In this episode, Steven Pesavento speaks with Shawn Meaike, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Family First Life, a platform that connects families with essential resources for insurance. They discuss how to build a successful business that aligns with your purpose, values, and authentic self. They also share valuable insights and practical tips for entrepreneurs who want to create a positive impact and make a difference in the world.
- Aligning your business with your purpose and values for greater success and fulfillment
- Creating a clear mission and vision for your business can help you stay focused and motivated
- Authenticity and vulnerability can be powerful for building a connection with your customers
- Social impact can create a positive ripple effect that benefits everyone involved.
- Developing a strong team and support network is essential
Interested in connecting with other like-minded individuals? Then join our VonFinch Private Capital Network. Learn more at http://www.vonfinch.com/invest.
Shawn Meaike is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Family First Life, a platform that connects families with essential resources for insurance. In late 2013, Shawn launched Family First Life, currently a multi-million-dollar independent marketing organization. As Shawn describes it, he is “building a company that truly puts both the families of our clients and the families of our agents first.”
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Steven Pesavento 0:00
Hi, I'm Steven Pesavento, and welcome to the name your number podcast presented by the investor mindset. As someone who comes from a challenging childhood, I've spent my life seeking financial security, personal growth, and ultimately freedom, the freedom to not wake up worried about the next paycheck, but rather, with the confidence of knowing that my passive income pays my bills without the need to think about it. When you name your number, that you will learn passively, that creates your ultimate quality of life that I believe you've achieved real freedom. Welcome to my show. It's time to name your number.
Shawn Meaike 0:39
I like cutting people in I'm just like that, like I do, like call my buddy. And I'm like, word of mouth. Like, dude, you need to get on get on this. And he's like, okay, like, and it's just cool that I know, he can throw a half million at it. And I can get them back, you know, 1.2 in seven months, and here's what he's gonna pay out. Here's what I'm net on it. He has like really minimal risk, and he didn't really do anything. So I just I don't know, man, it's pretty cool.
Steven Pesavento 0:59
That's exactly that's exactly it. There's two lessons I want people to take away from that one, the who has the money ends up getting a better deal. The us the money gets better returns, you get better structure. And when you're investing the way the wealthy invest, you know, you're making 60 or 80% of the profit on that deal. The person who's doing all the work is making 20, right? They're making nothing for years, right? And so you want to shift yourself to that investor mindset to really be in that position to think, hey, how do I make sure I don't lose any money? And how do I make sure that I have the highest likelihood of getting some great gains? And then how can I do this collaboratively? Welcome back to the name your numbers show presented by the investor mindset, we're on a mission to create financial freedom for over a million investors. And when you name your number, the number that you want to earn passively, every single month that creates your ultimate quality of life, then I believe you've achieved true freedom. So if you're ready to name your number, and create your passive investment plan that you'll follow step by step to get there, then head over to investor mindset.com/number to download the free guide to get started. And for those of you who are ready to build this plan together with me and a community of others, investors just like you that you'll have an opportunity to schedule a call with one of my top advisors to see if it's a fit. So now let's get into the show. Today. I've got Shawn Meaike in the studio. How you doing today, Sean? Doing great, man. How
Shawn Meaike 2:27
are you, Steven?
Steven Pesavento 2:28
I'm doing phenomenal. I'm living a better life than I deserve sometimes. Amen. So for you guys who don't know, Sean, Sean is a beast in the business world. He is a CEO and founder of family first, an insurance company that's taken the industry by storm growing it to over a billion dollars in a little less than eight years. And he's truly on a mission to redesign the way the world operates away from scarcity to a mindset of abundance and grace, something we absolutely share in common. So let's get started. You know, on this show, we'd like to get personal about money, life and strategies that you've used to create financial freedom and security. So let's kick things off on a personal note, by taking a look back at earlier in your life, what events or influences from your childhood Meaike shaped you who you are today? And how has that played a role on your money and investing journey? Yeah, I
Shawn Meaike 3:28
first of all, appreciate it and get on the show. Man, I hear a lot about you. Everybody speaks highly of you. And everything I've seen is amazing. So thank you appreciate the opportunity. You know, when I was my mom raised me my brother in law rose two years younger than me. My mother worked really hard. Back in the day people had kids when they were really, really young. My mom was was the same. And, you know, my parents split when I was young. And I remember vividly, and I don't remember a lot. I'm not one of those people. Like I remember when I was four. I'm like, Dude, no, you don't like that's just we know, but I was probably the early teens, maybe 12. And my mother had gotten a real estate license. and I were we didn't do well financially. My mom like maybe I should move from apartment to apartment. So besides apartments do evershed do. And I remember how excited she was and I was the oldest so if you're if you're raised by a single mom, and you're the oldest boy like you take care your mom at your job, you know, I mean guys come and date your mom, you threaten to beat shot. I mean that your job that was my job. I was like, and I was like, I'll beat you up. I'm 14 years old. We can you know, she got her real estate license. And I just watched how different she was right? She was like dressed a little bit different just how she was going out doing like listing appointments. I don't even know really what she was doing. I just knew it was real estate involved. And she like leave and do open houses and all that stuff. And and I just remember like it was this excitement I hadn't seen from my mom before. And she