Attorney to Entrepreneur: The Legal Path to Business Success Transcription:
Jeff Hampton [00:00:00]:
If you quit reading, you quit learning, you're limiting yourself and you govern what your potential is, as you continue in your career, whatever that may be.
Steven Pesavento [00:00:09]:
Man, it's so it's so true. When you get clear on what you're good at, what you're the best at, you get excited about it, you bring that either to to your employer or to your business. Really great things happen because even if even if your current employer isn't appreciating that kind of growth that you're experiencing, The next one will. Well, I'm excited to talk to you, Jeff. It's interesting. We got connected, mutual friend, in the, in the media space here. And from my understanding, you got a really interesting background. You've been an attorney. You're based out of Texas. You're focused on short term rentals. And really helping people understand how do they navigate all the legal limbos that kinda come with that. What I'm really excited to talk to you about today is really kind of the path and the vision of the life that you're creating, we might touch on some of the short term rental things, but really, I'm excited to learn more about you. So as we kind of get started, I'd love to understand what was the first thing you named? What was that first target? That first thing that you were going after where you were aiming towards kind of creating a better life.
Jeff Hampton [00:01:17]:
So I can tell you, you know, my background, I came out of law school around 2004 and was at the University of Houston and, in Texas. And one of the things that I did, my main goal, I worked at the district attorney's office. I tried everything from misdemeanors to capital murder cases for about five and a half years as a trial lawyer and litigation. And one of my biggest goals was to leave and start my own business. And essentially, you know, to start your own law practice, it can be an intimidating thing, but at the end of the day, I understood if I wanted to be able to kind of break free and be able to create some financial independence for my family. I mean, I'm my wife, my wife and I've been married for over 20 years, and we've got 4 kids ranging from 6 to 16. So We've got we've got a big family. And so for me, I realized right then, I needed to start my own practice, and I did that. I ended up starting 3 law practices over a period of about 15 years from that point in time, but that was my big first goal. I needed to start my own business and get out there and, and and try to earn my keep.
Steven Pesavento [00:02:19]:
Yeah. And why was that so important to you? Why was it worth it to leave behind the comfort of kind of consistent paycheck, working for the government, working on your own cases. Why was that so important to take the risk and to go out on the ledge? And to and to and to take the lead.
Jeff Hampton [00:02:38]:
It's interesting. You know, I I did think of it as a risk initially, but one of the biggest things for me is when I started to really go through it and think about it, I was more worried about, the opportunity cost of not doing it.
Steven Pesavento [00:02:51]:
Jeff Hampton [00:02:51]:
didn't wanna look back in 15 or 20 years and say, and no offense. I mean, hey, everybody is in a place where their life is where it wants to be, but for me, I was looking at it saying, I don't wanna look back at 15, 20 years and say, man, I wish I had taken the leap. What would I have regretted by not taking the chance. I can always go back and work for the government. I can always go back and get another job doing work as an attorney because I was good at what I was doing. But you know, the opportunity to jump out there and make something happen and change your life. For me, I saw it as less of a risk and more of an opportunity.
Steven Pesavento [00:03:23]:
Yeah. And so many people don't get that. That's it's it's a different way of thinking. And I was talking with one of my clients or my really good friends, And he was at that point where he was working in this job, and he was he was earning that consistent paycheck, but he knew that there was no he was at that ceiling. This was it. For the rest of his life, maybe a little bit of a bump. And to him, it seemed like a big risk to leave and to go learn something new. But when we got into it and kind of what you're saying in this example that I'll share is when we actually got down to it, when he looked at what was possible by by leaving, by by going and finding a new profession, by discovering what service or product he could offer the world by going into business for himself, essentially. He he would be taking the risk of leaving that job where he had that consistent paycheck, but the upside was unlimited. Instead of making 50 or a 100 or a $150,000 a year, he has the potential of making
Jeff Hampton [00:04:22]:
2, 3, 400,000
Steven Pesavento [00:04:24]:
and and really being able to live a totally different life. So It's it's once you look at something from that new perspective, you realize the risk is actually staying still, but we've all been told because we've been trained since we were young and school that we should go get a job and we should stay in that. So for you, Jeff, where did that way of thinking first come from? Was it your parents? Was it a book? Was it a digital mentor? Who really introduced you that idea that, you know, the biggest risk is actually staying still?
