, where it’s like, you know, when I talked to my friends who work really hard, and they’re CEOs of companies that they didn’t build, it’s just always a very different experience than someone who had to start from nothing and built up everything from scratch. You know, to your point about just starting lots of things and having them never go anywhere, and not knowing exactly what you’re doing, especially early on. I mean, it’s like, you’re like, there’s no book, even if you read millions of entrepreneurial books, there’s still no book this is this is how you’re going to run your businesses how your business is going to be successful. And that can be really, you know, off putting to a lot of people.
David Ralph [13:53]
And this shouldn’t be a book, this is the key thing. You know, whatever I’ve done, one translate to you, you’ve almost got to read it with your own filter on top having you know, I read a book a week, really, there’s always some kind of business book. And I would say, most business books, just keep on buying the same thing. Anything. Okay, you could have done this in five pages, but they do it in about about 100 pages. But there’s one core message and the one that I mean, at the moment, I’d be interested with your point of view, Mark, and I’ve spoken about this on numerous podcast episodes, but I’m reading this book called company of one where a guy basically queries wherever growth is required in businesses to a certain point, we seem to be going after growth and bigger numbers, like it’s what we all need. But there’s a point when you go, actually, I’m away. Actually, I don’t want any more stuff. Actually, I don’t want bigger offices. I’m just Okay. Do you understand these points of view in your own business? Are you all out for having Mark Messier faces on every building a well?
Mark Mascia [15:01]
No, no, I agree. There’s a balance. I mean, I think it’s true of all sort of consumerism as you know, a global community we’re all kind of rediscovering and re deciding You know, it used to be more and more and more and more things more bigger house all the kind of things and it starts to realizing some of those countries that have all that wealth have some of the least happy people as far as the surveys are concerned and I think that’s it’s true of my own life. You know, when I was younger, I was like, Oh, I want a Ferrari and I want all these like I want a helicopter and all these crazy things. And then as you grow up you start to realize like do I really want that like what a helicopter actually make me happy right now and the answer is now clearly definitely not even though it would would if you
David Ralph [15:39]
have all the traffic and you just want a helicopter has to be the ultimate and then
Mark Mascia [15:45]
right right and then it but then the problem is you get that and then you want something else so it’s it’s
David Ralph [15:51]
mainly greedy just stick stick with the helicopter and then just looked at would you spit out of it as you as you fly?
Mark Mascia [16:02]
It was never a better than other people think it was more
David Ralph [16:05]
but you always have to spit when you own something high. No matter where you are. You look over a building you have to spit and what it goes down
Mark Mascia [16:11]
Don’t you always that just me I’m more I’m more a penny guy more throw Penny off kind of guy.
David Ralph [16:16]
It would kill someone mark off the top of the building you you that’s manslaughter. You’re, you’re going down late you really are really some words now and then we’re going to come back to mark Messier. And delve more into Are you actually create a real estate Empire. Here’s Rocky,
Rocky Balboa [16:34]
you, me a nobody got a hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit. And keep moving forward. How much you can take it keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.
David Ralph [16:49]
Now I deliberately playback because that seems to be relevant to what you went through back in sort of 2000 678 and stuff where it was must have been just punches over time. Were you surprised? Were you surprised? Number one, how much you could take? and other things that we can all do to dodge those punches? Or is it just a case of we’ve just got to take them?
Mark Mascia [17:14]
Yeah, no, I mean, definitely, you know, students of history, at least in my field, you know, do better. Because the cyclicality, and I think it’s true of the cyclicality of all life, you know, growth and things like that, you know, hit plateaus, and you bust through to the next level and so on. But certainly true of the real estate industry. I mean, it’s very clearly cyclical. And so by setting history, you can avoid a lot of the you know, heartache, you can’t exactly time it, you can’t exactly be perfect, but you can certainly, you know, at least plan ahead a little bit better than just being totally blindsided. So I definitely think that’s part of it, you know, studying studying the past. But yeah, in general, like the problems that I’ve seen have always been the ones that I didn’t foresee, right. So it’s always been the ones that come blindside you on a random Tuesday that have been the hardest to deal with, you know, the the death of a major and, or the, you know, a deal that you thought was a no brainer, easy turned out to be a complete disaster, for reasons you didn’t foresee, like a tenant going bankrupt, that was super financially strong or whatever. And, you know, maybe people smarter people, more clairvoyant people than me could have avoided those. But I feel like, you know, I’ve kind of given up trying to predict the future and the timing of the markets, and just more buttressing our defenses to kind of deal with the challenges as they come up. And, you know, keep our creative hats on and instill in our staff and myself just trying to be as creative as possible to solve a problem and not just, you know, be like, Oh, this is this is all going to be terrible. And this is the only solution. So let’s go forward. I mean, you know, to the extent possible, always be trying to think of new creative ways to kind of solve the same issue and do something different to have a better outcome.
