Episode 84: Getting Across the Finish Line with Charles Dobens – Transcript
Rennie Gabriel 00:09
Hi folks, welcome to Episode 84 of the Wealth On Any Income Podcast. This is where we talk about money tips, techniques, attitudes, information, and provide inspiration. I'm your host, Rennie Gabriel. In past episodes, we spoke about how to build an Income and Expense Report, how to measure the level of pleasure based on where you spend your money, how to track your money in 5 - 10 seconds, what to look for on a net worth statement to see how close you are to Complete Financial Choice® and the easiest ways to market your business. Last week, we had Terry Levine, who's a mentor for coaches and consultants who offers a guarantee that they can expand their impact, influence and income, and she's established her own charitable foundation. Today we have as our guest, Attorney Charles Dobens. Charles is a multifamily investor, attorney, and mentor to multifamily investors all around the country, and the founder of the Multifamily Investing Academy. He trains students to overcome and learn the correct way to acquire, operate and own multifamily properties. He has personally owned and operated over $20 million of assets in his career, from no money down to syndications, master lease options, and has done rehabs, repositioning and foreclosures. And as he says, I'll never have a better guest than him. All right, Charlie, welcome to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast.
Charles Dobens 01:49
Rennie, it's so good to see you, man. I tell you, you were like - when you came to my speech in LA, we became fast friends, because I just, we knew who we were. We knew - no joke. And I got to tell you, some of the folks, one of the best stories that Rennie has ever told me, and I say it to my students, on occasion, is about his first date with his wife, where he needed a coupon for a burrito to pay for the meal. And he was in his fifties. If there is no better story, to inspire you to get off your butt and get going and make it happen for you, I call on Rennie Gabriel. You cannot find a better story than that.
Rennie Gabriel 02:43
You got it pretty close, Charlie. The coupon was for the free movie, and I didn't have the $3 to buy the burrito she wanted before the movie.
Charles Dobens 02:54
Tell her to eat the popcorn. Eat the free popcorn.
Rennie Gabriel 02:57
Charles Dobens 02:58
That woman has made out like a bandit, because she saw the success, the ability in you to be a success, Rennie. That's awesome. So. That's so cool.
Rennie Gabriel 03:09
Thanks, Charlie. Well, so let's talk about you. And you know, why are you teaching people how to buy multifamily properties?
Charles Dobens 03:18
Let me tell you something that I... we talked about getting started with this, we talked about our insurance days. And I had a very good sales manager when I was an insurance agent, when I first got out of college and went to work for him, at New York Life Insurance. My father was a New York Life agent for 57 years. And this guy that, my sales agent at the time was an absolute success as an agent. He was a manager when I spoke to him. He was an agent at the time, when he was . . . in the story I'm about to tell you, he was an agent. And I said, 'Tim, why did you ever get out of management? Why wouldn't you have just stayed as an agent and lived your life and nobody bothered you?' And he goes, 'Charlie, I love being a manager because I love to see you succeed.' And I was 22 years old, Rennie, when he said that. And at the time, I thought it was the stupidest thing anybody could have ever said. I said, 'That's ridiculous. What do you - what do you care?' Maybe I'm a slow learner. But fast forward. Now I'm 57 years old. I tell everyone I'm 72 because . . .
Rennie Gabriel 04:30
You're trying to copy me I get it. Go ahead.
Charles Dobens 04:32
I know - it's the only way I get compliments on how good I look, Rennie. And now fast forward. I look back on what he said to me and I totally get it. I love seeing my students succeed. I have students every single month buying properties for the first time and it makes me feel so good to watch these guys succeed and know that I helped them out every step of the way. That is why I keep doing what I'm doing. And I'll tell you, Rennie, I got a picture of my father on my cell phone, on his deathbed. It ended up being his deathbed. Eighty-two years old, Rennie, and he's writing an application for insurance for somebody. Because he just loved it. That was what he wanted to do. And that was who he was. I think to myself, I'm never retiring. I'm just never going to retire. Why would I ever retire? I love what I do. I absolutely love what I do. I don't need to work. But man, it is so much fun. And that's why I love helping people achieve their goals of owning apartments and apartment complexes. And it's a blast. I love it.
