Take A Step
The Inventive Journey
Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Take A Step
I'm big on next steps. Take a step. There is something out there that they need to go to the next level. I was thinking about it this morning while I was driving in my truck, it's dark out still. Some people are laying in bed, some people are being lazy, some people are not giving it one hundred percent. For me it's always everybody I see that wants to do what I do or wants to do what you do, they have to take their very first step and it has to continue every day. Taking a step every day towards what you want, it has to be what you want. Your why has to be so big that you get up at five am and you work until eleven o'clock at night because your hungry, you want it, you know why your doing it. You just have to take that step every day.
The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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i'm big on next steps like take a step um there's something out there that they need to go to the next level um i was thinking about this morning while i'm driving in my truck it's dark out still and some people are laying in bed some people are being lazy some people aren't giving it 100 and for me it's always everybody i see that wants to do what i do or wants to do what you do like they have to take the very first step and then it has to just continue every day if you're taking a step every day towards what you want it has to be what you want your why has to be so big that you get up at 5am and you work till 11 o'clock at night because you're hungry you want it you know why you're doing it and you just got to take that step every [Music] day hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's built several businesses to seven and eight figure companies as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we have where we held startups and small businesses with patents and trademarks and today we have another great guest on the podcast paul tompkins and uh paul just to give you a quick bio so he started his entrepreneurship uh journey is uh 11 or 12 years old i almost said 11. but yeah yeah and uh he'll get into that it kind of reminded me when he talks about it a little bit of uh the tom sawyer and some of his journey but then he uh went into the marine corps 18 was conflicted with wanting to be an entrepreneur also wanting to serve his country did that for a bit of time did some state troopers decided to make a bit of an adjustment chase's entrepreneurial dream and went into flipping homes and while being a state trooper and that's led him to where he's at today so with that welcome on to the podcast paul hey devin thank you so much for being here man i love talking with you i love your energy man great show all right well i gave a very brief introduction which i'm sure doesn't do anywhere near justice so maybe with that why don't you jump into your journey and tell us a little bit about it yeah like you said i mean i started young not just because i wanted to but necessity you know my parents there's eight kids in our family so growing up my dad was a pastor of a small baptist church you know like 20 people so there's really no money in that um and my mom was a stay-at-home mom obviously with eight kids so yeah when i was like 12 years old i just remember there always being like something on my mom's face when i'd see her sit down to pay bills and she didn't do it in front of us a lot but like if i stayed up late if i saw her doing it like i could just tell there was something worrisome about her and you know i just was wondering like how can i help my mom how can i help pay the bills and she never asked for money she never complained about bills i never heard about it i just knew something wasn't right and one day i went to her i said hey listen i want to help out what can i do to help and she's like you know i don't know blah blah blah you're too young for a paper route you're two you can't drive yet you know and i just knew there was a way so me and my brother just teamed up more like hey what can we do that we can ride our bikes to or we can walk back then you know you could get away with that now it's a little bit more dangerous but we put our heads together and we say hey let's start a company which i don't know what 12 year old says that i don't i must i don't know i must not have slept the night before um and it was just like we knew we needed to pitch in and we said okay what can we do you know i just remember us brainstorming we had bunk beds in our room and i remember just sitting there and just like had our gi joe's and okay what can i do and then we're just playing back and forth and we're like hey we can we can paint some fences like we can rake some people's yards and and we can shovel snow in the winter like man we can do stuff in the summer and the winter mow grass and and we put our heads together we went to our mom we're like hey listen we want to help out and we want to do this we don't know how much to charge can we borrow dad's lawnmower can we use the shovels in the winter like we're already borrowing you know bartering to get what we want but uh she loved that big old smile on her face we cut an eight and a half eleven sheet in half and we wrote tompkins helpers our last name and we just like drew things underneath it like shovels snow paint like we never painted before in our lives but and just made a list and we handed them out in our neighborhood um saved money by cutting it in half you know did a little flyer instead of a full sheet i mean we were just we were very innovative at 12 years old but uh i remember the phone rang we got our first job the lady wanted us to come quote a fence to paint we're like what's a quote you know like we didn't have a clue but it was a gracious old early yeah yeah yeah i was like um uh yeah we're on the way where are you at and we just rode our bikes over there but she was a gracious old lady and uh she's like she saw us struggling she's like how about i just buy the paint and the paint brushes and you guys just paint it i'm like thank you because i don't even know how much paint cost so yeah at a young age man i i just i had the need number one i think to serve people i was kind of always in my dna it was always in my family you know we were always helping people