David Ralph [18:48]
Now, one of the things you’ve done, and you kind of alluded it to, they’re not trying to guess the market is study the skills of Warren Buffett. And for anybody who has looked at Warren, he doesn’t do a lot of work. First of all, he sort of sits around and he pretty much just goes on for key strategies, I seem to remember, it was a very, very simple way of investing. And he certainly doesn’t try to spread himself to Finley. Was that kind of strategy that made you realize that actually people overcomplicate stuff?
Mark Mascia [19:24]
Yeah, I mean, you know, I’m obviously guilty of it still, to this day. I mean, as much as I study and obsess and revere him, I’m obviously nowhere near as like him in any way that I’d want to be. So I always constantly striving for that, but, but yeah, 100%. I mean, I didn’t discover Warren until much later in my entrepreneurial career. And once I did, it kind of light bulb went off in my head, that there was just a lot of strength and power in that simplicity, and a lot of strength and power in kind of staying in your own lane and only doing things that actually, you know, are going to make sense and work and not just trying to stab it everything. And truly the other thing that that’s been the most helpful for me is his, his kind of mental fortitude, and just his ability to say, you know what, I’m not going to get obsessed with this new shiny object, I’m not going to listen to market sentiment that’s telling me something that I know to be wrong, just because everyone’s doing it, I’m not going to do it, stuff like that, that, you know, his his core to what he who he is, as a person and what he’s done really successfully. And kind of counter to the entire market. I mean, listening to any of those talking heads on the investing TV shows and stuff, you execute hundreds of transactions a day, and he may do 100 in a decade. So you’re talking about a very different, you know, strategy for investing. And historically, one’s worked really, really well and others have tended not to work so well. So you start to try to model and kind of mimic what what those who’ve done well have done and to the best of your ability, try to repeat it.
David Ralph [20:50]
Now he’s obviously got a mate, a buddy, as you say over there called Charlie Munger. And I have no idea what Charlie Munger actually brings to the table. But he’s done very well for himself financially. Do you need somebody like that? No matter how good you are, there’s somebody always need a Charlie mango, can can people do these kind of huge success on their own? Do you think?
Mark Mascia [21:15]
I mean, I think yes, it depends on the type of person I personally, I think, if I’m not around, working with other people, and kind of collaborating and growing more, I’m not gonna say I wouldn’t be successful, but I definitely wouldn’t be as successful as I am. Or as successful as I will be. Because of being around those people, I think, you know, the one in one plus one plus one equals three or more is is very true, if you find the right good person, obviously, one plus one can equal minus three, two, if you get the wrong person, but I think it’s something that I wish I had discovered earlier on, was kind of the power of your true partners, true people you value and can share shared experiences with and things and grow from and mentorship, all that, you know, has been amazingly helpful to my own career. And, you know, I would kind of suggest others is a way that that can be really powerful and helpful. Because it can really, I mean, it can streamline learning as well, I mean, the shared experience of the two of you can propel you significantly further and farther, faster, rather than than you would be able to get you in your own. And that’s definitely true. My own personal experience.
David Ralph [22:23]
I’ve seen so many people mark, and I’m putting my hand up here, when I started off my first online business, I didn’t know what I was doing. So I felt I needed a partner. And looking back on it, I didn’t choose partners that far ahead. So if you were kind of making it up as I went, I didn’t quite believe in myself enough to think that I could figure it out. So I needed that support. Now, for people out there, it’s all like for us to say Yeah, get somebody you know, get somebody to support your strengths and, and build up that network. But it’s a kind of mind mindset switch you’ve got to switch on, but you think you could reach out to the masses of the world and actually find some value that you can provide to build up that relationship, isn’t it?