Rennie Gabriel 05:43
Yeah, well, you know, two things. One of them is, I don't use the word retire. Because one of the great expressions I heard was from a lady who grew up on a farm. And she said, 'When a cow can no longer produce milk, and they put it out to pasture to die, the term for that is we are going to retire the cow'. So, who'd want to look forward to retirement? So I created the term, let's talk about having Complete Financial Choice®. You want to work, great. You want to choose not to work, fine. You have choice. And so that's what I want to talk to people about. And along with that, because 100% of the profits from the work I do in supporting other people to handle money powerfully, I donate to a charity called Shelter to Soldier. It's important for my guests to be involved in some charitable causes as well. And I know you've got one, something about, O.U.R. I don't even know what that is.
Charles Dobens 06:44
Oh my gosh. Oh, that's a little one. I got two others I got to talk to you about.
Charles Dobens 06:48
Okay, so O.U.R. is Operation Underground Rescue. Okay. So I went, okay, this is an easy one. I went to a funnel... who's the guy? The big funnel guy?
Rennie Gabriel 06:48
Rennie Gabriel 07:00
Click Funnels? Is that the . . .?
Charles Dobens 07:01
Click funnels. Yes. Yes.
Rennie Gabriel 07:02
I don't remember his name. Go ahead.
Charles Dobens 07:03
Okay, right. But I went to . . . Russell, Russell.
Rennie Gabriel 07:05
Charles Dobens 07:06
Right and I went to his big thing. And this guy got up and talked about kids becoming sex slaves in foreign countries and this guy got up and spoke. And it was so powerful. He goes out there like a soldier to save these kids and break... and oh my gosh, I, every single month I give to that foundation. Every single month. I give to the Shriners
Rennie Gabriel 07:33
The St. Jude's Shriners.
Charles Dobens 07:35
St. Judes. I give it to St. Jude's. Oh my gosh. And then St. Jude's Shriners and O.U. R. But let me just tell you something. Let me give you a story. I'm going to give you a story that you're going to absolutely love. And this is, this is so wild. I talk about my father all the time. The most amazing man ever. He grew up in an orphanage. He, when he turned 16, the state couldn't take care of him anymore so they sent him back to live with his alcoholic father who beat him up and it was a bad situation. 16 years of age, sophomore in high school. He went to Nashua High School from Franklin New Hampshire orphanage to his hometown of Nashua. He goes to the high school. Rennie, two years later, he is class president and most popular boy. And he was voted, he was voted runner up for best looking. Rennie, Rennie . . .
Rennie Gabriel 08:32
What happened to you?
Charles Dobens 08:34
I never let him live that down. I never let him live that down. And he said, 'No, that was rooked. It was rooked.' So one day after he graduated, he's walking up Main Street on a summer day, and a car full of Nashua high school teachers pulled up alongside of him and said, 'Hey, Lenny, what are you doing?' 'Ah, I'm just you know, you know, goofing around playing basketball.' And he goes, 'Hey, Lenny, what are you doing for college?' And he looked at him like, why would you even be asking me that? My brother and I live in a one-bedroom hotel room with my alcoholic father. We own one shirt together. We got nothing. College isn't even in the picture. And they said, 'You know what, Lenny, a guy like you should go to college.' So they went out, the high school teachers at Nashau High School in 1951, and they passed the hat. And they raised $75 for my father's $100 tuition to Keene State Teachers College, and he had to go out and earn the other $25. And he did. He went out, my father was the first one in his family that graduated from high school. And the first one that ever went to college. And he obviously went for the first year, then got drafted, and the GI Bill took over for everything thereafter. So my father was the first one to graduate - but it was because of that teacher, the one teacher that led the charge that my father was able to go to college. Rennie, when my father died, when my father . . . my father played basketball at the YMCA in Nashua, all his life. He was on the board there. I'm on the board at the Y. And when he was dying, when the doctor came into his hospital room at Mass General and said, 'Lenny, there's nothing more we can do for you. Just make your plans.' First thing he said, Rennie was, 'Darn it, I just wanted 10 more years'. And I tell you something, I go to a strategic coach, one of our members, strategic coach.