had broke friends because we lived in a broke area. And I can remember a few of them, you know, off top my head who would like and I remember being around because I was like really pumped up for. That'd be like, You know what, like, if it was that easy, everybody would do it. And probably not. And they would just go on and on and on. And after about four months, she quit. She stopped. My mom smart, good looking lady. I mean, she's great with people. But she just gave up. And I remember saying to myself, you know, I don't like whatever my mom does, working three jobs that doesn't work. Like she's taking care of us. I'm really respectful of her. But it doesn't work. And I don't want to live that way. Like, I don't want to live check the check to check the check. I just don't, you know, it made me who I am. So that's kind of the struggle when you have kids yourself is how do you give your kids struggle? When there's not really struggling? How do you give them that? So for me, I just knew I wanted to be independent. You know, throughout high school, I really only went to high school because I liked playing football and baseball schools was easy to me. I never enjoyed it. And I was I've been sober 22 years. I like to drink a lot. I love cocaine. I love mushrooms. I love smoking crack. And I love smoking weed. So I had problems. I think going through high school, I was really just kind of like I want to be I want to I want to be a Marine. And so I wanted to graduate high school 17 went to Connecticut armory to mass fabs a whole deal. For my mom, ham, I'm out of here, I graduated high school, just want to go. And she's like, No, I don't want to join the military, I want to go to college. And I really don't want to go. And there was opportunity to go play baseball in college as much as I was like, I'll go to college to do that. And when I was in college, I was I was excited, I was gonna be a business major. So I was a business major. And, you know, that lasted like 30 days, and in last 30 days, because, you know, even at that age, like dude, I sat in front of the room because like, even though I wasn't paying to go to school, like, I didn't want to learn stuff. And I, what I learned watching was I was I'm a realist, if you've done something, I'll listen to talk about it. If not, if you've not done it, you need to never ever talk about it. You just shut your mouth, know your place and have some respect for yourself. So the teacher that we're talking to be like, Hey, if you don't mind me asking, How did you learn, you know, and ask them about business management, organizational development, they can never answer the question. So I switched became a social work major, and play ball for a while graduated college, you know, thought I would get paid to play ball realize that that wasn't gonna happen, kept partying like crazy. And I took a job as a social worker at the department shown the families that I worked with abused neglected children for 14 years, and probably about the fourth year and I was like, Dude, I don't have any money. And I got my real estate license. And then once I did that, everything changed. You know, I went part time. I sold real estate, I decided I want to make money every level, right? So I was like, at first I got my real estate license. While I was in class, I bought a lot and I built the house, I'd expect it out. I was like, if I'm gonna build it, why the hell would I pay someone else to listen, I'm gonna like this to myself. So and then I was like, if I'm gonna do the mortgage, why would I pay some? So when I get a mortgage license, like, why can I do that as well? I don't have to do all that nowadays or not. But but we did everything right, property management, lawn, everything that attached to that property. I did waste management. I was buying dumpsters. I'm like, I'm gonna buy a waste management company. I'm gonna create one. Why am I going to pay somebody else to the dumpsters. And some of those businesses went really, really well. Something went really, really bad. But they taught me a lot of life lessons. So I think, Steven, that's how I got to know when I wanted to be entrepreneurial in spirit back in the day. And I've gone into many things since then. But I think though that experience, watch my mom and watch people around me. And I was like a real life Rich Dad Poor Dad, because like, yeah, the the people in my area, their dads that did well, I gravitated towards them. Yeah, I think they were really nice to me, because that I just was pretty good at sports, and they wanted their sons to win. So like, I don't know if I liked this kid or not, but I want him on our team. So I would just interrogate him with questions like, what do you do for a living? And what I found is the people most successful in the area that I was in, they were all in sales, they're all independent. One of them was business owner, but the rest of them are like just independent salespeople. So I was like, the other ones that have jobs weren't doing as well. So that's I think that's what molded me to have the attitude the mindset that I do today.
Steven Pesavento 9:13
Well, it's like when you grow up around lack, when you grew up broke, I share a similar story, single mom, oldest of four. And when you grow up around that, and you see that lack, you're looking around, like, Hey, how can I get out of this? How can I find my way out and you create this drive this motivation inside that I don't think I think it's very difficult to just create that unless you have some kind of pain or you can put yourself in that mindset to understand that the vision you want if you don't go and do these things, you're gonna feel that pain and so I can absolutely see a lot of successful people have been through that. And I can understand exactly why that drives you. I mean, you've gone and built this incredible business but you tried a bunch of stuff along the way. And then you had you know what ended up becoming you Are your main thing, this insurance company, we've been able to help so many people, and it's all built around sales. Because if you're not going to be a business owner, sales is like being a business owner, but you're in partnership with other people. And your job is to go out there and sell and get paid. And someone else's job is do the administration so that that's really powerful. You know, and this shows really about being that example, you know, showing people what's possible when it comes to building, you know, financial wealth, earning income, creating financial freedom. And so with that in mind, you know, and financial freedom is really having enough income that's coming in every month, passively, or big enough asset load that's going to pay you to create that ultimate vision. Now, have you yourself achieved financial freedom? Or is that a personal goal of yours?