Mark Mascia [23:08]
Yeah, no, I mean, I think that’s true, the imposter syndrome, or whatever you want to call it that. I mean, I had, most people have, you know, you overcome it in different ways. I use education as a kind of like to overcome that. And also, just experientially, I always, always looking for a bigger and better company to work for a better project. So that, you know, I could kind of build the resume. And I felt good about that, you know, some of other people, you know, bootstrap it, and just kind of like, do it. And the more they do it, the more confident that gets. So there’s there’s different ways of getting there. But I agree, I mean, ultimately, it’s really just allowing yourself to feel the feelings of, you know, of success, or that you’re worthy of those, those next steps. And, you know, that’s easier said than done. In most cases, I think it it’s much more of a psychological battle than anything else, right. It’s a lot, a lot of, you know, kind of mental training to get you to the point of feeling like, you know, the next step is, is is within your grasp. And it truly is it just you have to feel ready for it.
David Ralph [24:02]
Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you totally, I think the inner game, as I say, is far more difficult to win. But the outer game, you know, I’m now sitting here thinking, I want a helicopter, you’ve now swung. And I think I don’t want to look in anyone’s tower lights, I want to just form a past them and land where I won. But to be able to get to bear that’s that’s a big jump. And I think that we do hold ourselves back down way over time. We think it’s okay for him. It’s okay for them. But they both started at the same point, or more often than not they have.
Mark Mascia [24:36]
Right, right. Yeah. And I think, you know, I think the comparative to others is also a big challenge that I mean that keeping up with the Joneses, or whatever phrase you want to use, you don’t know other people’s situation truly, like you don’t know where they came from, or how or why or what they have. And a lot of times it’s a big facade. I mean, I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs out in the public, and they say, Oh, my God, my business is amazing. And everything’s perfect. And the world’s going great. And you’re like, Oh, god, I’m an idiot, I’m, I’m failing all over the place, I can’t believe this person’s having such success. And you know, I don’t ever wish them ill, it just makes me feel terrible about myself. And so, you know, what I started realizing was after I joined a couple organizations, where there’s a lot more honesty and transparency around entrepreneurial, you know, information when it was kind of a more closed door session, and they didn’t have to worry about, you know, what their customers were going to think if they shared to openly, you found out that everybody’s kind of in the same boat, even companies that you would view as the pinnacle of success, at least for me, you’d hear their their entrepreneurial heads sing the same kind of things, you know, like, Oh, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing in this place, or that place. And, and I’d be like, Oh, I actually have that one figured out, I have all these other things not figured out at all, but like that one. And so the fact that he’s having that trouble, or she’s having that trouble, it actually makes me feel better about myself, because I’m like, okay, we’re all in the same kind of world. It’s not like I’m, you know, at a 1%. And you guys are all operating at 99%. So, I think the honesty and transparency and that’s why I like shows like this and others where you get guests on that kind of try, at least in my experience, try to be a little more real than they do and kind of cocktail parties or whatever they’re trying to Yeah, puff smoke, you know, I think it’s a lot better to hear. Because it’s really difficult to see, I mean, a lot of people you see you driving fancy cars have fancy houses actually have a zero net worth or negative net worth. And, and so it’s hard to, it’s hard to see that and be like, why don’t I have that, how come I can’t get this, you don’t know what they really have, and it’s really doesn’t matter, right? It’s the same thing as the helicopter, like, really think about what makes you happy and go after those things, because everybody’s different. And if it is a helicopter, get a helicopter, right. But like for me, it was much more about interpersonal relationships, you know, both with our investors developing long term good solid relationships, and with my friends and family and things like that, like I value those things more now than then money and, you know, I still really value money, I want to be successful, I want to have nice things, but it’s it’s much a little lower on my list of priorities. And and then it is to kind of, you know, same with investor