Steve is the author and founder of Lifeonaire. Teaching thousands of people how to live and experience abundant lives. He has flipped over 500 houses in his investing career and helps investors to transform their businesses from life sucking to life giving ventures.
As a teenager, Steve was building his own businesses. At the age of 21, Steve bought a restaurant and bar as his first real estate investment. Without going into detail, it didn’t end up being a long-term success. But he was able to get started in this highly competitive industry at a young age and set a great foundation for his future!
When Steve turned 25 he bought another bar that ended up working much better for him. He used creative real estate investing techniques to get it. Once the bar was his, he thought he would be on easy street raking in the wealth.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who’s run a business that what he thought was not the case. “Turns out,” Steve says, “all I did was buy myself two jobs. I was lucky if I could pay myself for one!”
When the second bar went under, Steve found himself deep in debt with terrible credit. Not knowing what to do, he started working a day job with a steady paycheck. While getting paid for his work felt good, having someone working over him did not. “When someone else was dictating my life, that entrepreneurial spirit was starting to fire up again,” Steve mentions.
That was when he made the decision to becoming a successful real estate investor. However, Steve barely had an income, was deep in debt, and terrible credit. What was he going to do?
With everything going against him, Steve started doing his homework. He studied successful methods and researched different types of investing. Wholesaling appealed to Steve because you didn’t need good credit to start, you didn’t need a lot of money, and you didn’t need the means to flip a house. It took him about 8 months to get his first deal closed, but he didn’t give up.
That first deal was it for Steve. Real estate investing is mostly a mind game, and he understood that now. When the first deal was closed, Steve started getting offers within the first 48 hours. The man he ended up selling to took him on as an acquisitions manager, finding 7 houses in 6 weeks for his new partner.
Steve came back with an eighth property that got rejected. Instead of letting it go, Steve flipped that property to someone else and made a profit off of it himself.
When he made the full profit from that sale, Steve knew what he was going to do with the rest of his life. He was going to become a successful real estate investor. In his first 2 years of real estate investing, Steve flipped 105 houses!
At the end of the day, taking action is about being motivated. Steve was motivated to reach financial freedom, he never stopped, and he made it happen. There’s nothing more important in real estate investing than that.
After 2 years, Steve realized that working with a partner wasn’t for him. In Jan 2001, he made $40,000 with his partner. “At that time I only needed $25,000 to get by,” Steve explains, “My lifestyle was very lean.”
When he began working on his own, Steve easily made more than that in the first few months. One month made $60,000, then the next month he made $70,000. He didn’t know what to do with all of this money, so he decided to give back.
Steve found people in the community who offered to help him organize his income to live comfortably and to give back. Since he was making a great living now, they suggested for him to buy his own home. Steve bought a 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath house on a 5 acre lot in Baltimore as a single guy in his mid to late twenties. That’s amazing!
After that, Steve put together his rental portfolio, bought himself a vacation home, and went from having zero assets to over 7 million dollars in assets in just 3 short years.
Seeing his success, Steve started getting people coming to him for training. People were flying across the country to be coached by Steve. “In the back of my mind,” he tells, “I’m thinking ‘they don’t really want what I’ve got’. I don’t feel successful yet.”
Realizing he was happier before getting all of his properties and assets and worth, Steve was at a loss. He finally figured out that, although he had all of these things now, he didn’t have a life. Real estate investing is time consuming. Steve quickly saw that he was spending all of his time running his real estate investing business and not doing much else for himself.
One week there were 2 gentlemen who approached Steve asking him to teach them how to become a millionaire. He responded simply with, “Why do you want to be a millionaire?” To which both men replied: “So I can be a better father and husband.”
Steve told them a piece of great advice. He said, “You don’t need to be a millionaire to be a good father or husband. That’s done in the choices you make. Do the things that good fathers and husbands do, and you’ll be that.”
Needless to say, they didn’t like that answer. Steve was contemplating why these men thought they needed to be millionaires to be good people and heard the word “Lifeionaire” come to him. That’s what those men wanted to be, not millionaires. They wanted to experience an abundant life and they believed that money would get them there.
Money is just a vehicle. Having lots of money wasn’t the goal, having a great life is. Once Steve understood that, he was able to become a successful Lifeionaire, instead of just a real estate investor.
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Joni has an extensive career in administration working with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. Her career has spanned sectors including retail, automotive, and the legal field. She has been working with Quickbooks for 7 years. Joni has helped several companies start their Quickbooks bookkeeping accounts from the ground up. Joni holds a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Rochester College.
Kirk has worked for Fortune 500 companies and run small businesses. His expertise includes sales management, the automotive aftermarket, mortgages, and banking. He first worked with Quickbooks in 2001 and prior to that worked with Peachtree Accounting software. Kirk is skilled in P&L and financial projections. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Bradley University and a MBA from Walsh College.
Joni and Kirk live in Rochester Hills, MI with their two children. Together they have owned rental properties and know all too well, the ups and downs of being landlords.
Together, Joni and Kirk got in to bookkeeping for real estate investors when Joni did consulting work for Mike Simmons and his partner. When they were looking over the books, Joni and Kirk noticed that there was a hole in market because there weren't many people doing bookkeeping for real estate investors.
The biggest mistakes Joni and Kirk see when it comes to bookkeeping for real estate investors are:
The reason Joni and Kirk use Quick Books is because it helps keep everything organized for their clients. Quick Books makes it easy to see every aspect of bookkeeping for real estate investors. Which is why they say that not having any type of system is the worst thing to do for your business. Not tracking every single expense will end up costing your business lots of money in the long run.
If you're in the need of a good bookkeeper, Joni and Kirk are the way to go. The first step is building up a report for your real estate investing business that's broken down by property so that you know where your money was spent.
"You're not going to send us too much paper," Kirk says, half jokingly. The more a real estate investor can provide for them, the better. 6 or so months down the road of working with Joni and Kirk, there won't be as many questions. The more you two work together, the better their understanding of your business will be, and the more streamline the process will become.
Because clients want specific reports, Joni and Kirk keep everything categorized and organized. Want to know where your marketing expenses are? They have reports for that! Knowing where your money is going and what's being spent will help keep your real estate investing business out of bookkeeping trouble.