Shawn Meaike 10:47
Yeah, I mean, to be straight up, I cheated a long time ago. And what I mean by that is I, you know, it's funny to talk about the number, you know, I wanted to be at $20,000 a week, passive cash flow, I want to make a million dollars outside of anything I ever did. So that was my deal. Like, no matter what I do a million dollars coming in. And my first venture was real estate I accumulated, I don't know, hundreds, I knew the total number of buildings, and how many units that were rental properties. And, you know, it was, I learned a lot in that, in that, you know, 567 years, I did a lot of it myself, my property management company was me. And I, when I put it all together to sell them, you know, at a group come down from New York, I was in Connecticut at the time. And they said, Well, where are the management fees? I'm like, you're looking at it, like, I am the manager, you know, like, Well, why do they pay rent? And I'm like, because I'll throw on that. Like, we just like, you know, we got good at doing what we did. And, you know, so for me, I achieved it early on. But for me, I wanted other people to achieve it. Like when I found insurance, I was like, because I couldn't create that for anybody in real estate. I had a good friend of mine that I was trying to do properties with. But like he had a job, I loved him, I wanted him to do well. And I just couldn't like, but I'm like, you have to go out and do your own deal. Like, like, it's like for some of y'all that are on, you're like, Well, I'm in real estate, I'm like, No, you're paying this idiot on Instagram and YouTube money, I think you'd be better return to them tomorrow in anything, you're not in real estate, your your money goes in his pocket, you know, like, you have to find a way to build it for you. I'm okay, if you can get me a good rate of return on my money I'm in. But it's like, I like people trying to teach people to build their own passive cash flow. Well, I
Steven Pesavento 12:26
think what's so powerful about that is to separate the two, right? You built a business in real estate, you're a business operator, in real estate, your business was managing those assets that created that return, you were the management company, you were the person doing all the work, you were the asset manager, you made all of those individual decisions. Even if you were to hire a property manager, it still came down to you to decide, hey, is this property manager doing what they're supposed to do? Yes or No? Should I fire him? Should I replace them? In that point in time, you were everything, right? So you're out there grinding, working, doing the thing, when you tried to bring a friend in, they wanted the result that came from owning real estate, but they didn't want to put in the work in the effort. And at the time, you didn't have a model that made sense, where you could take their money, and they could, and they could get the result or the benefit from that. So that that makes so much sense. And from that way of thinking. It's impossible for people if they come in to real estate, and they are going to go own and manage those properties directly. for them not to be active, right, you've got to do the work unless you're investing in a fund or a syndication. And somebody else is the expert. And they're really the expert. They're not just somebody who's just trying to figure it out, and they're using your money to do it. Right, you're actually getting that return for writing the check. That's what the richest people do is they have other people who are hired, and they get paid based on success. So from that perspective, I can totally see So you hit that $20,000 A week number, right. So your your number was a million dollars a year or $20,000 a week
Shawn Meaike 14:04
when I was like 15 years old. I might like I did the math backwards. I'm like, I want to make a million dollars a year. I understand what people say when they're worth but I want to make a million, like I want to make it in a year passively. And then when I had kids, I was like I definitely because that changed my thought process to once I had kids. I'm like, dude, now. It's not about I want to I need to, like I need so I think I was in real estate till 2008. And when the market changed, everybody's like, Well, you got out because the market crashed and said, No, no, no, be clear. I got out because I wasn't prepared for the market crash. There are people that did very well. I was very much part time in this thing. Still working my job. My little deal worked for me. And then what I did at that time was I was okay, you know what now I'm going to buy a ton of distressed properties and kind of rebuild my deal up which I did, but I found life insurance in oh eight And the reason I fell in love with life insurance was I can immediately get people to build their own residual income for me because it also you have to love it like, like you're you do love real estate Stephen, you love it.
Steven Pesavento 15:14
I love the vehicle of real estate go.
Shawn Meaike 15:17
I love what it does. And I love the vehicle of life insurance. Yeah, I just do I just like I fell in love with that vehicle. Number one, I liked being able to do something for people in middle American markets, I made a difference. People always like why didn't you want to work in this segment? I'm like, everybody calls you when you have money. Nobody called me when I have money and asked me to help me. But once I made money, everybody from every big brokerage every big insurance company called me and wanted to be my new friend and help me, I want to go there's more leads and less agents. So that life insurance was that for me. And I started to be able to recreate just like real estate is for what you do and what you're able to do for other people. And that to me, you know, I had a guy said to me the other day, you know, and funny real estate was I was 2223 years old guy Frank, who's long since dead. He was 80. Yeah, Ben, so he's definitely gone. And he said to me, if you're going to be a businessman, I want you to always remember this. So okay, so I want you to fast forward 22 to your 82nd birthday, or your funeral, whichever comes first. Okay, that I want you to picture two people speaking at your funeral in three things they're saying to describe? Yeah, oh, go out. He's like, what would those things be? I'm like, I was selfless, that I was humble that I was fearless. And he's like, then live it the rest of your life. And I think for me, I've always wanted to help people help people win. So that's what that's what the insurance deals become for me. I mean, I've been in waste management, you know, it's about taking the chance. I think the thing that's been good for me was like, I watched I decide to launch waste management company, right? Sounds good, right? Sounds good. Let's get a bunch dumpsters by five trucks. Let's get 100 for the dumpsters. And we're two months into it. And I'm like, Dude, I'm looking at the bills. We're making the money. Like, what's going on? Why is that? Why? Why am I paying this much to get rid of the dump? Why is it so much a ton? And then I realize three people own every landfill mistake? Yep. I'm like, wait a minute, they don't want me in this business. So I'm like going out and trying to negotiate with them backwards. And this guy looked at me, he said, Son, do you ever think about doing this before you decide to get the business started been a good idea? Hmm. And it took me months to renegotiate my contracts with them. Yeah, I had no cards. But it was a phenomenal business lesson for me, I was excited, I took chances, I still found a way to break even. And then eventually, we built it up and sold it and like life is good. But I also knew, always I learned that you need to know the bigger berries, I wouldn't the bigger bear in that business. Like I knew I was small.