returns, like when we started the company, we just constantly promoted the highest possible returns the highest possible returns. But that wasn’t always what our investors wanted. A lot of our family offices want wealth preservation, they don’t want the highest returns, because a lot of times I’m at the highest risk, and they want to lose money more than they want to gain money, they have enough money. And so I think it was now the same with my own personal life, it’s much more about like, what are aligned with my goals and desires. You know, if I, if I want to make the most amount of money, I may have to work, you know, 200 hours a day or whatever, right? And just never seen my family and never develop those relationships. That wouldn’t feel like Success to me, right? And that’s not a cop out. And that’s not saying you’re bad. If you want those things. It’s just that’s my own personal definition of success now,
David Ralph [27:28]
no, I agree with you totally. And one of the things I was very focused on when I started Join Up Dots is that it was going to be 100% honesty. So I’ve always shared what was going through at that time. And funnily enough, I look back at my archives the other day, and I was going through, and I can see titles, but actually are indication, and they’re like, flags, polls really have really bad points of my life. And I was looking at one where it was saying, you know, I feel so stupid today. And there was another one that said, I’m so exhausted by running this business, but that’s okay. And I look back on it. And I can see myself working towards burnout, I can see myself hitting burnout, I can come out of burnout. And I’m moving through and all that stage where financially I wasn’t getting any money in but the effort was just incessant just pushing it through. And I shared it. I shared it on Join Up Dots, but I can actually pinpoint it. Now it was really interesting as I was whizzing down the list thinking Oh, yeah, look, I was actually talking about it there. I could have nipped it all in the bud Mark if I knew, but of course, I couldn’t not just have to plow into it.
Mark Mascia [28:38]
Right? Right. Yeah. Now that’s really interesting. That’s great. You have almost like an audio journal, it’s awesome to like, look back at your life,
David Ralph [28:44]
which is what I would like with everybody. I would love somebody, I would like the mark Messier. If I could send you back in time, like I do. You know, now you see sort of these blocks, where families are filming everything. And it sounds awful. De Sandoval. And you know, we are putting makeup on. And here we are going to the shops. And here we are doing based on stuff and my daughter’s obsessed by him. But I would love to see someone like Elon Musk start recording his very first blog, you know, when he just takes that idea and follows it through. There’s a really interesting documentary with Coldplay, the band from the United Kingdom. And one of their friends at college, when they first met, was a film producer. And so he was practicing to be a film producer. And they were trying to get a band together. And they were just all friends and not one of them realized that this guy was going to become a successful film producer. And all these efforts, then become the ultimate documentary of Coldplay. But when you see them sitting on the bed, with like a drum set with a towel over it, because I can’t make too much noise because the neighbors are getting on the plane and trying to get their first band going. And Ben their first gig, it’s all on there. And they’re dragging their equipment. That’s the kind of thing that I think people need to see that there’s a journey. And that’s why I like podcasting because you can go back and you can listen to it, and you can hear the journey.
Mark Mascia [30:10]
Yeah, no, that’s awesome. I agree. Totally. I mean, it’s, it’s a really amazing thing to have that.
David Ralph [30:15]
Now with yourself, Ben. So let’s jump back. Let’s Join Up Dots. Let’s make a Coldplay documentary on Mark Messier. Okay. So when you was at college, and we go back before University, but was it obvious that you were going to be where you are now? It’s like, we can’t imagine presidents not wanting to uh, well, other than when you’ve got now, but they seem like they were always going to be presidents. And you can imagine them almost having a life of an that. Were you the same?
Mark Mascia [30:49]
I mean, no. Well, when I first started University, no, I was I was going to be a doctor. So totally different world totally different life that I would have had. I mean, over time through college, I developed an interest interest in studied entrepreneurship, but definitely not at the start.
David Ralph [31:04]
It was a What made you get that interest in what made you start moving into a world? Where is, you know, it’s a long way away from being a doctor.