Rennie Gabriel 10:45
Charles Dobens 10:46
Yep. Dan Sullivan, has a saying, he says, You can determine age, or how old the person is because their desire for days in the past is greater than their desires for days in the future. And when I heard my father say, I just wanted 10 more years. My father was not an old man, he was 82 - but he was still ready to go. He wanted so much more out of life. And once the doctor came in and told us that story, he started barking out commands to my sister and me. He said, 'Okay, pay this bill, and then pay that bill. And then, Oh, you got to pay this girl's tuition.' And then my sister, my sister and I stop and look at each other like - wait, wait, we get a pay some girls tuition? Because he was a, he was a widower for 20 years. And he was... I want to tell you something, Rennie. The guy was chasing skirts. Okay, so we thought the first thing, we thought to ourselves is like, what do we have a sister - a sister we don't know about? And so, No, no, no, no, the YMCA came to me and this young woman who is working in the daycare, and she's a single mother, and she's fantastic. In order for her to move up, she needed to get a teaching certificate. And in order for her to get a teaching certificate, she needed to get a bachelor's. And she didn't have the money. And they came to me and they said, 'Lenny, would you pay for this girl's tuition?' And so I said, Okay, I'll pay for her tuition. No problem. So she's got one more semester. I need you to pay her tuition. So I said, Okay, Dad. We'll pay her tuition. So we paid her tuition, Rennie. The next semester, the President of the YMCA calls me up. He goes, 'Hey, Charlie. Are you going to pay her next year of college?' I said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. Wait a minute. My dad said we only had one more semester to go. She's got another year?' He goes, 'Oh, yeah, yeah. She's got another year to go.' Well . . . You know, my father, my father told us to pay her tuition. He didn't say pay one semester. He said pay her tuition. 'So yes, Mike, I will pay her tuition for this year'. 'Oh, that's great'. I said, 'But this time, we're going to treat her differently.' He says, 'What do you mean, what are you going to do?' I said, 'This time we're going to treat her like she's a Doben's kid.' He said, 'What does that mean?' I said, 'I want to see her - I want to see her grades.' And then the President says, 'Well, she's a straight A student.' And I said, 'Well, then she ain't no Dobens. That's for sure.' She did that. Oh, boy. So we paid her tuition and she got through it. And, Rennie, I told that story. I'm going to get tied up in the moment. I told that story at my father's funeral. I told about the first part, not the second part. I told that story. And in the audience was a president of my high school, which is a Catholic Boys School, which is now Catholic girls school, too, because they, they now take on girls. And she loved that story, and she is a friend of mine. I've known her since high school - that's the president. And then this one girl whose father was, her family was from Guatemala, and their father was a typical laborer. And he would take, all Catholic education, wanted all the kids go through Catholic schools - drive by the Bishop Garden High School. And, you know, the father would say, I want all you kids to go to Bishop Garden. That's the best school out here. You'll love it. And you know, finally the daughter is in seventh grade, getting ready to go into eighth grade, and the father starts to get pains in his stomach.
Rennie Gabriel 14:56
Charles Dobens 14:57
And he is a laborer and he does not have Health Insurance and he's doing, you know, fighting it off. Finally, he can't fight it off anymore. And he goes into the hospital, and he's got stomach cancer. And he's got two months to live. And he dies. And he's got four kids, and his wife is a waitress. And I mean, the whole family from the junior high school, does everything they can to pay for the kids to stay in school. And the oldest girl is, like, set to go to Bishop Garden High School, and now they have no money.