Steven Pesavento 17:45
That's, that's really powerful. And I want to draw a parallel here for folks who might want to go down a similar path to you, Shawn, where, where what they're really looking for, right? When they create that ultimate vision, and they create that concept of, hey, I want to have money, something that pays me forever. what's powerful about life, life insurance, which is similar to investing in assets, is that what you're doing is you're going out there. And the asset is the policy that you sell, you get paid some money up front, but you get this residual income that's paid out for the life of that policy. And so you're getting paid that passive income forever, because what you've actually done is you've created a business. And that business, the job of that business is to sell the policy, and the policy protects the client, they want that. And as a result of that policy living on forever, you get that residual as long as it's there. So it's a phenomenal way to take a sale, a sales skill and ability and go apply that to go work and build a book of business. And then for you, you exited, right, you had an exit. And so when you actually exit, you essentially sell that stream, you sell that business down the line, you get paid a bunch of money up front, which now you can then take control and go reapply those dollars to create maybe even a better return, if that's what you want to do. Or you never need to go down that reinvestment path with those dollars that you're earning, because you could simply choose to live off of that. So what I'm really curious about is many, many years ago, you set a vision, I want to talk about the vision you have now versus division there. When you were looking at that vision a million a year 20,000 A week. What was that all for? What was that going to do for you? What was that going to do for your future family? Why were you on this crusade to go out and create 20,000 a week? What was that
Shawn Meaike 19:33
for? I really wanted to change the way I thought people looked at my family. I mean, it's I really just wanted it in my mind. I wanted to change the way that people looked at us. I didn't think money made me anything. But I just thought I wanted people that came after me and my family to know that we can go out and have great success that was the most important than the money. I mean, the stuff I really didn't have any when people were like I wanted this and I want that. I was kind of Like, you know, I was like the guy in the Italian, your younger The Italian Job Where did like what do you do with the money? He has no idea movie. Great movie. I'm like that was I don't I don't really I don't know I didn't even like that was never for me that never did it for me. Yes, I wanted to buy my mama house and like a place to live. And that's been cool. Like I wanted those. Yeah, but the 20 grand a week, the million dollars was you know what, everybody and you said earlier that scarcely everybody that bet against me. And school was different back then it is today, the teachers were would have been fired every day for the things they said, every day. And in today's world. If a male teacher had spoken to like that, I just want to hit him. Back then, like you didn't you just listen, they would just say things like, Don't dream and you're not from there. And you guys can accomplish that you just to get a job, there's no reason. I mean, they told me there's no reason if you go to college and make them smarter than most everybody in here, you can't afford college. It's just not for you. So for me, I just wanted to change the way everybody looked at, in my mind, my family for whatever that was worth, you know, and then it really just became an addiction. You know, I'm I'm addicted to, you know, it's funny about real estate. Is that a deal four days ago, and I'm like in the phones talking to the guy that runs my numbers and like, isn't it funny, new works out of my CPAs office, I taught my attorney Mike back in the day, I was working literally 400 hours to put one deal together that made me 1/10 of this. And now I'm like, why are the money, my return is greater than my return would have been in three years. My money's out, here's how, here's how it's secured. We've done X amount of deals, I'll never see the property. I'll never go to New York City and see the property. Now I'll just be paid within nine months. And that's what I wanted to get to two, I wanted to be the investor, I wanted to be the guy that made a much higher return on my money. And I wanted to get in with the right people. Because the problem for a lot of us is when you don't have any come from that every idiot has a new idea. And every idiot wants to be in business and every idiot wants your money. And it's like you're trying to get around the right people because the right people don't lose as much. They just don't, they don't have to, they get to pick and choose. So I think for me, it's the juice of it, I enjoy it a lot. And I enjoy seeing I like cutting people in I'm just like that, like I do like call my buddy. And I'm like word of mouth like dude, you need to get on get in on this. And he's like, okay, like, and it's just cool that I know, he can throw a half million at it. And I can get him back, you know, 1.2 and seven months, and here's what he's gonna pay on. Here's what I'll net on it. He has like really minimal risk, and he didn't really do anything. So I just I don't know, man, it's pretty cool.