Mark Mascia [31:15]
Yeah, well, I, you know, I wanted to be a doctor because my dad was a doctor. So it was something I knew and understood and saw a good career path for, but but mostly because I saw my father’s, you know, ability to help people on a daily basis. And that always really intrigued me and, you know, made me feel good about just thinking about, oh, you know, what, every single day, I’m going to make people feel a little better. Even if I can’t cure them of their illness, I could at least help them feel better. And you know, that, to me is like an amazing thing. You know, if you’ve ever been sick and just wanted to feel better, the person who can do that for you. It’s like an amazing thing. And I would see it at the grocery store or whatever. He was almost like a mini celebrity in our small town where I grew up, because people would come up and say hi, and be nice to him, and thank him and give them gifts at Christmas and all this great stuff. And I was like, My God, yeah, my dad’s an amazing guy. But that’s just such a great, you know, great opportunity to live your life that way. So I became really obsessed with it. The problem was, I wasn’t that great at studying subjects that I didn’t see any application to my life. Yeah, in studying general sciences, when I was like, when I’m a doctor, I’m not going to need to know chemistry on a daily basis, I’m not going to be making medicine, I’m going to be using the medicines, right. And so I had real early burnout when I was taking kind of all these site heavy, heavy science classes, because I love science, but I didn’t love it for sciences sake, like I loved it, to learn something or to do implement something like engineering would have been something that would have been more interesting to me. But you know, I just early on came to a huge burnout where I was like, literally like how to break down crying session in the library Friday night at like, 10 o’clock at night, because I was still there studying for my test. And all my friends were out having fun, and I was like, This is misery. You know, let’s be fun. And this is not fun at all, you know, me while I was still getting like C’s, it wasn’t even like I was studying and getting an amazing, great, so I just wasn’t great at it. And inherently and I just burnt out. So so quickly came from that to be like, well, what am I going to do? You know, like, I still want to help people. And I still want to create things and do things but like, how am I going to do that? Right? I didn’t know anything else. I didn’t know anybody doing anything else. But it was always interested in buildings construction. And and I got really from my mom, my mom would at a young age take me to construction sites and kind of just, you know, tool around and imagine what the house is going to look like and stuff. So she really instilled in me that kind of like creative architectural interest. But I knew like a lot of careers in real estate like architecture, specifically, unless you’re the head of a huge architecture firm, you really can’t make much money. And I didn’t want to have kind of a struggling lifestyle. So you know, I knew I had to do something where I had to be my own boss eventually. And so that led to an entrepreneurial study. But again, I didn’t find a real estate company to be my own boss kind of thing until right as I was graduating my graduate degree, so kind of four years later,
David Ralph [33:54]
he’s fascinating, because literally everyone I speak to have a similar story. But if you really link and in the beginning of Join Up Dots, we talked about this a lot. But if you look at the little mark, the one that was there before money or responsibility comes along, you will probably find you playing with Lego building camps, you know, making things with your hand. And then you follow a path that your parents want you to do or somebody else wants you to do until you get so far down into it. And I know so many people that have gone through university come out with huge amount of debt and hated it. And they’ve gone through that path. And you think to yourself, why do we get so disconnected with our real selves? Because I know, I love talking to people. And I love to sort of try to motivate and inspire. And I went into banking and insurance for God’s sake. And I did 25 years in that, you know, Why the hell would I do that? Yes, it was a job. Yes, he paid. We don’t need banks and insurance this, let’s get rid of the lot of them.
Mark Mascia [35:05]
I like it. I like it just a real, real revolutionary. Oh, yeah, just
David Ralph [35:10]
just get rid of any boring jobs. Let’s just give people money to have fun. And just go that looks that looks boring. Underground, you know, there’s enough money. Money in the world. And Charlie Munger, for example, earns 100 grand a year. And he’s worth 1.6 billion. So how does that work? How does he only work? That there’s something wrong in the world markets. So with yourself again, looking at all this crying bit in the library? Because I was fascinated about that part of me wanted you to shout you big girl. And then the other part of a fault. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been there. Was it total? Did you feel totally, totally lost? Like, you just didn’t know where to turn? Or was it a cry for help? or What was it?
