About Braver

The story of the podcast.

About Braver:

In short, the Braver podcast is geared towards helping real estate investors, agents, and entrepreneurs stuck in working too much in their business.

Our Goal:

Help entrepreneurs voluntarily face their fears to build a true business with a team that runs the show. The goal is to go from working in the business to working on the business.

Why Braver

I named this podcast Braver…one because I feel like most other real estate podcasts while the names might better say what they’re about, are pretty lame…and because of something I heard from Jordan Peterson, the Canadian professor of Psychology.

I’m paraphrasing a little, but he said: 

“If you’re naive and you move forward, there is no courage because you don’t understand how vulnerable you are.

But to be aware of what your problem is and how you could face some unknown but move forward anyways, that’s one of the secrets to a good life.

You determine what you’re afraid of and then you expose yourself in increments to that.  The clinical literature doesn’t indicate that people become less afraid.  It’s that they become braver. And that’s not the same thing. 

If you get less afraid, you just say, ‘well I guess the world wasn’t as scary as I thought it was.  Silly me.’

But if you get braver, that’s not what happens.  The world is just as dangerous as I thought, but it turns out there is something within me that responds to taking that on as a voluntary challenge and grows and thrives as a consequence.

The key is facing some stressor that is thrown at you involuntarily versus you taking it on voluntarily.

As you become braver, you approach with a sense of challenge instead of an approach of defense and withdrawal.  When done voluntarily, there is a sense of adventure.  You can view the challenge as improving your lot in life and taking risks in a non-naive way.“

Which approach do you want?

Hence this podcast’s name. Braver.  

Danny Johnson’s Story (Host of the Braver Podcast)

I was a software developer who wanted freedom to do what and when, to be driving around during the day while everyone else was at work.

My father started flipping while I was in college.

I grew the business part time for nearly 3 years and had to be fired to go full time.  That was scary!!!

I was excited to grow business and we did.  We were averaging about 20 to 30 deals a year and things were good.  

Then my mentor gave me a flight in his small plane in Michigan.  It was amazing!  I knew what my next challenge would be.

During a summer trip up the west coast we visited the air and space museum in McMinnville Oregon.  They had Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose there.  I decided at that point to start my flying lessons.

For the next 3 months I was all about flying.  Even the business took a back seat.  

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ll understand when I tell you that motivated seller leads were still coming in even after I dropped the ball on my marketing.  

I took my check ride on my birthday and got my private pilot certificate.  

Then reality set it and the leads dried up.  

I had seriously dropped the ball on the business.  I wanted to just fly and play semi-retired.  But I needed to ramp up the business again.  I needed motivation.  The excitement of the first years of business wasn’t there this time around. 

At the time I noticed the blogs and tv shows either showed the fix up and sale portion of a flip or just showed the how to of house flipping but didn’t show actual deals.  Nobody was talking about what it took to get deals.

That’s when I started posting all of my weekly activities in the business on my blog, Flipping Junkie.

I ended up sharing all of the marketing I was doing, what I spent, details on every motivated seller lead that came in, whether I went to see the house, how much in repairs it needed, my offer, whether I got the deal, the before pictures, the rehab scope work, the after pictures…basically everything.

I did that for 34 weeks.

So many people followed along and cheered me on.  It was a selfish thing for me though because they were all helping me be accountable.  I said I was going to ramp my business back up and I didn’t want to let them down. 

Those posts became the basis for my book, Flipping Houses Exposed, which you can find on Amazon.  

So many people said they were inspired by that book because it showed them the business was truly a numbers game.  They now realized that those first 10 leads they got that didn’t become a deal were just getting them closer to the one that was going to become a deal.

My son was born and I took a break from sharing the week to week.  That’s why it ended at 34 weeks.  In that time, I had documented the 495 motivated seller leads that came in from my marketing efforts.  

We continued to grow the business for several more years but it was slow going.  My ex-wife and I didn’t have a team.  It had just been us (aside from a Realtor and Contractors to do the fix up).

We were wearing all the hats in the business….and I was getting burned out.

The model I was following was crank up the marketing, get a crap ton of leads, do some deals. Do more marketing, do more deals. Very basic. It worked…but only as long as I worked.

Trying to find success by doing more of what you do, harder. 

The problem was rooted in my treating the business as more of a hobby.   I didn’t want to hire a team because I was scared.  I didn’t acknowledge that fear at the time though.  Instead I hid behind justifications.  I justified not hiring by thinking that it would add more responsibility.  If we wanted to take a 2 month vacation, we wouldn’t be able to because we would have to manage the team and keep everything going.  The way I saw it, we could pause the business for 2 months…..that wasn’t reality.  We never could because we had to keep it all going.  

It took some really good friends beating me over the head to convince me that growing a team and treating the business as a true business was the way to go.  I’m glad I listened to them.  I want to thank them here really fast.  There are a lot but most notably thank you Justin Williams, Andy McFarland, Don costa and Bill Allen.

There was a learning curve in building a team and a true business.   It was a true growth experience both personally and professionally.  

This is the focus for the Braver podcast.  

The fear was always there but I became braver.  

We built a team and grew the business while working less.  In fact, I was able to focus more and more on the software system I was creating for real estate investors.  That system is the Forefront CRM.  Now, that software is supporting this podcast and making it possible.  

It’s all really come full circle.  You see when I did the 34 weeks showing everything I was doing in my business “pre-team”, I generated 495 motivated seller leads.  That’s qualified leads…meaning someone called because they wanted an offer for their house.  Of those 495 qualified leads I only did 11 deals.  That sucked!!! That was operating where we needed almost 50 leads to get a deal.  Why?  Because we hadn’t focused on working on our business.  We were as concerned with what happened once a lead came in as we were in just generating leads.  We were too busy.

I build Forefront CRM to help keep track of our leads and perform follow up for us.  Obviously it doesn’t a lot more than that but that’s the focus.  That and keeping it simple.  It had to be software we love using.  The product evolution for Forefront is always geared towards providing features that help you do more deals from the leads you’re generating.  

Once we built a team for our real estate business and we had time to work on our business, we were able to get to where we were doing a deal for 1 out of every 4-5 leads.  

Obviously, there’s a lot involved in getting the conversion rate down to that but a great start is my No Lead Left Behind Framework.  You can download that at https://forefrontcrm.com/noleadleftbehind

For this podcast, I’ll be interviewing other real estate professionals that are currently in the process of building a team and true business as well as those that have already been through the fire.  

I’m also excited to interview others in the fields of leadership, business, motivation and spirituality.

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Braver Podcast Cover Art