Jeff Hampton [00:04:56]:
You know, it's interesting you say that, you know, my parents, great, wonderful parents. They they did a wonderful job in in terms of everything they did with us, but they always worked for someone else and My inspiration came from my my aunt Cindy. She was she is a doctor, and she had worked for a a a group of doctors for a number of years. And then Then she went out on her own, and she became one of the best OBGYNs in the whole north Texas area. And she jumped out there. And one of the things she told me is she said, hey. Look. You know what you need to do. You need to don't see it as a risk. Think about this for a second. Let me explain to you the vision of where I started and where it ended up. And it kinda gave me a picture to say, you know, now she's got groups of doctors working for her. And so she's learned to create in her life. And I didn't know the concept of leverage. I didn't really realize it at the time that as you start a business like this and you begin to stand, you know, economies of scales and processes and systems and ways that you can find people that have unique abilities that can really love being in that role, it's able to take more off of your plate. And now one of the firms that I that I own, I don't really do much in it anymore. I have a team of 6 lawyers. I've got other people who are doing work within that firm that allows that to be more of a passive income stream for me. And you know, and for me, she kind of gave me the inspiration of believing that's something that could happen.
Steven Pesavento [00:06:16]:
And it starts with that belief because absent that belief, it all seems really scary.
Jeff Hampton [00:06:22]:
Steven Pesavento [00:06:22]:
you're not aware of, you know, the 3 primary type of leverage that I talk about people, systems, and money, if you're not aware that there's the potential to go out and find other people who are better than you at doing that thing, and you can bring them in and create the system for them to operate within that and and be able to put up the money and take that risk with the money that you can actually create a greater return, and that's where wealth is really created.
Jeff Hampton [00:06:49]:
So true. And, you know, I think about it now is people don't know what they know. And sometimes our limitations are based upon well, someone else did that. I can't do that. And then if we begin to one of the things I try to encourage my kids to do is expand your vision of knowledge. Understand the things that you can start to expose yourself to. I mean, it's amazing even what's on YouTube now. There's so many creators of you can actually get information about how to expand your vision of the capacity of opportunities for business, that, you know, I look at that now. Now my kids are starting to think, yeah. Maybe I don't have to just maybe I can start a business in the future. Maybe there are ways to create, financial independence. And so it was a step it took me a little bit of of room. I had to grow my way into that mindset, but the inspiration came from, you know, my my family who came out there and and I saw and modeling it. And I began to realize, hey. I have to take the risk as I as some people see it in order to be able to see the reward. And then once I did it once, I started trying I started building other businesses, and that led to multiple other law firms.
Steven Pesavento [00:07:55]:
I wanna kinda take us on a little bit of a side last year just for my own personal benefit. It's a question I've been asking people for for a decade. I had I had the gift as you might call it of growing up with two parents that hated each other. They did not get along and was not the greatest, marriage example. You know, a lot of divorce, a lot of things changing for you as a man who's been married for 20 years. If you were gonna look back at the last 20 years of your marriage, What advice would you share with yourself? 20 years in the past that would help you to set up and create a marriage that'll last so you can create a great family and all the things that really matter.
Jeff Hampton [00:08:37]:
Man, what a great question. There are so many things. Number 1 is I learned never quit dating your wife.