Mark Mascia [36:00]
Yeah, no, I mean, I’ve had a couple of periods in my life that have, you know, gone through this, and where I really just kind of was lost. And, you know, I’m, I love, goal achievement and kind of striving towards something as long as I feel like I’m going in a positive direction towards what I want. I’m a really happy person, like, I’m a really positive person I enjoy, you know, even the struggles and the challenges. So, so the hardest thing for me I’ve experienced in my own life has been when I literally don’t know what to do, if I just feel like I’m stuck. And I don’t know how to get out of it. That’s like the most demoralizing and sort of upsetting thing that happens. I mean, within reason, obviously, Death of family members, other things. I don’t mean it like that. But you know, just in my own personal professional development career path, when I have no idea what to do or where to go, I feel lost, I feel like a ship floating at sea with no way of getting anywhere and just kind of everything’s happening to me, and I’m much I’m not a, I’m not a fatalist or somebody who believes like, you know, everything just happens to me, and I don’t have control, I’m pretty much the opposite. So I want to be able to take the reins and do something. But if I don’t know what I want to do, that’s the challenge. And so at that point, that was the challenge was like, this is the thing that I thought I always wanted. And now I don’t really know if I want it anymore. And what does that mean? Like? Where do I go? How do I get here? How can I help people and not be a doctor? How can I be happy? How can I make enough money to support a family and not be a doctor? Yeah, that was kind of my whole world was tied to that. And I’ve had that experience, you know, even in real estate, I mean, you know, some of the dark days of the real estate career path that I was on similar thing, you know, where it was just like, Do I still want to do this? Do I still enjoy this? Is this still a path that makes me happy? Is it still helping people as is still the best use of my time, all those kind of questions. And, you know, those are really, really tough times for someone like me, who’s always happy, because you get those points where you’re like, what is this insane feeling, and you don’t have as many tools to support that as maybe some other people would, because I don’t feel those things as often. And so having a support network of, you know, specifically my family and the early days, and still my family today, but a lot more, you know, mentors and my wife and other people, friends and family and things like that, that’s been the most important thing, you know, someone someone to talk to someone to share with someone to support you someone to, you know, kind of coax, coax you through those those hard challenges and be like, Don’t give up, it’s going to be fine. Like, you’ll figure it out. I know, it doesn’t feel like you’re right now, but it will be you know,
David Ralph [38:22]
because I think the biggest difficulty that I had looking back on everything was the feeling of being a fraud. I was running this show. And when it started, it started off really well. And it was great. And I felt positive. And I felt competent. And I was on the show, and I was interviewing people, and we were talking about entrepreneurship. And then there was a period of about six months, about three years in where the money was going the wrong way. The audience was going the wrong way. And everything looked like it was just dying. And I was still getting on the microphone every day going. And welcome to Join Up Dots. And it’s great to be here and all that kind of stuff. And I just could not see away. I could be honest to people without being a fraud, because I was trying to inspire them to take control their own future, but mine was going the wrong way. Now I look back on it, I go, thank God, thank God for that. And thank God because I’ve got those skills now that I can really it was like the universe saying that you need this to help even more people. But I didn’t feel lost. I just felt like a fraud, I think.
Mark Mascia [39:25]
Sure. Yeah, no, and I think that’s a really, really common one, definitely, most of the people that I mentor a lot, because I teach it NYU, I meet a lot of younger people that want to get into real estate. And you know, I mentor a lot of them. And a lot of them struggle with the same thing. You know, it’s like they have all the skills and knowledge and personality and, and intelligence and all the kind of things to succeed, you know, their wildest dreams, but they feel, you know, like a fraud take the first step. And, you know, it may have something to do with our industry and some of the other industries like finance insurance, I know for sure there too. And definitely in real estate. I mean, there are a lot of actual frauds, right, so it’s kind of difficult to be around those people and hear these people talking about these scam a business plans and their sales tactics that feel icky, and kind of all this stuff. And I’m like, I don’t want to be that person. Right? Yeah, that’s what success looks like, I don’t want to be successful. So I don’t know. I mean, that’s a that’s an early theories. I don’t don’t count it for everything. But I think it’s it’s definitely something to be said for, you know, seeing those things and be like, man, I don’t want to be that guy, you know? Yeah, I
David Ralph [40:28]
don’t. Like I’m always talking about base, I don’t want to be the infinity pool guy. You know, that guy that you see on YouTube all the time, when they’re saying, you know, live this lifestyle, and I’ll show you how to do it. I actually hate most people, I really do. Everything about them screams fraud and charlatans. Right, right. That night, people buy
Mark Mascia [40:52]
it. And it’s a terrible thing, in my opinion, because for the most part, I haven’t taken any of their classes, of course, because it pains me just to look at dumb little listen to buy something from them. But But like, I can’t imagine that those any of those things actually work and and, and, you know, so it’s like, not only are they kind of like puffing themselves and doing all the stuff and they’re literally cheating other people out of the things that do work, you know, there’s a lot of things that they could follow that they could, you know, books you were talking about, like a lot of business books actually do work, a lot of, you know, listening to podcasts like this that don’t cost anything to listen to and get knowledge from. And instead they’re charging like $10,000 for some scamming class that doesn’t work, you know that that’s really what what makes me angry, I hate people who take advantage of other people. So,
David Ralph [41:32]
right, let’s bring them down as well. So banks insurance.
