Nick Vertucci, author of Seven Figure Decisions, believes you don’t strike it rich by playing it safe. It’s the seven figure decisions that lift you out of the middle class and into the millionaire’s circle.

Nick achieved this success by taking bold, calculated risks to reinvent himself after he lost everything.

In this episode, he starts off with that story of how he lost everything. Stick through that story, because then he outlines the fundamental building blocks that form the foundation that changed his life. Nick is an inspirational guy, and he will help you push past your fears and alter your mindset so that you can actually pursue your goals with meaning and passion again.

By the end of this episode, you won’t be focused on small changes in your life anymore, you’ll be focused on going big in both your business and your life.

Nick Vertucci: Back when I was on my real estate journey of investing, I had created a cash flow system. Which means I had a partner who I brought in to my business, and we put renters in foreclosures after we rehab these properties. We provided a turnkey system.

At some point in my investing career, I met another gentleman who owned and ran a real estate training company. That relationship was made, and I and my partner were teaching a three-day cash flow class. We were providing properties for students, for new investors.

A lot of people don’t know until you read my book or get to know me, I was a product of the real estate training company. I was a student, which had actually saved me in a really tough financial time. I worked really hard for about 10 years, pulling myself out of millions of dollars in debt and paying off everything, then creating some massive wealth.

Integrity Matters

In this process, I built two really close friendships. One, with my business partner and his wife and then the owner of this training company who I had kind of had a joint venture agreement with. I got to tell you man, these two guys were two of my closest friends.

We were having a ball doing this, and we were providing a great product for these students. We were having wild success.

“A key to your business is this: integrity is longevity.”

I will tell you that possibly on the training side of that company, things wouldn’t be done how they should have been done. The company started to struggle, the company started to have some bad times.

Charlie Hoehn: What do you mean by bad times?

Nick Vertucci: Well, what I mean by that is, because their brand wasn’t protected and their name wasn’t protected, business started going down significantly. Less people were showing up to the training, less revenue was being brought into the company, and he was losing money.

I’ve been there before too in different businesses, so I understand that. You know, there’s a tough road ahead of him. But to be honest with you, he created himself because of ego and pride and a lot of other things.

But the one good thing about that movement was my partner and I’s cash flow training and the properties that we were selling to the students.

It was very profitable. It was a win/win for the student and it was a win/win for us. That was the only thing generating I believe at the time positive income.

Shaken to the Core

Nick Vertucci: My business partner and this particular gentleman, the owner of that company, didn’t always get along very well. I was the kind of the glue that held that together and they pretty much stayed away from each other.

Right in the middle of 2013, these two guys that could never find any common ground started acting a little more chummy.

I was, you know, initially happy about that, but it started to go in a direction where things started getting a little weird.

I felt a distance, maybe a cool breeze, some things just started not feeling right, started feeling the same thing for my partner. I thought to myself, no possible way could this be what’s happening. I was creating in my mind that maybe these guys are getting a weird idea.

I was one part of this business. I was the one teaching and speaking, and my company here in southern California was the backbone of customer service. I brought in my business partner who was working on the ground in markets like Vegas to Orlando, running our management company, buying their properties and doing the hands-on stuff. Now, of course, the other fellow was bringing in the students who were buying the properties.

What I think the owner of the seminar company, figured was, you know, “If I could hop over the wall of Nick. Maybe I could probably take his share and make some more revenue because I need it.”

“Long and short of it is, I was pretty much brutally extracted from my business partnership.”

I was circumvented, it’s called being “torturously interfered” in a partnership and that’s the legal term for it. I got to tell you man, it’s funny because even though I was at the top of my financial game, it was the single most toughest emotional time I had in my life.

Rock Bottom

Nick Vertucci: I had my life. I had my whole identity wrapped up in working within this company, working with my partner, created a massive cash flow system. Make no mistake, I created it.

They figured I was expendable which you know, again, later if we talk about it, what you will find out that I wasn’t.

Not long before that, in June of 2013, because I was a reserve police officer for 18 years. I had stepped away from that, I had done it long enough. Two major things in my life were gone. It was tough man.

Charlie Hoehn: Your identity, your business and your friends.