if people didn't have money my family would cook meals and stuff like that even if we didn't have enough but i just saw i saw my parents do it from a young age where you don't have any money and you're providing christmas for eight kids like to this day i'm like how what how like what happened how did money like multiply or something but and and we just had that instilled in us and growing up like you said i i i joined the marine corps at 18. before you jump in the marine corps okay yeah i made a reference to tom sawyer and it was interesting and i can't remember i i'll have to go back because there's been another episode that someone had a similar story but they were also doing like they were pulling like a lawnmower behind their their bike and first of all i asked how you pull a lawnmower behind a bike and you'll have to listen to i can't remember i think the episode's already been recorded and they'll be here but it kind of gave me the same thing so it's kind of this tom sawyer so tom sawyer i don't know do you ever read that as a kid that book yeah yeah you have tom sawyer and his book starts out and he has basically i think he did something wrong or he got in trouble so he had to go pay the fence right and so excuse me so he has to go paying the fence but then he gets all of his friends they're saying oh what are you doing oh i'm having a great time i'm paying the fence this is awesome and then they said well i want to get in on this this sounds like fun so then he gets his friends well you know i'm not going to let you do this for free you're gonna have to pay me if you want to have this fun and he gets all of his friends to go paying the fence paying him for it as he gets to go play so that's where i think you next next time you do your pain or painting business or your kids start doing it you'll have to have them read tom sawyer first i love it i mean they're making even more money that's the way to do it so now you so then you did so now jumping to the rest of your story so you did that started out as a young kid but entrepreneur almost by necessity but then you go to the marine corps 18 and pick yeah i mean yeah i did all kinds of jobs up until time i was 18. i mean i i remember doing newspaper routes at 4 00 a.m i mean i remember going out and working for a local farmer picking corn i'm like don't is there a machine for this like hand picking corn like you're ridiculous right didn't know so i did it and then you know i got closer to 17 18 years old and when i turned 18 i was like hey i want to serve at another level a bigger level and i wanted to be a police officer and i couldn't be i found out it broke my heart and they're like you're not you came in by ammo you're too young you can't do this at 18. and i'm like for real so what it doesn't wait just out of curiosity because you brought what is like age cut off to be a police 21 yeah and every state's different every county is different i wanted to be a state trooper in florida and their age was 21 so i'm like what am i gonna do for three years like i you know i had this plan since i was 16. and uh i just said okay what can i do and my brother was in the navy and i saw his white uniform not the cool one the one with a little round hat and he came home i made fun of him a little bit and i said man i just can't wear that uniform i could go in the military i just can't wear that uniform and i didn't know what he did for a living he was a nuclear subs and i you know i was young i didn't know i was just making fun of him and when i became a marine i was like oh okay we don't mess with you or navy corpsman because you got you destroy stuff corman save our lives got it love the navy but um i said i gotta go into the hardest thing if i'm gonna go in for four years i gotta get in the hardest thing that was the marine corps and i was like okay that's what i'm gonna do so i did that for four years i loved it i was overseas two and a half three years out of the four years and again i was like you said i was struggling with that i want to be entrepreneurial in the marine corps they tell you when to go the bathroom when to eat where you're going when you're going to sleep what time you're waking up what time you're working out and i'm like man this isn't this is cool but like so after four years i'm like all right i'm out and uh enjoyed it thoroughly and then went in to be a florida state trooper and uh did that for 10 years loved it and then six seven years then i started kind of getting bored which is crazy because i work the north side of jacksonville which is heavy crime i mean i was in foot chases car chases every day i mean i was in the jail sometimes i'm gonna dive in just do it first what so just complete aside from your journey but what was the craziest or what was this what was the craziest uh call you did or what was the craziest thing you had to respond to oh my gosh i think for me see i mean i arrested everybody i feel like but we get a call one day where there's a guy on the interstate and we have what's called road rangers down here where they're like in the inner city and if you break down they have these little trucks you know state farm pulls behind you and they help you and we get a call meeting lunch and they're like hey there's a guy up on the interstate and he's arguing with one of these guys that are trying to help him but this guy's like no vehicle or anything i'm like okay no problems i keep beating my meal like i'm like okay i'll get up there it's not an emergency call or anything and then a few seconds later they put an alert tone over the radio and they're like hey he's got a knife he's in the interstate he's swinging at a couple of contractors i guess a couple of construction workers were right up the road and they they were diving in to help him and this guy was on pcp so he's butt naked and i'm telling you he's fighting three guys like he's smaller than me and he's whooping these guys big old construction workers just that pcp so we're halfway up there already light sirens i have a guy backing me up and sure enough he's in the middle of the road just naked and just swinging a knife and we had to tackle them and i mean it was florida heat it's 100 degrees and then the asphalt's by 160 170 and we're all laying on it wrestling fighting and some naked dude so i don't know that one always sticks