Rennie Gabriel 15:40
Charles Dobens 15:42
The president of the high school taps me on the shoulder and says, 'Will you pay for her tuition?' 'Yeah, I'm honoured. I'll be honored to pay her tuition.' So I've been paying her tuition. She doesn't know, Rennie. She has never met me. She wrote me a letter. She just wrote me a letter. I wish I had it here. I'd read it to you. I'd read the last two paragraphs. You'll be bawling your eyes out about the death of her father. She doesn't know who I am. I don't want her to know who I am. I'm paying her tuition. And then the president of the high school says to me, We need to create a foundation to do this for all underprivileged kids in the community so that they can come.' Because this school - because it's just taken off since I went there. It's like Boston College, Rennie. I went to Boston College. Back during the Doug Flutie days.
Rennie Gabriel 16:43
Yeah, I heard of it. But that's the best I could tell you. Oh, yeah. He was a football player.
Charles Dobens 16:47
Right. Ever since Doug Flutie went to Boston College, I wouldn't be able to get in. I mean, that's how good, the place has taken off. That's what my high school is like, it's taken off. And my sister who sent her two kids, there's like, it's elitist now. Like, well, that's not what it was ever meant to be. That's not what it was, when I was there. We got to be able to create a way for kids who are not elitist, to be able to go to school and get that great education. And so that's we, the President and I are now creating the Sacred Heart Scholar Foundation, where we are allowing kids from underprivileged. We're going to pay for the whole way for them to go to that high school. And get that type of education. And she's the first one and I'm the one leading the charge in that. So that is my thing, Rennie, that's what gets me up and makes me work in the morning. So . . .
Rennie Gabriel 17:40
All right, so we're going to get back to the business.
Charles Dobens 17:46
Oh, fine. You didn't like that story? Oh, come on, man.
Rennie Gabriel 17:48
I love the story. But we only have like, 20 minutes to get this thing broadcast. So people don't fade out while they're listening
Charles Dobens 17:57
Just like that guy Joe Grogan, Joe Rogan, or whatever it is.
Rennie Gabriel 17:59
Yeah. Okay, so, okay, I'm going to ask you this. This is like a two-part question. What was your biggest failure in business, and what did you learn from it?
Charles Dobens 18:10
Well, I tell you what, my biggest failure, I owned an insurance firm for 7 - 10 years. I had 35 employees working for me. My biggest fail was that I did not realize that I was a terrible manager. I was a great entrepreneur. I couldn't manage people. I had 35 employees working for me. I didn't know how to run a company. And that was my biggest failure. I learned from it that I have to identify what my strengths and my weaknesses are. I'm not a good manager of people. That's not my thing. I'm an entrepreneur. I know how to get things started. I know how to make money and market a program, a product, but don't make me sit in a seat and run a company and solve HR problems all day long. That's not my thing. That's not, that's not my expertise. I have to be in a business that excites me. That fires me up, that gets me excited to get up to go to work every morning. And, Rennie, this is the first time in my life I've ever loved Mondays.
Rennie Gabriel 19:15
Charles Dobens 19:17
Yeah. Okay, let me just tell you, Rennie. One time I was standing, at a podium speaking to a group of real estate investors, talking about multifamily investing. And I said to them, I said, let me ask you something, folks. And this is totally off the cuff. I had no idea where this was going. I just I just thought of it as I was saying it. I said, How many of you, Sunday nights are the worst time of the week for you? And I said that because it had just come over me to the realization that that was the worst time of the week for me. I said it out loud, Rennie, to that group of people, and I was blown away by how many people started nodding their heads. Oh my gosh, it wasn't just me. It wasn't just me. So many people hate Mondays.
Rennie Gabriel 20:14
And I look, not only to Mondays, but I love the first of every month.
Charles Dobens 20:22
Rennie Gabriel 20:23
Charles Dobens 20:24
Oh, now you do.
Rennie Gabriel 20:25
Yeah. Now I do. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know that Sunday night dread. That's gone. Monday, I'm sort of like, 'Oh, gosh, I wish Monday would get here already'.
Charles Dobens 20:27
Yeah - yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I get to pay all my bills. It's done. I've got income coming in - it's beautiful. Yes. Absolutely. And like, the fifth of the month you're like, Hey, where you been? You owe me some money. Yeah.