Nick Vertucci: Yeah, here’s the thing, it was done pretty brutal. I was informed by a phone call by the promoter. The seminar owner, for the couple of weeks leading up to it, I couldn’t even get a conversation with him. I knew this was coming a few weeks before. I just didn’t know in what form, and I wasn’t prepared for it.

Sometimes the worst things that happen to you, you would say “There is no way this is ever going to be a positive, there is no way this is a plan for me, this is just a bad hand being handed to me.”

“It wound up being the best thing that ever happened to me, but it was the lowest point in my life.”

He said, “Hey look, I’m not going to go into the details, we’re not going to come to an agreement and you’re not going to ever like this, so just understand that.” He said, “You know, we don’t have to end the personal relationship if you don’t want to because this isn’t personal.”

I don’t know what kind of language I can use on your show, but I basically said, “You know what? This ain’t personal? Are you kidding me?”

The Beginnings of Seven Figure Decisions

Charlie Hoehn: Yeah, that’s like breaking up with somebody and saying, “But we can just be friends” because they don’t want to feel like a monster.

Nick Vertucci: Well, it’s funny too because this individual had a reputation of being kind of a monster, he just never acted that way to me that I ever knew. Now I was getting a taste of it and we can go into some of the things that happened after that.

“This is not the worst part of the story.”

You know, I talked to my partner right after that and I said, “Is this call I took really true?” He just said, “Nick, you know, my family and my employees and I don’t have a choice. It was either we’re both gone or I keep this gig.” I said, “You know, what about my family? What about my employees?” Because we kind of had separate businesses.

We had two entities running, even though we had kind of a partnership. You know, that was that. They rooted me out, it was that quick, it happened fast, there was no hugs and kisses. This was something that I’ve been doing close to six years successfully, that I started, and I was out.

The real story really happens from that time on. Where it really gets interesting. That’s the real reason I wrote this book.

Reaction and Recovery

Charlie Hoehn: Before we talk about Seven Figure Decisions, what started to unfold?

Nick Vertucci: Well, what happened from there is, now, I have a whole building in August, this is August 28th, I get the call 2013. I have a building full of people that we’re running my system here in Orange, California.

I had no idea what to do with them because we were out.

You know, I went back to them and I leveled with them, we had a big meeting. I told them exactly what happened.

I said, “Listen, I‘m going to pay you guys through December for two reasons. One is, I want you to stay on board with me because I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, and maybe nothing. Maybe after December I tell you to go find something. But I’m going to pay you so you don’t have to worry through the holidays and stress on that. I just want you to stay plugged in with me until I can figure it out.”

“For the first couple of weeks, I disappeared.”

I had a tough time even ripping myself out of bed. I started to get depressed. I lost my mojo. Two of my closest friends had circumvented me. I honestly was embarrassed. I felt the rejection of that. It just was a horrible thing, and I really didn’t have any fight in me at the time.

I had a lot of money, millions of dollars tied up in my inventory. Because I didn’t have a lot of that structured perfectly, my partner had more control of the disbursement of that. The person who cut ties with me, the promoter, basically had enough leverage with him to say, “Do not pay him until he signs something for me.”

He wanted me to sign a one-sided owner risk, like liability, he’s free, et cetera.

You know, I wasn’t prepared to do that, I couldn’t get my money and I was pretty leveled emotionally, so I didn’t have much fight in me.

Salt in the Wound

Nick Vertucci: Strange things started happening, not from my business partner but from the promoter.

You just figure, “Man, if you’re going to do this, just do this and go away.” I started getting kind of taunted.

I reference a book in my teachings called Who Moved My Cheese?, it’s about two mice who their cheese moved and unless you reinvent yourself or go down a different part of the maze, you starve.

“You can live if you’re willing to change.”

Well, some of his people, his production people, took the mouse off the cover, put my face on it and they would text me things like “Who moved my cash flow?” Instead of “Who moved my cheese?”

Just, a lot of weird things that were just like a putting your thumb in a wound.

Charlie Hoehn: Did you know that they kind of had that in them until this happened?