Steven Pesavento 22:32
That's exactly that's exactly it, there's two lessons I want people to take away from that one, the who has the money ends up getting a better deal, the US the money gets better returns, you get a better structure. And when you're investing the way the wealthy invest, you know, you're making 60 or 80% of the profit on that deal. The person who's doing all the work is making 20, right? They're gonna work making nothing for years, right? And so you want to shift yourself to that investor mindset to really be in that position to think, hey, how do I make sure I don't lose any money? And how do I make sure that I have the highest likelihood of getting some great gains? And then how can I do this collaboratively? How can I make sure that my, my incentives are aligned with everybody, so everybody wins when everybody wins such such such a really, really powerful point on that vision. It's, it's so inspiring, I believe, to be able to see that your vision was really about, hey, I want to get out of where I'm at. I want to start living a life where other people recognize my worth and value because it wasn't being recognized growing up, and where I can make an impact for other people. And you've done exactly that. And so anyone who's listening, who's at that point, maybe you feel exactly the way that Sean felt back then. Or maybe you're somewhere in between, maybe the pain isn't as strong as Sean's feeling. But you can create that pain by getting really clear on that vision, and recognizing what you're going to lose by not going after it. Whether that's hustling harder in your work so that you can create an exit and, and have a big check come at once or whether you're gonna hustle and start funneling that money to be invested with the right experts or do the deals yourself if that's really the path you want to go so that you can actually start creating this life because it's possible because you've done it I've done it a lot of my friends are all on the same path who are doing it and it's a huge it's a huge takeaway because I don't know when I was growing up maybe you felt like this. I was growing up here and the exact same thing you can't do this you're not smart enough not at all like you're not gonna break out of that world. And I for the longest time was a chip on my shoulder that was driving me right it was that chip on my shoulder be like all prove I'll prove you wrong. Tell me I can't do it. Because I'm going to make sure that you know that I did it once I had done it. There was a shift in my mindset and I believe you've had the same just based on the mission that you're on, is that what got me here isn't going to get me to that next level. Because now that I made it I actually I have to create a new motivation. And that motivation is really focused on others making an impact for me, that mission is a million people being financially free through investing, right. And to me to hit that I just need 10,000 clients who can tell 100 of their friends, right? Or 100,000 clients who can tell 10 of their friends and share that view and vision a million people are impacted, I can definitely do that in my life. I'm curious for you your vision today, it's shifted, it's grown, right? You've made millions of dollars, you've had a phenomenal X, that you've got this passive revenue that's coming in every month. What's the vision today? What are you working towards today? And what impact are you looking to make?
Shawn Meaike 25:41
You know, I think one of the biggest things that's hitting me probably in the last six months to be honest with Steven is I see a lot of it breaks my heart. And I mean that when I see people get taken advantage of people go well, that's, that's their fault. Like not really, when some guy gets on Instagram jumps around lies to you when he's full of shit completely. And you think he's telling the truth and give me your money that he takes and gives you nothing, I don't know that that's necessarily your fault, when when some guy manipulate some fake coin that nobody can talk about. And then you buy it, they get out and you're supposed to, they get smoked and that they made money and they kill you. And the average the guy welding for 62,000 hours for an 82 hours a year, put his 37,000 Our life and like, I just want to kind of do the best I can to get as much information and people's in front of them as I can, like, truthfully, and that's kind of like I started messing around with this stuff online only because I was curious. And I started doing it where I was like, Dude, I just don't like this guy. You know, I mean, like this, dude, I don't like him. I don't like this dude over here. And then I'm like, their comment on my stuff. That's weird, cuz no one even knows who I am. What must mean, they know what they know. They're full of it. So I'm gonna keep pushing and poking and prodding. And I think it was back to my mom and everybody else, there's really good people out there thinking that, you know, instead of investing, instead of trying to build passive cash flow, instead of having real goals, they're getting taught to go chase around these coaches, mentors and all these gurus and that money that they're giving them, they could have invested it. And when they add it all up, it's like, dude, what could you have done with somebody that actually knows what they're doing? So for me, I just kind of I want to pull the, you know, we, I set out to disrupt the life insurance industry, I was like, No, we're going to pay really well. We're going to be crazy aggressive, we're going to help people out, we're going to build wealth for all the people. So I told people that first we started the company, you could work at the company and make more than I do, and I own it. And that's good people up. And I was like, there's a UK EU structure, right? You could out earn me. And I wanted to I'm gonna go to work anyway. But I wanted a place where we can raise up together. And, and it worked. And I'm kind of like, well, why can't we do the same thing over here where we can raise up together instead of making an out to be some kind of magical deal. It's fine that people with the information, the knowledge, find a mentor ingratiate yourself to him or her, and then get