Steven Pesavento [00:08:45]:
Jeff Hampton [00:08:45]:
the end of the day, I don't ever wanna take her for granted And, sometimes people have a tendency to grade the value being brought into a relationship and, like, especially as the wife, she's put so much into doing investing in my in my kids. And I think about during COVID, all the homeschooling, all the things that were taking place. And, I mean, she is the she's the champ of it all. And she's on it. I say this all the time. She is a 100% smarter than I am. A lot of the things that she's able to do But I I will just say this is, for me, you know, we carve out time for each other. And as busy as I am running multiple law firms, the best way I know that she I wanna show her that she has value and that, she's important to me is that we set aside specific as Simple as this may seem is we set out specific date nights. We set out specific times to get other for trips. We preplan them. I give her something. I give her time away from the kids. I want her to be able to spend time on her own, not just with me. Sometimes she doesn't need to be around me. She needs to recharge her batteries on that end. And then as simple as it is, as a guy, sometimes it's easy for me to not always verbalize what her value is. And for me, I want her to know constantly, and I've tried to train myself, remember to share with her verbally as well as how how I act, how much I do care for her and love her and and what value she has brought to all of this because I think that's where the disconnect comes. Is when people just make assumptions and a lot of marriages that I've seen that have have not gone in that direction has has just been making assumptions and taking each other for granted and I didn't learn that in the 1st few years of my marriage, and and, I I can tell you our marriage is stronger now than it ever has been, and I can't imagine doing any of this without her.
Steven Pesavento [00:10:33]:
Mean, what a beautiful lesson. Right? It's it's like knowing that information going into a relationship, or even if you're in 1 and you're listening and you're thinking to yourself, hey. I wanna more from this thing. It's like, well, what can you bring to the relationship that's going to contribute to your partner feeling more?
Jeff Hampton [00:10:50]:
Steven Pesavento [00:10:51]:
And without the expectation, it's gonna come back, but most likely, it always does.
Jeff Hampton [00:10:56]:
Yeah. And I'll tell you. The other big lesson that I learned is don't wait for your partner. Don't wait for your wife, or your partner to be the first one to speak up when they're silenced. Like, my thing is is If we have some awkwardness between us or we're upset or quote unquote in a fight, the first thing I need to do is is be quick to forgive and quick to restore because if you're anything like me, time doesn't heal that wound. If you're not careful, time without speaking up and and, keeping those short accounts whenever we get upset at each other. That can very quickly create bitterness and create into a bigger problem. So those are just a few of the lessons that I've learned and, you know, in in the time that I've been married.
Steven Pesavento [00:11:38]:
Well, it the the reason that it's so important to talk about this is a show about you know, really creating a great life, understanding what that dream life vision is, understanding what's most important. And oftentimes, people think it's about the money, oftentimes, once you actually get the money, you look around, and the things that matter most is the time. It's the time for yourself to grow, to learn. It's the time with your family. It's the time to focus on these things because if you have a rocky foundation at home, it makes it even more difficult to build the kind of life that you wanna build. So Thanks so much for going on that little side quest with me. I always appreciate it. And so we looked back the first the first thing that you really name, the first thing you went after you've built some of these law firms, what do you really want from your life at this point? Sounds like you're living a great life. Got a 20 year relationship. You've got some some kids. You've got some businesses. What what's next? What what's really important to you and what are you are you working towards creating? Or or what's the purpose of all this?
Jeff Hampton [00:12:44]:
Well, that's a that's a really great question. So it it comes down to, you know, of course, the older you get, the more you start thinking about what is your legacy? What are you leaving? What are you really trying to do? And a big part of that is sometimes when I was working so much in the business, it makes it harder to specifically, you you're focusing on just that trying to survive, take care of the business piece of it. The more I've been able to solely work my way out of that to some extent, I can people are still being helped and taken care of, but there's different things that I can be invested in, whether it's my whether it's my church, spending more time there, helping out in that regard, reinvesting back into the community, other lawyers. I've had other lawyers that have come and said, hey. How can I, you know, model what you have done? And then my kids, I mean, know, my son, he's about to be 17. He's not gonna be in my house that much longer, and he'll be gone. So I'm I'm traveling a lot more with them and trying to spend a lot more one on one time and, helping them understand some of these lessons. I feel like in some ways our the educational system can be sometimes deficient in helping our children understand what is value and what really to look forward to and in terms of what's important. And so I I wanna make sure and spend that time investing in my kids while they're still in my house in the time frame that I have available to me. So, I mean, it's funny. The question begs itself back to where you were at, which is reinvesting even more time in those relationships and spending more time with them because the money, you know, money is wonderful, but it's a tool. At the end of the day, that's what it is. It's a tool, and it's not the end. It's a means to that end. And so I hope to be able to spend more time back into the community, back into spending more time with my kids and my wife. And, hey, because that's where that's where the joy comes anyway.