Nick Vertucci: No, I did. This is the one thing I’d say shame on me is I seen this behavior from him with others. But I got to tell you, I hung my hat on two things: I was making a lot of money and it’ll never happened to me.

I try to base my opinions and things off of how I’m treated and not what other people think or say, but if I’m being completely honest with you, I had seen it. He was very litigious too, and he attacked his competitors, he attacked employees that left at other places. I’ve seen this behavior out of him.

It’s hard to articulate on a podcast the depth of these relationships. I had seen it before, but I was shocked it was happening to me.

Rebuilding from the Ashes

Nick Vertucci: What I built with my partner took years. There was years of building the landscape of this business, the management around it. We managed the companies, the pipeline of properties, the money we were raising. Mostly, I was raising and using my own capital.

This is not something that you can build overnight. But I thought to myself, “Well, this is what I’ll do.” I couldn’t do my radio show anymore because I had a radio show that was another vehicle I had for selling properties. My relationship was ended with my partner. There was now ability to do that, and you have to do it right when you do it.

I decided on the market, I went out there. and I tried to start building it again. I flew back and forth, I had kind of put together another, if you will, partnership. It really wasn’t because that’s how these things start. They start out slow, and you have to build them and sometimes they don’t work.

“It takes a while. But I’m trying to rush it.”

I have a gentleman, a friend of mine, his name is Scott. He was also a promoter of other brands and other things, and he understood this business. I wasn’t allowed to really work with anyone else because this particular guy that I’m speaking of, that was his policy: We work exclusively, or we don’t work at all.

All my eggs were in one basket, which was even worse.

But now, you know, Scott’s telling me “If you can provide me some of these turnkey properties, maybe we can use some.”

I started doing that, I handful here, handful there, I started doing that. I wasn’t teaching any of his stuff, I just was providing the properties.

It was the weirdest thing, because even though I could have put that together because it’s what I do, there was something missing. I didn’t know what it was, I couldn’t figure it out, but I was just a shell.

“I couldn’t do it.”

I called Scott up and I said, “Listen, this relationship I’m building isn’t strong enough. I’m not really sold out on the guys that are on the ground. I’m kind of putting this thing together, it’s like a house of cards right now and I’m not going to put my name behind it. I just – I don’t want to do it man.”

Opening New Doors

Nick Vertucci: He appreciated it, he said, “Nick, thank you, you’ve always had integrity. I appreciate that. I’d rather you tell me that than provide me something you can’t stand behind.” Then he said something that was interesting.

He said, “Why don’t you start your own real estate training company?”

I said, “Scott, come on, I don’t have a TV flip show, I’m not one of these guys they put on the banners, I mean, I don’t know anything about doing that. I’m a real estate investor.” He said, “Well, I believe you could do it because you are the real deal.”

“You’re a real estate investor, most of these guys, they promote really aren’t or they don’t do as much as they say and I know a little bit about it. Maybe I could just help you with some of the moving parts until you get going.”

I said “Scott, I don’t think so, man. Let me think about it.” It sounded like a big undertaking because it’s a front heavy industry of marketing and most people that try don’t make it anyways.

“It’s a really tough endeavor.”

About a week or so of doing my thing, still kind of just basically dog paddling, it occurred to me. I couldn’t find any happiness doing what I was doing because what I missed was teaching my three-day class that I created within that company.

Teaching the students. Because I was a student and product of that industry, and seeing the success that I could help them create, and also of course, provide them the properties. But really it was the training and the teaching aspect that I really thought “this is what I love.”

I called Scott back and I said, “I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but I’m in.”

What it Takes to Succeed

Nick Vertucci: The bulk of the story still is yet to come, and I’ll just tell you this, the abridged version for your listeners: I was lacking big time, lacking confidence. My mojo was crushed, these guys were mocking me or telling me that I didn’t bring anything to the table that you know, what they did was the value, and I was just kind a “broker,” which was just horrible.

But I had learned something in a mentorship I took years before this. The crux of my success and I believe success of people is to have a strong mind game.

It doesn’t matter how trained you are, how much knowledge you have, how smart you are, what your aptitude is, you got to have a few other things, but you don’t need all of that.

“What you have to have is a strong mind game and the will to succeed and win.”