the knowledge and then change your trajectory as well. So I just I and partly Steven, I'm not gonna lie to you, I just kind of love pissing people off. And it'll sound weird, but I do I enjoy it. It's maybe it's my dysfunctional, if you're out there messing with people. And I want to call you on it. And I don't pretend that everyone the world cares what I say. But if enough people call you on your BS, and because so many people can get ahead do their does mired in their own this, what they're doing. And again, there's some amazing vehicles out there. And you're right, those were the gold make the rules and what to where you're at doesn't get you the promised land, you gotta continue to evolve all the time. And I just want to get around those people. And I found really good people that were are way ahead of me. But I listened well, I asked good questions. I don't waste their time I bring value, because I can talk about kind of help certain people see things that might help them understand, because they've been there removed from it. And I just tried to bring the best value I can. And then when something happens, like when I was doing the insurance deal, I call the guy that's done this two dozen times. And he's a friend of mine. I mean, he's 1012 years older than me, he's, you know, he's gotten those billions of dollars. And but I'm able to say like, what am I thinking? Should I be taking chips off the table? What should I be doing? How would you structure it? What does that look like? What's your EBIT? Which, and also, the last thing I'll say is, when you don't know something, you say, you don't know it. I think that's the Yeah, people. People love real. You know, I remember I was sitting down, I was exploring, taken on capital, the very first time and the guy said, What's your EBIT? Da? And I said, What does that mean? As truthfully, as you know, and the guy looked at me and I was like, he laughed, I don't know. I actually don't know what it means was me. She was like earning tax depreciation, amortization. I'm like, but in my business, I don't have the Depreciation Amortization. Why don't you just say, it's my net income? Like, wouldn't that be? Would that not sound smart enough? We laughed about it. And afterwards, the guy was like, Dude, that was my favorite part of the meeting. Like, I just wish more people were real and could have discussion. So I don't worry about what anybody thinks. And that's what holds most people back You go out into the ocean you used
Steven Pesavento 30:01
to you used to used to it used to bother you, but you've grown to this place, you've got a new way of thinking, Well, I love your vision we got to make, we got to make an impact together in this world, my friend, you know, there's so many people who have broken beliefs, they don't believe they can get out of it. They just like your mom, just like family members, I have that, you know, they gave up on their dreams a long time ago, because everyone around them thought differently. And it's so important, I believe, to get in community and, you know, listen to this show is one way to get in community, get these ideas in your ear and let them start festering, and then start surrounding yourself with better people. So I'm on board for that, we'll definitely figure out some ways to to make that impact together. When it comes to the strategies, right, you've gone and you did real estate early on, you had you know, 2008 happened, you started building this business, you just recently had an accident, you still probably getting that, that income that's coming in off of that, but you sold it? What is the strategy that you're using to create that new vision? That's gonna get you to that next level that you want to be at? Is it you're going to build another operating business? Is it you're taking that money and you're investing it passively with the right people? Are you looking to build affiliate? Like, what is it that you're using to get to that new vision that you got?
Shawn Meaike 31:17
That's funny, it's definitely investing with the right people passively. That's worked out really well. For me the last three years, I've looked at some some additional businesses that operate and I do enjoy what I do. And it's kind of also led me back some real estate, which has been cool. And some things that I kind of ideas I had, and some people I wasn't networking with back in the day. And now I Yeah, you know, it's just been really good. And so and it's also allowed me to kind of take a step back, and make good decisions when I want to make them. My whole business entrepreneurial career was like, my hair was on fire, right? Because that's where I was, like, I was just like, I and now it's kind of I do, like, seeing these opportunities. I do like seeing these beats, and I don't waste my time. You know, I find people with really, really, really good track records, and kind of align myself with them. And then and I don't need to go do anything, which is nice. But am I gonna do something else, it's our bread, probably. There's some other industries I've looked at. And it's exciting to me, it's intriguing. And, and I like to attack it and see what I can build there, you know, outside of insurance. And,
Steven Pesavento 32:22
and so part of your part of your kind of personal drive is like you're an operator, you're a builder. Like you get that fulfillment from the mission of building, you're not you know, some people are looking to go retire in a beach or their family, phenomenal vision for those people. You're one of those people who's mission driven. I gotta keep building because I love playing the game.
Shawn Meaike 32:41
I love the game. I love the juice of the game. I just do. You know, that's awesome.
Steven Pesavento 32:48
What? You know, talk to us about what that current work life looks like today. You had an accent? You're still involved with it? Yeah. What does that look like? What did it feel like to have the exit? Versus what are some of the downsides that you're experiencing? Now that you've gone through that process so that other people can understand, hey, well, this is what can happen. When I get to the end of the road, and everything's built off of, you know, selling the business to someone else.