Steven Pesavento [00:14:27]:
Yeah. No. I I think that's That's really beautiful. And it's it's in this process of getting even more clear on what it is that we're going after and why we're creating it that allows us to make sure that we're making those right decisions every single day because when we have that clarity, it becomes really simple to decide, yes. This is a fit. No. This isn't. That's where a lot of people get tripped up as they struggle because they think that they're making a trade off for something. But in that moment, when it's right in front of them, they're stressed in making that decision because they lack the the the the work in advance to prepare them to know Yes. This is gonna allow me to have more time to do this, to do that, to have this experience, whatever that looks like. And so it sounds like you're very clear on that. What I'm curious about is what's your number? The point that you've made it, the point that you no longer have to work. And where this really came from for me was I was on, I during the pandemic, I sold my house. I went to Hawaii and I was living in this beautiful estate. It actually was the old Beach Boys home. And I'm hanging out with the guy who owned it, and he was a very successful builder. And he had sold his business, and he had went to go retire in Hawaii. Now he was making bucket loads of money on this rental when when COVID wasn't happening, but he could see that I was super driven, that I was going after things that I had a 1,000,000 different opportunities directly in front of me. And he asked me the question, well, what's your number? Well, at what point is it enough? And it really challenged me. And more so, you don't necessarily have to answer with a financial number unless you're comfortable with it, but at what point do you know that you made it and what comes up for you when I ask that question?
Jeff Hampton [00:16:13]:
So it's interesting you say that because my wife and I have had this conversation where we sat down, and we've always we've lived very modest in terms of how we've kept our expenses. I've always We've always kept very low expenses. We've been very careful about how we've spent money because growing up, I was in a more of a lower income household, and it was all about making sure you're careful with what you what you spend, which my parents taught me that well. But for us, we looked at and said, hey. Look. Where are we in in terms of being able to take care of ourselves, our kids, their future? And we did come up with kind of a baseline number And through an example of me both starting businesses as well as investing in real estate and some short term rentals and the portfolio that we have, we hit that number. And what we wanted to do is to be able to know as a passive income in terms of money that's coming in, that doesn't that we can somewhat count on that doesn't involve our active involvement in it, is that going to be able to get us to this baseline? Anything above that is now it's optional. It's it's gravy. It's something that helps us be able to build further as a legacy, but it helps set your priorities, right, to allow you to know, because I'm gonna tell you, I had some challenges in my life determining what's the difference between an opportunity and a distraction. You know? And sometimes that why that you're discussing right there, really laying out your why and understanding that what might be glittery and look like gold can actually take you away from why it's important, and what is really important in your life. That baseline for us, you know, if we knew that we could make at a minimum, a 250,000 a year in passive income, and that number hits, yes. We have we're able to do more than that, and that's beneficial for us in in terms of, our our savings and investing, but we know we can hit that number a year passively, and that allows us to feel more free. Psychologically and allows us to do other things.
Steven Pesavento [00:18:10]:
And what did it feel like for you when you hit that number?
Jeff Hampton [00:18:15]:
Well, I think for me, it was a, a recognition that there is some financial I I would say clarity. It provided me clarity of understanding. This is here. Don't forget. This is what you were chasing after, originally. This is where it is. Remember now it's I have a tendency to keep pushing, which I think is a characteristic of entrepreneurs that, you know, it's not not necessarily a bad thing, but you can lose that focus. So my wife is really good at reminding me, hey, sweetheart. Look. We hit that number there. If there if if things go in a different direction or if we wanna take off for a month, if we wanna do something else, we have that here, and it's not based upon a a number that we're now striving for. It's what we have in place that allows us to enjoy the life we have now living in the present and not just living in the future.