I was taught that. I reverted back to that during this time and with some other things I learned, which was pattern interruption. It’s how to take negative thoughts, negative feelings, and negative experiences and to process them and pattern and interrupt that pattern and bring it in to something that’s more successful, more positive.

It’s not just like “Oh change how you’re thinking and it all gets better.” You have to do that at first to have a strong mind game, and then you have to get to work.

Pattern Interruption in Action

Charlie Hoehn: Give me an example of that that a listener could try this week?

Nick Vertucci: Well, okay, I wouldn’t recommend them to try in this exact interruption, but I’ll give you an example.

When I was taught this by my main mentor who taught me the real estate cash flow business, he pulled me aside and said the things that I told you quickly, which was that I had to change my identity and learn how to pattern interrupt.

For instance, “I can’t do this business because it takes too much cash flow. They said I was a broker, I probably don’t have that type of value. What if I fail and then they laugh at me, what if I fail and then they laugh at me, what if I fail and I’m embarrassed again and it’s a two strike for me. Maybe I shouldn’t do this?”

Because sometimes we don’t even know the fear we have of failure, right?

Charlie Hoehn: It’s just complaining in our head. It’s automatic reflexive thoughts.

Nick Vertucci: We don’t say to ourselves, “I’m not going to start my business because I’m afraid.” I say to myself, “Well, I better not put all this money on the line, well, I don’t have any experience in that, well, that’s probably not for me because I think I’m going to get attacked when I do this” – because that’s another part of the story that comes.

“Then you justify it, because you never look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m not doing it because I’m afraid of failure.””

You make excuses for it and then you never go to your destiny. I realized and I was aware of that because of some training I had.

When I was thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t do this,” my pattern interruption for all those thoughts that would come in and be little overwhelming was? “Bullshit. I am the best in the business.”

“I would repeat that in my head as one of my interruptions.”

Anytime I would feel that, I’d say “Bullshit. I am the best in this business.”

I didn’t even have the name of this business yet, but I was convincing myself that I was going to be the best at this. I was getting rid of those thoughts that would stop me and I was replacing them with something that would keep pushing me forward like a beast.

There’s a saying that I came up with, and that is you have to see it, then you have to believe it, then you have to map it, then you have to execute it.

Because if you don’t see where you’re going at first and really know where you want to go, you’re not going anywhere.

If you don’t get yourself to truly believe it and really take it in and you’re a believer in it, doesn’t matter who else believes in you. You will not do it.

But you have to have a sound plan. A system, that’s where the map it part comes in, because you have to have something that’s going to work.

I tell my students, “If I wanted to be an NBA basketball player, I don’t care how hard I work, morning, noon and night, no matter what. I do not have the physical ability to do that, I am never going to dunk on someone, no matter how strong of a mind game I have.

“You have to be real, and you have to map it.”

Then, last but not least, you have to execute it. It’s so cliché to say take actionand all that, but if you don’t execute it, then all those other three parts are just a good idea, a good plan or a good dream but they’re never going to come into play.

See it, believe it, map it, execute it.

Who Needs Seven Figure Decisions

Charlie Hoehn: Am I going to learn anything new here?

Nick Vertucci: Are our self-help principles good? Yes. Are there a ton of good things that help you in life and to change your attitude from positive to negative and live a happier life? Yes.

Here’s the reality of it. I mean this respectfully as I can, a lot of self-help books in my opinion leave you hanging because they are just things you say to be more positive.

I’ll give you a perfect example. There is a teaching out there that says, “Be more positive, be this, that.” Yes, if you do that, more people will want to work with you, yes, things will happen.

But I will tell you this. By being positive, a check will not show up at your house in the mailbox.

You have to have a vehicle and a plan and something to go out and create a check, and then you got to get off your ass and you got to work and hustle harder than the next guy or gal to make that check show up.

If you do change that mind game, and you do learn how to do some of these self-help things and get a strong mind game and then you attach it to a good plan and you attach it to a vehicle, then the checks will show up.

This is not another self-help book.

It is a lot of those principles of how to have a strong mind game attached to a vehicle which is real estate investing, but here’s the beauty of it: Even if you’re not a real estate investor, nor you ever want to be one, attach it to any business, any concept, any product.