Shawn Meaike 33:18
You know, it's fun. I've done it a few different ways. Right? didn't waste management was straight. Here's a sale, we know better than you do. Shawn, we're one of the biggest companies in the country, we're good. Here's your money, have a nice life. Okay. I've done it real estate, where it was like, Here's your money. But if we can get the portfolio to perform where you were, will you stand period of time and make some extra money, right. The problem with that was they the way I did it worked. And they had their own ideas, they know what they're doing. So it's like I was beating my head against the wall. That wasn't a lot of fun, right? I already gotten paid. But I stuck up around to try to make more money, earn out whatever you want to do. And finally, I'm like, Guys, I can't do this, because you're telling me what to do. And you don't know what to do, like, I sold you something that was very profitable. And now you've come in and want to make the cuts over here and do this. It just you don't know what you're doing. So I'm gonna have to tap out. I've been very blessed and insurance because I looked at a lot of different private equity companies for probably a year and a half. And that the two issues I had with any of the potential offers I had was, you know, it wasn't just necessarily the like, money's important. Don't get don't get me wrong, but it was, if I'm going to stay on for a period of time post transaction and post sale. I have to be in charge. I'm exceptionally bad assistant coach, when I know what I'm doing. If your son's playing soccer, and my son plays soccer, I don't know anything about soccer. I'm totally cool. If you're like hey, man, I played some soccer in high school college. You want to be assistant coach. First thing I'd say is I don't know anything. But I'm good like me just get people hyped up and bring some stuff and carry some stuff like I'm your guy. Yeah, but if I know what I'm doing, I'm a terrible assistant coach and life insurance. I feel like I really know on doing so I've been I've been blessed in that regard, where it's like, you know what I get to be in in the in the entity is kind of like, Hey, dude, you do you, you've been killing it, we're happy, we're gonna bother you. And when you start early on, there's people Hey, what about this? What about this, you're like, hey, wait a minute, y'all just like call me as long as I can tell you to grow it and kill it and scale it, make it profitable, I'm going to be good. And I've helped a lot of other people do the same thing. But I think the struggle at times is, if you're not, if, in waste management, I exited. I got my money, and it was an exit. A lot of people when they go do a deal, they retain some equity, there's earnouts, there's contracts, you didn't really exit. And they think they did. It's like, exit is like we're paying you to go away. Like we're good. We're happy we want you to not be involved anymore. So it's me educating people that Hey, bro, you didn't exit. You have this many years left, we know you got paid, you have the potential to make a lot more money. You know, you have whatever it is stock, however your deal is structured. And some people just their backs not against the wall anymore. Yeah, because they gotta check in. To me, it was never about, okay, if I have enough to live, I'll stop. And a lot of people it is man, they just they lose that. That edge. I mean, you know, I haven't needed money for a long time. It's not like I was buying helicopters and penthouses in four different cities in the country. I just didn't need the money. I live good. And that's my buddy always said you said at the beginning of the show is like we most of us, we live better than we probably need to like, and that's okay. You know, I mean, like, but I think for me, it's when you start, you have to understand, ask all the right questions when you're looking to do that. And a lot of people I know people that probably should exit because they're burnt out, and some that aren't even ready to actually they're looking to, you know, I just talked to a guy couple weeks ago, and he's not he's like I said, I want you to close your eyes. And Matt, you're not in charge anymore. I'm not saying you shouldn't do. I'm just saying like, you're a control freak, and you love what you have here. You're gonna walk away completely. But then there's people that you meet that don't pull the trigger. And they don't know the bigger berries. That was the other thing too. We were so big in people's eyes, but not as big as you thought, right? We're listening was great. We do billions of dollars in premium over nine years. I mean, we're now you know, we'll do a billion this year and our 10th year like it's big. But there's also a lot of big, big people out there and things can happen. And if you don't take your chips off the table, you can lose them all. So when is that magic I've met people didn't take them off the table, and somebody recreated what they were doing bigger, better, faster with more money, and they ran a business or something happened, you didn't see coming. I didn't know what's gonna happen, oh, my God, no, that was gonna happen to us. I never thought about that. And I never knew that was a potential liability. It's like, Dude, I was talking to guy the other day, their company's done, like they there's a recent policy change, you can't do what they're doing anymore, and it's just gone.
Steven Pesavento 37:52
But understanding structure is such an important thing. When it comes to investments and the people who buy your business, they're essentially investing they bought an income stream, they bought your business. And if you don't understand structure, you can be on the wrong side of that. And that's why it's so important to make sure you're doing things you've got the right advisors, you got the right team, you know, that's one thing we talk a lot about name your numbers, it's almost as much about setting your target and vision the plan but also you need to know enough so that you know what to watch out for. So in your example, right you had this exit but a lot of upside was tied to somebody else being in charge of the outcome. And that works really great for some people and it doesn't work well for others so you got to know what structure works well for you. So let's Why don't we pause here on this we're getting close to the end of the show. We've got one more question I want to wrap up on but why don't you tell the audience share a little bit about kind of who you're serving what you're doing and you know how people can get involved or get in touch if they if they want to reach you
Shawn Meaike 38:55
Yeah, I mean in the insurance business we're very much focused on helping people in middle american market we you know there millions people life insurance license I think we structure is very aggressive compensatory standpoint for the agent you know you're truly independent we love that name of that company's family first life you can find me anywhere on Instagram last name is M EA ik even though it's pronounced Mike It's Sean M e ai ke my handles are all that it's just my name. And you know, we hire we recruit people all over the country. Because the reality is there's more leads, you know, do with and I'm a big lead guy. I don't I've not been a say, if you're a cold call or cold knocker, I'm not mad at you. I just I've done it. And I'd much prefer lead leads or real sales. I just, you know, I can go out there too and tell hero stories knock on doors with you call people all day long. It's just not a good return on my time, my investment. And then when you start, you know, to that point with your family. You know, one of the things that was important to me was and you know, maybe everybody's different. I didn't want to miss stuff. My kids were doing school athletically. That was my Yeah, I I stayed in Connecticut. I didn't leave that job, because I was only making 70 grand a year. Like I was already making money in real estate so I left that job. Because I was being told I couldn't leave that job, like my daughter would have a recital at school at 10am. And I was told I couldn't go. My son would have a game. When I coach my son's middle school basketball team, 6/7 and eighth grade, went to our first game, put the kids on a bus, you know, you drive them. It's like her Lord, like I'm back in school, you got to get up until the kids sit down. They're all boys like raw Smackdown data, all of you sit down, don't drive me crazy. We get to the game. And we're like three minutes in the game. I look around. I'm like, wow, the only parent here is me. But it's 330 In the afternoon, like who can leave work drive an hour to their kids game, you know, when there was a mom or dad here in there. But for the most part, like, I watched every game, my son played in middle school, from the sidelines. And then when he was in high school, I sat in the stands and went to every single game, when he was playing three games a day baseball, my daughter dance, I didn't miss those things. And my mom had to miss those things just because she worked three jobs. So I think for me, it's that that's kind of really where I'm at where I'm going what I see what motivates me why I'm doing it, but you can find us find me anywhere man and where that we, you know, the podcast has punched me in the face, wrote a little book called punch me in the face, we give the you know, half the money to Dream Center and East LA, it's great place pastor Matthews, good friend of mine. And you know, we're just out there trying to make a difference and rattle some cages do like that's kind of my deal. I want to be in the fight every day, I want to be part of the juice. And that's how they can find us. And they're looking I think that's I'm income or full time income, come join femme first life, man will teach you how to do something.