Steven Pesavento [00:19:06]:
So, yeah, it's a really freeing moment to know that what you need is covered. It changes the whole game. It reduces a lot stress. It creates a lot of opportunity for you personally. Are you did you hit that number and then say, hey. Cool. I'm set. I'm gonna keep kinda building, or did you set a new number, a new target for you and your family in a that to things that specifically that would create for you?
Jeff Hampton [00:19:32]:
Well, it's interesting. I think it was more psychological than anything. Once we hit that number, Then I found out my other businesses, it was almost like you take the stress or the anxiety of what you think you need to make. That comes off the table. Then it's all about just It's all about just, you know, doing what you do, which for me, it's not work. It's just building the business. It's working. And now all of a sudden, everything else shot up through the roof. You know? And so it became That's our baseline. We didn't change our standard of living so much. There are a few things that we did, and I've gotta still put 4 kids through college. So there's gonna be some expense associated with that. But the the the strange thing about it as is the moment I realized I don't have to sit here and be nervous about what I'm making every month. That's taken care of. Then it almost the creativity began to flow. And a lot of my business activity that I was doing, it just shot up. It just went up significantly.
Steven Pesavento [00:20:23]:
That's the big thing that so many people don't know until they feel it is that's the difference between the people who have named their number who have set that vision, who are clear on what they're going after, who are doing the things for that purpose that that once you get there, it's so freeing. You no longer have to do anything. You get to. And and I talk to folks all the time. And it saddens me because I asked this question, do you love what you do? Do you love your your work? Do you love your job? And so many people say no. They don't, and they don't have a path towards getting there. And that's why I work with so many clients in my business. Right? We raised capital and put together these multi family and other types of investment deals for people to invest passively, but it also blows me away the people who have money who still don't have that plan. And that's really the purpose of this conversation today, Jeff, is to to be able to use your story as an example to allow other people to see the value and the benefit of going through the process of making that decision of deciding what is and what is not the thing that you want from your life and to get excited to dream about it to to feel what that feels like and then to actually sit down and put together a plan of what business or strategy or investment gonna get you there because once you get there, you're really in a whole another realm of living.
Jeff Hampton [00:21:50]:
So true. And I'll tell you right now, one of the most transformational things my wife and I did is we sat together and we did a life plan. We literally sat down and said, where do we? Not just my vision. That needs to be our vision. Where do we wanna go? We both get excited about it. And there's nothing better than, you know, a part, literally having a relationship with someone where that synergy begins to take hold because where you're going is where she's going and vice versa. And and we were able to achieve so many. We literally some people think it's corny, but we had a vision board. We literally had everything lined out. We knew where we were headed. We we began to do that, and we began to began to clip those things off very quickly And and now it became, what are we gonna what are we looking to do now? And some of it's because we need to do it, and some of it's just because we want to and to grow as a person. And as a couple. So that was a big thing for us.
Steven Pesavento [00:22:42]:
Successful people do the corny thing. Successful people sit down and and they dream about what's possible, and they make the vision board. And because by doing that, every time you tick that thing off, you're feeling that progress. Absolutely. -- that growth. And as human beings, we need that. That's part of the purpose of why we're here is to create that progress and to feel that momentum, that momentum it drives us closer and closer to the thing that we want. Once we get there, it feels amazing, but then we gotta target. The next thing that we're working after, and it doesn't have to be at the same level of pressure that the first one was because now we're there, and we can do it because we want to.
Jeff Hampton [00:23:23]:
So true so true.
Steven Pesavento [00:23:25]:
So as we're getting close to wrapping up, Jeff, what advice would you share with those people who are listening who are working in a career they don't love, or they're making some really great money, but they're a little bit unclear about what's what's ahead they they know that there's more out there, but they're not sure what to do to get it. And even though they've heard it many times, they haven't taken the action advice would you have for them?