That’s what this book is about.

“This book is a business book—how to win in business and in life.”

I’m not just going to say, well do this. But here is what I did and here is the pain that was in it when I did it and here is the fear I felt when I did it. But here’s how I overcame that and here is how I kept going over and over those obstacles to get to where I was.

Listen, I’m a K through 12 educated guy.

I’m not going to split the atom with you or any of my students or anyone else. The reason I went through this real estate training and I got to the top and him here and now with this training company is not because I was the smartest person in that room.

I was one of the people in that room that decidedI was going to. Period. End quote.

Surround Yourself with Belief

Charlie Hoehn: The challenge that I have personally and I know a lot of people have this challenge is their inner story, their inner resolve, the self-doubt that creeps in. Talk to me about that part of the book?

Nick Vertucci: We have, sometimes generations of patterns that people are taught. You’re taught something from a young kid, or maybe your family wasn’t successful or maybe your parents told you to be nothing. All that stuff you hear.

The fact of the matter is, the most successful people have more failure in their stories than they do success generally.

But the differences of success speak for itself.

That’s why you see that part of it. The difference in successful people is they’re willing to go out there and do that. You get a belief system because you have to will it and demand it.

You have to setup barriers. There’s people in my family that know I am going to stay positive and I am going to stay in my lane. I tell my students, “If you have in-laws that are going to tell you you’re stupid for doing this, you’re going to lose everything doing this, politely excuse yourself and go out and get back in your own head and don’t go back into that environment.”

“Misery loves company. Failure loves company.”

I don’t tell people to change their environment. The old saying is who you hang around is something of your net worth or whatever. Well there’s a truth to that, and we don’t want to just hang around smarter and more successful people because we want to be pompous or because we want to be better than someone or the elite.

We do that because we want to raise our game. We want to shoot for what someone has and has already got it.

You want to associate yourself in that environment because it’s a winning environment. It’s a wealth mentality, not a poverty mentality.

Then you have to stay disciplined to your pattern interruption to the principle.

Naming Your Fear

Nick Vertucci: Two years ago, I had a young lady who works for me, her name is Mindy and she has a son named Drayden, 10 years old at the time. He’s 12 now, his step dad works with him morning, noon and night. He’s a little pipsqueak like I was when I was a kid.

He’s not gifted, but because his mechanics are so good from the reps and the practice and he believes in himself now, he’s the best at whatever he does. Quarterback, short stop, he’s just a little guy.

Well, they moved him up on a soccer team two years older. He started tasting failure because these kids were just stronger and bigger.

Well guess what? He starts going in the tank. He starts not wanting the ball. He starts not taking the shot. He wants to quit soccer.

She says to me, “Can you have a talk with him?” I go have a talk with him and I tell him a couple of things and I say,

“Listen to me, you’re afraid to fail. You’re afraid that you are not going to be the best.”

Basically I said, “Dray, here’s all I ask of you” I said, “Here are some of the things you’re going to tell yourself, here are some of the things you’re going to write down and here are some of the things you’re going to put in your head and you’re going to marinate on from now to the next game.”

“Then you are going to go out in that game and you are going to try harder than you’ve ever worked. I want them to dread you when you’re coming, when they see you coming. If you have the shot, don’t be a bull hawk, if you have the shot you take it. You do everything you know that you do, and if you fail and if you miss the shot or you suck, you’re going to feel better about yourself. Let me tell you why: because you left it all out there and you gave it everything you had.”

I asked him: “Are you going to do that?” and he said, “Yes.” And I said, “Are you going do that?” He said yes, and I made sure my point landed.

He went out the next game and did everything I told him, and he did score a goal. He was playing better than he ever played. His coaches looked at each other and said, “What in the hell happened to this kid?”

I will tell you what happened to him, somebody told him. Somebody gave give the formula of how to win and have a strong mind game.

Moving Beyond Skepticism

Charlie Hoehn: Tell me about some of the transformations that you’ve seen in the people that you’ve guided?

Nick Vertucci: Well I’ll tell you, I’ve just got done doing one of my four day main events that we call our Four Day Bus Tour. I will tell you this, at this one there were close to 400 students who came in. Every time it’s the same experience with these students and almost all of them.

