Transcript: This is David Brower with Your 20 Minute Podcast. Our special guest today is Peter Vekselman from Atlanta. Peter is a master salesman, a serial entrepreneur who’s owned several companies, including a large vending firm he sold to a major conglomerate. He went into real estate some 15 years ago. Made a few mistakes, but like most of us if we’re lucky, learned from them and grew his company substantially. He loves to talk about the power of focus. Peter, welcome and greetings from hot, sultry, warm, humid Atlanta. Right?
Peter Vekselman: Oh, yeah. I appreciate you having me on, by the way, but yes. We’re in our 70s here today and we haven’t really had a winter here.
David Brower: Oh, wow.
Peter Vekselman: It’s been pretty awesome.
David Brower: Well, glad to have you here and Steve Turner introduced us to each other, so be sure to thank Steve for that. I really appreciate it.
Peter Vekselman: Absolutely.
David Brower: So, tell me about the power of focus. Let’s start there. How does that work in business from your perspective?
Peter Vekselman: Well, you know, especially being a business, small, but if you have a job it’s fairly easy to stay focused because they tell you what to do.
David Brower: Right.
Peter Vekselman: You’re pretty much told, so you don’t have to really think too much outside the box. Whereas, when you’re doing your own thing, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re a business owner, it’s very easy to get sidetracked. There’s always opportunities, there’s always other adventures, there’s always just a million things to do just running your own business, so what I tell people there’s two ways of building things out. One is what I call horizontal growth. One is what I call vertical growth/focused growth.
Horizontal growth says this, you know, I’m going to do something and then I’m going to do something else and then I’m going to do something else and then I’m going to have 30 plates spinning. I’m not going to be really good at anything, but I’m always doing something else and in the end, those things really never work out.
David Brower: Right.
Peter Vekselman: The vertical growth or the horizontal growth, which says I’m going to do something, I’m going to perfect that something, but then instead of picking something else up, I’m just going to get better and better and better and better at it. I’m just going to beat the living snot out of it until it stops working. That’s the way I’ve always grown my businesses. That’s the way I’ve always done things and that’s really what I would say is probably the number one thing that I’ve been able to utilize to achieve the successes. You know, just stay very focused, very horizontally, and just go for it. When you find something that works, keep on working it.
David Brower: When you find something that you’re passionate about, you connect with, and you go alright, this is it, let’s go and you have to make that commitment, you’re all in to give it every chance to succeed. Right?
Peter Vekselman: Oh, absolutely, absolutely. Sometimes people … I have a coaching program, too. Aside from being an investor, I coach people, so how to be successful investors and sometimes people hire me and they’ll have a story that goes something like this. Something just happened in my life and now I’ve got to do this and I say, “That’s great. That’s called motivation.” You know, your back’s against the wall. That’s a great thing that you just lost your job or that’s a great thing that financially you’re hurting because that’s called motivation and we’re going to use that motivation as a way to really grow some things together.
David Brower: Isn’t that the truth? Oftentimes, it seems like that we have to hit bottom in order to gain a new perspective and give ourselves, as you say, that motivation to pull out of that bottom and really find some success because if you’re not motivated to come from the bottom, you’ve got no shot.
Peter Vekselman: Absolutely, absolutely. You’ve got a … Ultimately, I talk about this [inaudible 00:03:22] a lot. Ultimately, everyone’s got to pay the price of success.
David Brower: right.
Peter Vekselman: Everyone’s got to go through their ups and downs. Everybody’s got to go through the challenges. There are no success stories that don’t really kind of go the same way. You start, you have challenges, you want to quit, you kind of, sort of quit, you pick yourself up, you move forward. You know, it’s that same pathway to success no matter who you talk to.
David Brower: Yep. Then, you have to bring people along with you at the right times and that’s also instinctual, I suppose. Right?
Peter Vekselman: That’s really the key to success and to grow. There comes a point in every business cycle, there comes a point in every kind of thing that you’re involved in that you have to make a strategic decision and the decision is very simple. Do I want to grow beyond my own bounds? Do I want to grow beyond my own abilities? Do I want to grow beyond 24-hours? That’s when you have to find those right kind of people to connect with, the people that do buy in to your vision. The people that are willing to work on slave wages maybe in the beginning to get something off the ground. That’s really ultimately where an individual goes from kind of being their own employer and an employee, to being a business owner when they start leveraging through other people’s works and talents and experiences. That’s when you actually start buying your time and at that point, beyond just enjoying the fruits of your own labor, you get to the point where you can start enjoying the fruits of other people’s labors.
David Brower: Absolutely, and you get to … The more confidence your team has in you, the more confidence you have in them, you’re able to let go of more and more, delegate more and more, so you can either grow your business exponentially or grow your vacation time.
Peter Vekselman: Oh, absolutely. It’s leveraging, you know, a lot of people like …
David Brower: Yeah.
Peter Vekselman: … and I’m in real estate and so the word leverage is used all the time. Most of the time people think leveraging is you’re leveraging money and that is a leverage, but the ultimate leverage is when you leverage other people. When you leverage other people’s talents and resources and all that.
David Brower: Your website, by the way folks, is CoachingByPeter.com, so be sure to check that out. Make a note of that, CoachingByPeter.com. When you’re doing public presentations and speaking before groups, what kind of things do you share with them and are they large groups or are they smaller groups? How do you share your knowledge, I guess?
Peter Vekselman: Well, at this point, I work with individuals on a one-to-one basis. As you mentioned …
David Brower: Nice.