with me i don't know so and just as another complete it's like it has again it's a complete tangent to rabbits no go i'll give you my story which is nothing even close i didn't do the marines i didn't do the state control and i come from a small town in utah so and i still live there today and you know everybody waves at the police officers we're all grateful yeah if you have a heist we have one freeway that kind of goes you know through it and if you have a high speed chase that's the excitement of the year or the decade type of thing so not a lot happens but then when i went to law school and nba school i went out to cleveland ohio which is much different than what would be a small town of utah and so i remember me and our wife we were poor we were in school and we had we loved but we want we love movies and we still do we love to go to movies and sad that right now i can't go see a lot of movies but i love movies and so we would always go to the dollars theater and we lived in a decent part of town but to get to the dollar theater you had to go through the worst of the worst part of town so to speak so you'd always kind of just go through as quick as you can and i remember coming back and we were coming back from the dollar theater at night and i i don't think we had a kid our kids yet i think it was just me and my wife and all of a sudden we were stopped at a stoplight and there was a you know big like black suv and then a car in front and all of a sudden we're at the stop light and four guys full swat gear jump out of the car and start pulling people out of the vehicle right in front of us and they're like okay we better hurry go around we don't want to stay here too long so that was that's that's the only exciting story that i have that even begins to compare to your story all right we've had enough of attention going back to your journey so now you you're getting bored because wrestling people on the asphalt that are high on pcp isn't enough but let's so then you said okay i want to be an entrepreneur so how did you kind of start to make that transition yeah so while i was a state trooper i just i started digging into like hey where do most millionaires and billionaires or where do i want to go where they invest their money and real estate just kept popping up like that was always a stream for them not their full thing but hey in their streams it's real estate and it just it always intrigued me i loved real estate it was tangible i saw people lose money in stock markets and all this kind of stuff and i'm like man it's just seems so risky i don't control it somebody else does the market's like so i saw them doing that and i said hey listen like i'm in i can do that and i met up with a local guy who was doing real estate and i was like hey man i want this guy to coach me so to speak there wasn't online courses back then youtube wasn't i don't even think around um so there's really no way to learn unless you knew somebody or went to a big conference and conferences weren't even that big so i saw a local guy in town he was doing it in jacksonville and driving a nice mercedes lived on the water had a beautiful boat and i'm like those things don't mean that much to me but it's proof of concept in my opinion you know i'm like okay he's doing okay or at least he's living out a lot of debt but he looks like he's doing okay exactly so i ended up pulling up to his office one day i'm in my trooper uniform and i figured i might as well use my advantage you know what i'm saying so i walked in he's like i'm like hey i got you where i need you like so i was like hey man i just you know i want you to coach me i'm willing to clean the toilets clean the office file paperwork you know whatever i want to learn what you're doing and he refused me a couple times i had to pull him over a couple times no i didn't pull my work sometimes i'll get in trouble if i'd if i say that anyway but uh he finally agreed yeah yeah if any troopers were listening that was not really true um it finally he admitted he said yeah yeah i'll do it so i did it for a year with him and then he flipped me my first deal and i was hooked you know i was making thirty six thousand six hundred dollars as a trooper i did that my first deal in three months and i was like okay i'm doing something way wrong here and i you know i i wanted another stream i needed something else because i was you know i had to work probably 16 hours a week overtime to make 50 grand and i'm like you know south we don't get paid that much law enforcement teachers all that so i i was just like there's got to be i'm putting my life at risk i'm working a ton of hours i'm working different shift work every month there's got to be something better and real estate just turned out to be that vehicle for me um and i started doing deal after deal and one deal turned into two deals and i said okay i sold two let me buy three and then three turned into six and then within two years i was doing eight ten deals a year and making forty fifty thousand dollars per deal so i'm clearing three hundred thousand dollars part time while i'm still a full-time trooper and i'm like i gotta get out of this like i just need to go real estate full-time and my coach is like hey just give it a little bit more time like you know i want you i want you to see every season i want you to have all these hurdles now while you still have a job but you know when it's time to pull the trigger you'll know and then 08 hit and i'm like oh okay and i saw all that happen which to me i'm so glad it happened for me because i learned so much in that that i'm not doing now in ways i'm moving money and doing different things but uh yeah 2008 taught me a lot and i think i had i don't know 12 houses going at a time at that point and when the bank's saying hey i want my money and houses aren't buying and selling like they used to you know you got to figure it out real quick so um yeah that was an experience for me so you did that because that's a lot you know not imputing it on you at all so don't take it that way yeah but you see a lot of late night hey you want to be rich quick you can flip houses and you know everybody and you can bank will pay your notes and you won't have to put down a diamond you know and i'm making that because i but you know those are the type of things you've seen