Jeff Hampton [00:23:53]:
Well, I mean, listen, I think sometimes people underestimate themselves and they don't assess the skills that they really have. And You know, I had this exact conversation with a a a guy that I know that is a plumber. And I told him, I said, hey, man. Get your master plumbing license. I can see the ability that you have to run your own business and the the things that lie ahead of you, but he had to believe that. And so I think one of the first things for people to do you know, is you gotta believe in yourself and understand what skills do you have? There's things uniquely that you are able to do. And then start learning. I mean, you know, whether it's a side hustle, whether it's something you do on the side that you first begin to do and develop and and monetize. And then as you do so, Not everybody is gonna feel comfortable starting their own business. But I think even in your own job, if you believe in what you know you can do and always be learning and developing the skills that you have, you make yourself indispensable to your employer. You're gonna be able to demand more, demand more in terms of a salary and bonuses and different structures like that. And so I think the biggest thing is it's it's sad that that when people don't see themselves that way and they're not willing to continue to always be learning. The journey is learning because at the end of the day, if you quit reading, you quit learning, you're limiting yourself and you govern what your potential is, as you continue in your career, whatever that may be.
Steven Pesavento [00:25:13]:
Man, it's so it's so true. When you get clear on what you're good at, what you're the best at, You get excited about it. You bring that either to to your employer or to your business. Really great things happen because even if even if your current employer isn't appreciating that kind of growth that you're experiencing, the next one will.
Jeff Hampton [00:25:31]:
Steven Pesavento [00:25:32]:
are people I personally would love to hire people who have that kind of mindset. And those are the only people who stick around because we're we're we're driving past. We're excited. We're learning things as a team. There's amazing things happening, but it requires that level of character, that level of understanding of who you are and being on the journey. Towards discovering it because it's only through that process of discovery that you start building that belief that it's possible. First, you borrow it from somebody else. Like, Jeff, you were telling the plumber that you believe that it's possible for him. He saw that you created a business. He trust in you. He borrows that belief from you, and then he carries that along until he has some experience of his own. And then he starts seeing it, and then it's real for him. And then he's able to borrow that belief to somebody else for them to go on the path and that that spider effect starts happening where everybody starts growing together.
Jeff Hampton [00:26:25]:
So true. And I try to encourage people, you don't have a job. Your future is not in the hand of an employer. Your future is in your hands. Take ownership. Of where that's going. And that's once you begin to take ownership of everything you do, it's all about improving yourself and learning and figuring out ways That those are the people who become the managers. Those are the people who become, you know, in those positions of COO and other places where you you couldn't run the business without them. And that's I love to hire and the people I have in those positions my own law firms.
Steven Pesavento [00:26:54]:
Yeah. And I just wanna, as we wrap up here, I just wanna say it's so important to get great advisors in your corner. Whether it's a great coach like me and we're working through figuring out what that vision is or how the you're gonna go about investing or growing your business or marketing, whatever that thing is, whether you're in the, short term rental space, You're trying to figure out the laws. You wanna make sure you're protected. You wanna make sure that you're doing things the right way and hiring somebody like Jeff. You've got to have great advisors in your corner. So that you can go and navigate that path without having to do it alone. Because when you have great people around you, they can see what you can't see. And that's the way that you get to great success. So thanks so much for joining us, Jeff. How can people get in touch with you or or fall along with what you're doing?
Jeff Hampton [00:27:39]:
Yeah. So you can visit us on, strlogis.com. Anybody, and I make it available to people can reach out to me personally if you're interested in the asset protection or the short terminal business in terms of that at at, firstname.lastname@example.org. And I welcome any any feedback from anyone if they ever need any assistance with that. So I appreciate that, Steve.
Steven Pesavento [00:28:02]:
Well, thanks so much for listening to you guys. There's a lot of great nuggets in today's episode. I really encourage you to take a moment to really think about what was it from what you just listened to that inspires you. That maybe shows you something different. Maybe shows you something that you already know, but you haven't taken action on it and commit to doing that today. Commit towards taking that little step, that micro action that's gonna get you closer to the things you want. Thanks so much, and we'll see you guys on the next episode. Alright. That's a wrap. Thanks for listening to the investor mindset podcast. Make sure to hit that subscribe button. And if you'd like to watch another, here's one up top, and here's another great video. Right down below.