Peter Vekselman: … I [inaudible 00:05:48] a private coaching where people hire me anywhere in the world at this point. These are people that want to either get into real estate investing and become successful or they already are, but they hit a wall and they need to know how to get past that. I’ve done over 3,000 deals, so I feel there’s really not very many people that I can’t help in this business. I actually spend a whole year with my clients now, one-on-one, and I get them profitable pretty quickly. The next goal is to help them replace their existing incomes so they can get out of their jobs. Help them build the businesses instead of just jobs that are both financially and lifestyle focused and I even partner with many of my clients. So, yeah, at this point I work with them one-on-one and the ultimate way for them to learn about that is just to go to my website and that’s www.CoachingByPeter.com and they can learn more about that there.
David Brower: Wow, what a benefit to be able to devote that much time to help an individual business just really get some traction, learn things they never even remotely thought about, I’m sure, and buy into what you’re sharing with them because, I mean, you’re really working their business side-by-side with them, aren’t you?
Peter Vekselman: Yeah, absolutely. There’s a big benefit to me because people do a lot of times ask me, well, gosh Pete, at your level why do you still coach people? Well, out of the 3,000 real estate deals I’ve been done, a ton of them have been with my coaching clients. So, what happens is you get someone successful, you invest your time, your effort, your energy into them, and then the inevitable happens. They come across stuff that they need your help with or anything like that and guess what? That’s when I step up and we start doing deals together. That’s really the reason I coach is to create partners across the United States. To kind of, really in essence, grow my own investing business.
David Brower: Boy, that makes all the sense in the world and you’re following your own mantra of the power of focus and being able to help your individual clients gain their focus, grow their focus, and then when they’re up and running, all of a sudden here’s a little something, something, and that focus comes back to reward you.
Peter Vekselman: You’ve got it. You’ve got it, it’s a two-way street.
David Brower: Yeah, what a wonderful circle to be in.
Peter Vekselman: Yeah, I was taught this model of actually growing your own business by helping other people grow their businesses a long time ago and I bought into it years and years ago, and that’s really how I’ve grown my own real estate investing business, by helping other people become successful in their own.
David Brower: So, your model obviously, would work with other businesses outside of real estate. Do you work with other businesses outside of that arena yet?
Peter Vekselman: No, the only type of business I do work with on a limited basis is people who do actually want to set up their own coaching businesses or their own consulting businesses. A number of them have hired me and I’ve actually showed them how to replicate what it is I do in the real estate investing, coaching business into whatever businesses they’re in. I have done that.
David Brower: Oh, that’s great. That’s a huge benefit. I’m a voice actor by profession and so I do some coaching, voice over coaching on the side and as one of my many revenue streams. So, I appreciate the fact that you’re able to reach out to people or people are actually able to reach out to you CoachingByPeter.com, and they’re sitting there, they’re going, man, I’d like to do this coaching thing. I’d like to bring people alongside of me. I’d like to take Peter’s model and figure out a way to do it in my industry. You can help them do that.
Peter Vekselman: Absolutely. I’ve helped people set up their own coaching businesses off and on, you know, probably for the last several years. People have just seen my coaching business, they’ve been impressed, they’ve like what it’s done, and they’re like well, I’m in this industry, how do I do this? Yeah, …
David Brower: Yeah.
Peter Vekselman: … I actually can help them set that up.
David Brower: So, when you set up that kind of thing with a coaching model, do you work with them individually for a short period of time …
Peter Vekselman: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I do.
David Brower: … or how does that process work?
Peter Vekselman: Yeah. No, that takes, you know, I spend several months with them, step-by-step walking through the process that I’ve gone through to set this up.
David Brower: Nice. When you have one-on-one focus with your real estate clients, with your potential coaching clients, how many can you handle at any given time? Do you just literally take them one-on-one or it seems like that could be overwhelming.
Peter Vekselman: Yeah. Yeah, I have a certain amount of [them 00:09:55] that I can work with at a particular time, so when people get a hold of me, they’re either in luck, I can take it, or they’re not in luck, I’m booked up. It’s [crosstalk 00:10:03].
David Brower: They can get on the waiting list, right?
Peter Vekselman: Yeah, exactly.
David Brower: That’s cool.
Peter Vekselman: I’ve quite a number of people that actually do wait for a little bit, but again, my time is very valuable obviously.
David Brower: Absolutely.
Peter Vekselman: I try to accommodate as much as possible.
David Brower: I would think the referral, I mean, we all live by referrals in one way, shape, or form, and I would think the referral part of your business has to be significant.
Peter Vekselman: Yeah, yeah. It’s quite large, you know, because again, many of my clients never really leave me because we start doing deals together, interacting together, and stuff like that. So, yeah, I’ve had clients with me for years and their family members are with me and their friends are with me [crosstalk 00:10:41]. It’s pretty great.
David Brower: If that’s not a testament to your success and your ability to bring them success, I don’t know what is, so hats off to you, man. That paying it forward thing in a focused way is really proven success and it’s wonderful you picked it up several years ago so you can be where you are right now in this ever-changing world economy that we have going on. You know?
Peter Vekselman: Absolutely, absolutely.
David Brower: Hey, I want to thank you, Peter. This has been terrific. Peter Vekselman in Atlanta and if you want to reach out to Peter through the real estate inquiry or if you’re interested in setting up your own coaching program, he’s able and willing and anxious to help you in either one. Depending on his situation, you could be on a waiting list for a while. That, again, that’s a testament to how good Peter really is, so thanks, man. Really enjoyed it.
Peter Vekselman: I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on. Like I said, if they want to get ahold of me, they should go to www.CoachingByPeter.com and fill in the forms there.
David Brower: You’ve got it, CoachingByPeter.com. You’ve been listening to Your 20 Minute Podcast with David Brower and our special guest, Peter Vekselman in Atlanta. Again, www.CoachingByPeter.com. Until next time, be sure to follow us on Facebook at Your20MinutePodcast.com. Have a great day.