and some obviously you know you went through 2008 2009 and it's not that way and it's not just hey one day i'm gonna wake up i'm going to know exactly what i can do i just watch it or order a two-hour course online and i'll be an expert so you know how do you how do people that want in kind of an aside but this is an interesting question people that want to get into house flipping but they you know i i'm a big i don't think that those are it's likely that you can learn everything you need to know in a two-hour course and you're not going to be successful at it you're probably you know contrary to all the show tv shows and everything else you're probably going to lose your shirt at it so what if people are saying i want to get into this how do you get into it or what is that you know 30 seconds what is it where do you start out yeah for for me there wasn't all that stuff out there that you can get now there's a lot of trainings out there that you can you know go through their training you can meet them in person you can get coaching one-on-one there's so many different avenues right now so it's not like you're by yourself you buy a course you sit there and you don't you don't really have all the answers we created a course that we actually turned into a membership because we got tired of those same stories right i had we'd go through a speaking gig and afterwards there's 30 people in a line and half of them were great stories where they had education they had a local coach in their community helping them they had this and then the other half were i just didn't know what i was doing i saw hdtv i thought i could do it in two weeks i didn't realize i had to pay closing costs i didn't realize my contractor might take off with my money if i don't stage it and do draws the right way um so i i think to answer your question if somebody's going to do it it's a it's never get quick get rich quick it's not i mean i've been in real estate year after year after year and i take even my fix and flip money and roll them into rentals to where that's long-term wealth and i'm paying them off and they're appreciating so yes you you make that quick money and flips but you need to roll that into something that's a longer longevity so um just training man they haven't just train train train it's basically it never ends i know when i was a state trooper you go through basic but then you still have training you have to do every month because things change right new technologies came out new laws came out okay troopers this new law came out we're enforcing it this way this way this way well it's the same with anything same in real estate same with being an attorney things change and you have to keep changing and pivoting with it no i i think that may that makes complete sense so so you get that training you go through flipping and you also you say hey i'm going so you're i want to i want to go full time and then your mentor say not quite yet learn a little bit more you go thank goodness type of thing go through 2008 2009 2010 whenever it stopped yeah and then you know it starts to open back up and then did you do when when did you decide to go full time was it after things started to pick back up as you started to do it did you give it a bit more time or how did you make that decision to leave the state troopers and go full time yeah i i went through 2008 and like i said i probably had 12 properties going and it was hard to do something with them well each mortgage was about a thousand dollars a month so think about that's 12 grand a month i have to come up with i'm a state trooper i i make 36 grand a year like how am i going to come up with 12 grand so i'm like freaking out i'm trying to figure it out what am i going to do unfortunately i had notes on everything you know i didn't have anything paid off i didn't you know i wasn't that smart at that point and i just look for an avenue i'm like i don't want to do foreclosures i don't want to you know do deed in lieu of foreclosures i want to do it the right way how do i do it and i had an opportunity to come up where i was able to go to afghanistan as a contractor and it saved my butt i was a police officer i was prior military they got me right in i did 25 months in afghanistan um straight two and a half tours and it allowed like the money they paid me was exactly 12 000 something a month it was crazy and i just did it right i paid my notes i sold them off as i could sell them off when stuff started coming around i dumped them when i could dump them and when i got back i got injured over there and when i got back i was like hey i just have to take some time get my injury and all that my spine was messed up and i said hey what am i going to do next and i ended up meeting my new wife my amazing wife that does this with me and here's where it gets crazy like we we've had a passion for helping kids and people and the church we were going to was like hey we want to launch a resort at a resort a uh a center for kids they had like 800 kids every single week that would meet they wanted to get them out for summer camps and in jacksonville there's so many big churches like that so my wife and i were like hey let's let's put something together for these churches to get their kids out too it's got to be outside of town there's got to be a drive and it needs to be big so we put a deal together 6 million deal 562 acres it slept 185 people and we put the whole deal together did the contracts put in our contract ended up helping them buy it and they're like hey can you go launch this and we'll do some other stuff we'll do some weddings on the side to make some extra cash for you know pay the notes down and we'll do this and do that we're like yeah 100 so we move out there we help them launch it we're in it for a year and it's like 90 hours a week i mean they were loading up mtv did a wedding out i mean it was like a big deal and i'm like i can't do this with me my wife and two full-time employees like i'm running i'm running 200 people on a weekend like i i can't sustain this and it it started to go a different direction and we knew it was going a different direction so we were kind of like keeping our eyes open they're like no no you have a job even when we transition it to this new thing you're good and then one day the ceo shows up and says hey guys um we're