Steven Pesavento 41:31
So that's how you find Meaike, or that's how you've scratched that good. Shawn Meaike either way, do good. That's how you find Shawn is head over, if you're interested in learning, he's got some amazing mindset and beliefs on business, you can shift the way you're thinking. And if you're looking to create that revenue through active sales is a great, great place to to head to. So as we wrap up, it's been a phenomenal, phenomenal episode, Shawn diving insights on how you hit financial freedom on this vision on this path that you're on it, it's really inspiring. It's incredible. So closing on this what is your advice to those who are listening, who are on the path towards creating that ultimate vision for their life financially, for them to get there faster, to stay focused on the right things, and to you know, truly be able to get where they want to go?
Shawn Meaike 42:25
Well, you know, you talked about a little bit earlier, Stephen with the sacrifices. I mean, the only thing I've done in every industry I've been in, and I've done well in all of them. And other people have probably done better than me, but I've done better than most that I've seen is did I just use my sweat equity to build it? Like any any if it's real estate, my sweat equity could be pouring concrete when I started, it could be the property management could be being a listing agent in insurance, it was selling life insurance, and waste management, it can be driving a truck and picking up dumpster like like your sweat equity to you is that's your time. So it's free to you I understand like, so I would, I would say make more sacrifices. I was talking to group yesterday and said none of you are going to make it and they're not they're good people. Because it's a small group and everyone was like, but I'm not full time yet. And then one day I'm going to do this I might do when I started in insurance, I had two full time jobs. If you will make more sacrifices and everybody you don't need to have cute sayings and Carvey day and have three fake days and come up with stupid stuff. Just go make more sacrifices other people, whatever it is that you need to sacrifice right now, to that point with my kids. Early on in my insurance career, there were things I had to sacrifice dude, I didn't want to. I did not want to. I mean, man I miss like my son was to this day be like the greatest game I ever played was this one and I was that like, I couldn't be there. You know, I mean, like to this day, you know, just do it more much more by behind I think he's knows that all the games will joke around. But those things I didn't want to do. I do enjoy sleeping a little bit. I slept on the floor um, Office, the state of Connecticut three hours a night with a phone near me in case it went off because that was my job as manager phone phone rang. I answered it. But I didn't want to do that. Like I didn't want healthy. But I did it because I was trying to get ahead. So if you'll out sacrifice everybody, and you're not forever, dude, please carve these things in a shorter Windows no fun. If you allow sacrifice everybody for the next year. It might be if you'll do that, dude, the result is obnoxious and learn every day, every day I woke up I was like, I'm gonna learn something today about business. It's crucial that I don't even know. And it can be 1011 o'clock at night. I'm like, damn, like what I learned today, and usually had something but sometimes when it's not that good, what can I do? Who can I reach out to what can I read? What can I watch? I want to educate myself every single day and get a little bit better. So that'd be my best advice for people that are looking to grind this thing out and change your lifestyle.
Steven Pesavento 44:35
Well, it's so great because what's really powerful is when you have that vision, you know what you're working towards. When you're making that sacrifice. It doesn't have to feel like a sacrifice. It feels like an investment. You're trading your time for a higher return. You're trading your time to go earn more so that you can start investing that to do the thing that you actually want to do on the back end. And when you're doing with purpose, it's easy to be driven down that path and if you don't have Have that now that's what's missing. You're missing that purpose. You're missing that vision, you're missing that picture of what's possible. And so you absolutely need to name your number you absolutely need to sit down and get clear on these things. Super powerful conversation today, Shawn, really, really enjoyed this. If you guys are listening to this episode for the first time, or you've been here for a while, hit that subscribe button. Come back next week and look forward to making an impact together. Shawn, thanks so much for being on.
Shawn Meaike 45:26
Thanks to you and thanks for having me, buddy.
Steven Pesavento 45:29
Today's episode is sponsored by Vaughn Fitch capital. If you're interested in investing alongside me in the same type of real estate opportunities that I personally invest in that head over to Vaughn Finch capital and join their private investor network. You can do so at Vaughn fitch.com/invest. Join me on that next deal. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. Thank you for listening. If you like what you heard, make sure to rate review, subscribe and share with a friend. Head over to the investor mindset.com to join the insider club where we share tools and strategies from the top investors and entrepreneurs and how they take it to the next level.
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The Investor Mindset Podcast & President VonFinch Capital
Steven Pesavento has always been obsessed with understanding how we can think better, how we can be better and how we can do better. He is an active real estate investor who curates Commercial Real Estate Investments for clients.
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