When they come in on day one, on Friday, they’re afraid.

They’re excited because of the potential to change things financially, but they have a lot of anxiety, a lot of skepticism. For three hours, we deal with a lot of that. Then all weekend, what I tell them from the stage is this: “You are going to get so much content, we’re going to fill your slates with so much knowledge, you are not going to leave here pumped up by just false motivation.”

“You are going to be motivated because you are going to be prepared to do what you know you could do—to trade your time with a lot more money than you have been—if you stick it out and you keep grinding.”

At the same time, I intertwine the strong mind game with them and we work on this all weekend. We work on the principles. I do a piece on Monday, the last day of why I believe the successful people in the world are successful.

“They are such simple principles that successful people will apply.”

So I take that strong mind game principle I attach it to a vehicle, and I give them the best training in the industry. So they know what to do and actually execute, not just in theory. So when they leave, they have the ability to really change their financial life.

I am straight with my students—not all of them will do it. I tell them that.

I say, “The bad news is not every single one of you will go home and become a success. The good news is you get to decide who that is, because it works.”

Success from Seven Figure Decisions

Charlie Hoehn: And so what have been some of the things that you’ve heard from people and the students who have gone and attended?

Nick Vertucci: They are joint venturing, they are flipping properties, wholesaling, gap lending, and we have massive success. We have more success testimonials than I think anyone in the industry. They are going out there and they are just applying it.

And they are all at different levels of success because again, everyone is different.

It’s just been a fun ride. I love watching it, because that’s what happened to me. So that’s my goal in this business. See I am good financially now that I am finally doing something that I really love for the first time ever in my life. That’s why that bad thing that happened to me became the best thing.

Charlie Hoehn: Right, it makes total sense. Have any of the success stories really hit you right in the heart?

Nick Vertucci: Oh yeah, I have students that have went out there and made enough financial gain to walk away from different things that they were doing, as far as jobs that they were miserable in.

A lot of my students go out there and I could tell you a couple of them that I know off the top of my head, go out there and help and they’ve now had the ability to help their family to do things.

That’s one of my goals when I am spending that four days with them or running my team as I am mentoring them or working with them is to put them in that position, to change it at some level.

A Challenge from Nick

Charlie Hoehn: Can you give our listeners a challenge, something they can do from your book today that will make a big impact and get them going down the right path.

Nick Vertucci: If you are somewhere in your life and it’s not where you want to be, or maybe you are. If you are that’s great. If you are doing something you love, never stop.

You can use real estate investing as a side hustle and making a ton of money.

But if you’re not, people say doing the same thing over and over with the same results is insanity. I believe it’s stupidity. There are no lotto ticket type of scenarios, but if you want to start changing right now, you need to write down a list of everything that puts you in either a really bad position—habits or patterns if you will, or even the stuff that has created some good of success for you.

I would start by being really honest with yourself and writing those down. Then you’ve got to start there.

“You’ve got to change the things that are not working for you.”

Habits are hard to change. It takes a long time. You’ve got to keep taking reps before you change your habits. Once you do that enough and it becomes your core, then you create a character.

Once you create a character, then you can start creating a destiny. You have to take each step one at a time. And it wasn’t an easy journey for me. My journey is so complicated. We didn’t even scratch the surface of that, and that’s the same way in life.

So it’s really hard to give someone something that quick that will change anything for them, but you really have to start by taking a real strong look at what got you to where you’re at.

Connect with Nick Vertucci

Charlie Hoehn: How can our listeners connect with you, follow you, where are the sites and stuff that we need to go to?

Nick Vertucci: I am not trying to sell books man, I’m really not. I don’t care how many sell, how many don’t. I wrote this thing for me and my students love it and it’s going to help them, but you can get it on Kindle.

From there, you know my name, Nick Vertucci and you can Google me or you can look me up on all the different social media. My personal Facebook, I can’t accept anyone else because I have too many already as it is.

Look I wrote this book and I’m running the most successful real estate training investing company out there and that’s just the extent of who I am. I wish it was cooler than that but that’s it.