Mark Mascia [41:37]
Yeah, yeah, I’m with you.
David Ralph [41:41]
That’s what we’re gonna do? Well, we’ve been leading quite seamlessly up to a part that we call the Sermon on the mic, when we’re going to send you back in time to have a one on one. But first of all, I want to hear the words of Steve Jobs. He said these back in 2005. And they’re so powerful. Let’s hear them again.
Steve Jobs [41:56]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the
David Ralph [42:30]
difference. It really does. Doesn’t it just having that being to cling to mark?
Mark Mascia [42:36]
Yeah, no. It’s amazing. Amazing quote. I love it. Yeah.
David Ralph [42:39]
So when you look back on and I asked literally every single guest this? So it’s not a new question, but I find it fascinating one, do you have a big.in your life when you look back and you go Blimey that that really it? That’s the thing, that’s the one.
Mark Mascia [42:57]
I mean, there’s so many, it’s hard, hard to choose just so one. But I think when I look back at all the challenges, that the negative things and the things that have brought me out of those things, and therefore given me kind of mental fortitude, it’s always been those relationships, those kind of supporting relationships. And so it was invested, you know, that the helping people part of my personality, both personally and professionally. It comes home to roost at those times, right? Like I don’t, I hate asking for favors from people, I hate to ask people for really anything. So it’s, it’s also really hard for me to ask for help even when I really need it. But because I’ve given our try to and I’m not perfect, I’m not saying by any stretch, but you know, because I’ve tried to invest a lot in my relationships with my friends and family and business people and investors and all those things, when I really need it, almost inevitably, they’re all there to help me and in most of the time that people get pissed at me for not asking for help sooner. And I think that’s been, you know, the biggest, easiest, look back kind of advice to myself is like, you know, sort of as you were alluding to it in the earlier stage of this, this interview about looking back at your you know, your recordings and seeing what you’re going through and those types of things. I think the same here, it’s like being honest, has and more transparent has been really helpful, you know, being being able to be comfortable, being vulnerable, and asking for help. That that it’s really, really hard even still to this day. So I’m not saying I’m perfect example of it. But it’s made a huge difference in it. And it helps. I mean, the other thing is it’s helped other people help me so like, the reason that they usually get mad at me is like you’re just being selfish, like you want to help everybody and not have held back. And that’s not how the world works. So I think it’s, you know, in that way, that’s been a fraudulent thing where I felt like I didn’t deserve the help, or I shouldn’t ask for the help. I shouldn’t need the help. And getting over that has been one of the hardest things I’ve done. And I’m still working on today, but has been amazingly helpful and powerful.
David Ralph [44:49]
I agree with you, Tony the amount I’m terrible at asking for help. And I don’t know why I will help anyone but asking for it myself. I just can’t do it. It’s just kind of struggle crew. Like it’s some kind of badge of honor, but I can work it out.