Rennie Gabriel 20:53
Well, okay. Well, two more things. One, now I'm going to read this that you asked me to read, and I'm going to do it verbatim, just like you asked me to. And it's, you know, now, I know, you said how good looking your father was. But how did you get so incredibly good looking? I mean, I'm a man. I've never been attracted to men. But when I look at you, I can't take my eyes off of you. By the way, you should know this is not video. Do other men feel the same way about you like I do? Huh, Charlie?
Charles Dobens 21:27
Oh, oh, do go on, Rennie. Do go on.
Rennie Gabriel 21:31
I read it verbatim. Just like you asked.
Charles Dobens 21:33
When did I say that? I never said that.
Rennie Gabriel 21:35
Oh, yeah, I got it in print in the email.
Charles Dobens 21:39
Rennie Gabriel 21:40
All right, last question.
Charles Dobens 21:42
Okay, go ahead.
Rennie Gabriel 21:43
How do people get a hold of you if they want to know more?
Charles Dobens 21:46
Okay, listen, right now, the way to get a hold of me is through the multifamilyinvestingacademy.com. So email@example.com. And I'll tell you, Rennie, that's going to be changing on February 1, you can still get a hold of me at that from there forever. But I'm rolling out my new coaching program, which is the multifamilyos, the multifamily operating system, multifamilyos.com. And it's going to be, listen, I'll tell you, I've been doing this business for 10 years. I've watched everybody. I've studied everybody. I'm rolling out the new training coaching program for the future. So that this is going to help everyone get across that first finish line. I even tell, it's a one price fee for the first 12 months, and then it's a monthly fee afterwards. And here's the here's the thing, Rennie, is, if you don't buy a property in the first 12 months, I'm not going to charge you going forward. But you're going to still remain in the program until I get you that first property. That's how strongly I feel about getting them across the finish line. Once you buy a property, you're going to pay my fee monthly because you're going to want to remain with me. Rennie, I've been doing this for 10 years, my first client is still a client of mine to this day. So that's how I've created my tribe, my people. As I tell my clients, I said, You're only going to need me for the first two deals. After that, you and I are just friends. And that's how I like to treat my clients. So . . .
Rennie Gabriel 23:28
So what you're going to need to do is email to me those links because this won't be broadcast until April.
Charles Dobens 23:35
Rennie Gabriel 23:36
This is not live, Charlie.
Charles Dobens 23:38
Rennie, how prolific are you? You've got a two-month wait. I pushed up my podcast. I pushed them out the door as fast as I can. They came to me. They came to me one time and they said, 'Charlie, you have to do a special podcast for your 100th podcast'. I said, 'Oh, cool. Okay, I'll do that'. And like two weeks later, they said, Okay, you're at 136 right now. I'm like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what? How did that happen? And so many in a can.' So that's my story.
Rennie Gabriel 24:10
Okay, so now we're going to close the show. And I'm going to thank you for being here. Thank you, Charlie.
Charles Dobens 24:18
Thank you, Rennie. Always so good to see you. I tell you, when I met you, I liked you right away. And I mean, we've had such a good friendship over the years. That was years ago, Rennie.
Rennie Gabriel 24:30
Yeah, yeah. It was and and we stayed friends. So there must be something here.
Charles Dobens 24:35
I think I was just filling out my my application for Medicare when I met you. I think that's that's what it was. Yeah.
Rennie Gabriel 24:42
You're so funny. Yeah, mine was seven years . . . Oh my God, it must have been seven years ago then. So anyway, to my listeners, thank you for tuning in. Now next week, we're going to have Liam Austin, talking about the proper way to use workshops to create clients. You can listen to the Wealth On Any Income Podcast on your favorite platform. And please rate review and subscribe. And if you'd like to know how books, movies and Society programs you to be poor, and what the cure is, then log on to wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. You'll hear my TEDx talk, and can request the free 27-page Roadmap to Complete Financial Choice®, and receive a weekly email with tips, techniques, or inspiration around your business or money. Again, that's wealthonanyincome.com/TEDx. Until next week, be prosperous, and bye bye for now.