going a different direction we no longer need your services anymore and it was a punch like i mean i can't i don't know why i handled it so well my wife was crying like and he's asking me questions and i'm like telling them how to like move forward on different stuff like i don't even know why because that's not like my dna if you know anything about troopers or marines it's not be calm and you know we get angry but uh yeah i just remained calm i answered some questions and stuff and and i think i was relieved because it was 90 hours a week and it shifted from serving and helping people to more of let's make some money so we could pay the notes and i didn't like that but uh in the drop of a hat i think you mentioned when you did that you moved out to do you moved you moved your house you moved your family you moved out to do that and you were only out there for what a little over a year and then yeah you guys got it set up and then basically the new management came in and fired you guys all so you're looking and saying we just uprooted everything now what do we do and so i think you mentioned you took 30 days kind of pondered thought what you could do figured it out and you decided to go real estate full-time is that about right yeah yeah we couldn't we couldn't move back home you know we didn't have jobs we had proof of income i couldn't buy another house back in jacksonville so i'm like man what am i going to do so literally we just we agreed we're like hey we're we're upset right now we're angry right now we feel betrayed even a little bit we just we don't want to make a decision when we're like that let's take 30 days and figure this out and i kept thinking like what am i going to do what can i do what can i do what can i do and i'm like wait a minute i had fun doing real estate part-time and i'm like man if i did this full time and my wife went to school for design and she loved staging properties and she's great and i just like looked at her we had a conversation and devon within like a week after that i had already bought my first house like we were we were off to the races and that's where we went full time in it so we've probably been in it seven years now and i mean we're full time we're flipping you know 40 50 houses a year 18 20 at a time and loving every minute of it no that's awesome so that's a cool journey well there is so much so many more things that would be fun to dive in on but we are reaching towards the end of the podcast so i always ask two questions at the end yeah we'll take a take a second and go or go there so first question i always ask is so what was the worst business decision you ever made working for somebody else like i i've i've learned never to allow someone else to control my destiny that just sticks in my brain when somebody can come in and take your salary away from you at any time your retirement i see people you know they retire at 30 years and you're 29 we're downsizing like i to me when i work for somebody else i don't control my own destiny i'm not able to dream as big as i want because i'm working for somebody i'm working at their dream and for their goals so i think that was probably my worst decision because i know my best decision was when i said i'm gonna go do it for myself and there's no cap there's no i there's no level there's no ceiling i can go wherever i want no that's interesting so and i think that that that is probably one of the common notes of either i wish i'd got started or sooner or wish i jumped in earlier and i think that's a comment i think a lot of entrepreneurs kind of get that that same point is to get a chance to look back and say what was the biggest mistake i mean all right second question i always ask you so now you're talking to someone that's just getting into startups just getting into small businesses what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them i'm big on next steps like take a step there's something out there that they need to go to the next level i was thinking about this morning while i'm driving in my truck it's dark out still and some people are laying in bed some people are being lazy some people aren't giving it 100 and for me it's always everybody i see that wants to do what i do or wants to do what you do like they have to take the very first step and then it has to just continue every day if you're taking a step every day towards what you want and it has to be what you want your why has to be so big that you get up at 5am and you work till 11 o'clock at night because you're hungry you want it you know why you're doing it and you've got to take that step every day i i know that's you know taking that next step figuring out what the next step is and taking it and not waiting and delaying is a major part of being a successful entrepreneur definitely so now as we wrap up so people want to whether it's learn more about flipping houses learn all of your experience hear more of your stories about being a state trooper anything in between or any any other reason to reach out to you what's the best way to connect up with you uh just go check out our website at flippin f-l-i-p-p-i-n there's no g on it flipping experts and they can follow us on social media they can check out real estate we do motivational stuff we give away free training any way we can help them they can get a hold of us through any of those means and we're happy to serve them awesome well i definitely encourage everybody to take advantage of all the free resources you provide the trainings of mentorship and all the information and or just pick your brain if you want if they're wanting to get into real estate or anything else well thank you for coming thank you again for coming on the podcast it's been fun to hear your journey um and for everyone else now that uh if you have a journey to tell um if you'd like to come on the podcast feel free to go to inventivejourneyguest.com sign up to be a guest on the podcast if you're a listener make sure to click subscribe so you can hear this episode and all the new episodes and lastly if you ever need any help with the patents or trademarks feel free to reach out to us at miller ip law thanks again paul i wish you the next journey or leg of your journey even better than the last i appreciate it devin thank you for having me English (auto-generated) All Recently uploaded