Mark Mascia [45:03]
Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah, no badge, I can tell you for sure there’s, there’s
David Ralph [45:07]
no, there’s no barriers. It’s just that white pointy hat with a big D on it. And you stand in the corner feeding for long doing the truffle shuffle. And that’s that. You’ve got to watch Google Goonies. Now people watched it the other day, actually, it’s a good film. Well, this is the part of the show that we have been building up to this is when all your dots join up. And this is the bit that we call the Sermon on the mic, when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young man, what age would you choose? And what advice would you like to give him? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the music. And when it fades, you’re up, this is the Sermon on the mic. The best.
Mark Mascia [46:14]
Hey, Mark, when you’re just starting out on your own, and feeling like everything’s possible, remember that and keep that with you to you know, that’s a great part of who you are. But also don’t let it kind of lead you to believe that things will always be easy and only on the up. So when you take some knocks on the head that you should just feel like you’re a failure, because it was supposed to be easy, I think, you know, we’re kind of led to believe that, that you had all this great stuff. And so things will be really easy for you as they had been kind of through college and things. And even through your initial stage of your career. But as, as you’ll see, life doesn’t always work out that way and focusing that the best way to deal with that, in my opinion is looking back is to really focus on what matters to you. So don’t don’t look at what others have, or what others view as successful, but really look to you know, what do you really want at each stage of your life. And that’s okay, that it changes, it’s okay that it develops over time, you’re going to mature and change and your life’s going to be very different as you grow up. So you know, what you think you want now at 22 is going to be very, very different from what you’re gonna want it 30 and 40, and 50, and so on. And you know, those goals will be achieved. But you want to make sure that the goals that you’re looking for the ones that are gonna make you happy, because otherwise you’re going to get to the end of this really long, you know, decade or two decades of working and find that you didn’t you didn’t really do what you were supposed to do or what you wanted to do, because it wasn’t what was important to us. So I think being as interactive as possible. Thinking about things journaling. Just thinking about really what you want asking yourself that question as often as possible and really contemplating on it and not using others bellwether success for your own. I think that would be the best way to kind of go forward and have a much better happier life.
David Ralph [48:01]
And still go on a helicopter. Yeah, go go for the
Mark Mascia [48:05]
Yeah, so of course always Malika
David Ralph [48:07]
Yeah, ignore that advice. You do you want the helicopter? That’s what you do? Yes. Well, what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
Mark Mascia [48:18]
Sure, they can check out our I’m on all the social media platforms, of course. But Mark at property income. com is kind of the easiest over the radio, or a podcast, email address. And I’m always happy to talk to anybody about any real estate question, not real question any way I can help them, I’m happy to do so
David Ralph [48:35]
we will have all the links on the show notes. Mark, thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up those dots. And please come back again, when you got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up those dots and connecting our past is actually the best way to build our futures. Mark, thank you so much.
Mark Mascia [48:51]
Thanks, David. Appreciate it.
David Ralph [48:55]
Mr. Mark Messier from a New York City originally, and now he in Phoenix, Arizona. I really liked him. I like the openness and the transparency, the fact that he saw his path, but it was the wrong path. And when he got to that point in the library where he was lost, and I think most of us get that. And most of us kind of get seduced by the fact that we think that everybody’s got the answer except for us. And he’s no, and that’s what Join Up Dots is all about. And that’s why I keep on doing it. So that you realize, but it’s the experiences. You know, at the moment, I’ve been doing this for five years, and at the moment, something is becoming clear to me, but I couldn’t see before I whether it was I didn’t have the experience, I didn’t have the competence, I didn’t have whatever. But I can see now that there was something that I had to build up to. And it wasn’t part of the plan, it was just something that is going to occur. And you will find out more about that as we go on. But you can’t can’t plan too much. You’ve just got to make things happen. And if you just sitting there in the bar every night or on Netflix or at the job that you don’t like without at least connecting with people outside or doing evening classes or, or getting physically fit or whatever changes your situation. You’re going to find yourself going round and round and round make life what you want, make more money than you ever dreamt up. And, and enjoy yourself in the process. Until next time. Thank you so much for everybody being here. If you want a support group in your local area, as you would have heard on all the other shows, just drop us a line we will get that set up and we can start building out that support for you. But please be here next time. Look after yourselves. Cheers. Bye bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up Dots.com to download this app amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.