Rick Melero is a devoted husband and father and he's co founder and principal of the HIS Capital Group. It's a faith based and mission driven collection of entrepreneurial real estate investment and lending entities, entities assembled to influence and feed nations. And recently he's been doing some really great work in Ukraine.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 660
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[03:02] Tom's introduction to Rick Melero [05:30] Other J O Bs before real estate [07:44] Challenges in being faith based [09:10] Giving before you get [12:30] Thinking two or years ahead even during a pandemic [18:53] Don't just focus on short term cash flow [23:27] Influence and feed nations including the U.S. [31:10] Sponsor message [33:04] A typical day for Rick
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
KickStartCart – http://www.kickstartcart.com/
Copywriting901 – https://copywriting901.com/
Disabilities Page – https://imtcva.org/disabilities/
Tom's Patreon Page – https://screwthecommute.com/patreon/
HIS Capital Group – https://hiscapitalgroup.com/
Mission 823 – https://www.mission823.com/
Email Tom: Tom@ScrewTheCommute.com
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Greg Potapenko – https://screwthecommute.com/659/
I discovered a great new headline / subject line / subheading generator that will actually analyze which headlines and subject lines are best for your market. I negotiated a deal with the developer of this revolutionary and inexpensive software. Oh, and it's good on Mac and PC. Go here: http://jvz1.com/c/41743/183906
The WordPress Ecourse. Learn how to Make World Class Websites for $20 or less. https://screwthecommute.com/wordpressecourse/
Join our Private Facebook Group! One week trial for only a buck and then $37 a month, or save a ton with one payment of $297 for a year. Click the image to see all the details and sign up or go to https://www.greatinternetmarketing.com/screwthecommute/
After you sign up, check your email for instructions on getting in the group.
Want The Transcript for this episode?
Episode 660 – Rick Melero
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey, everybody, is Tom here with episode 660 A Screw the Commute Podcast. I'm here with Rick Melero. It's kind of like Niro. And that's what we talk about here is money. And he's he's dealt with his fair share. The one figure I saw was like $500 million in properties and so forth. So he'll fill us in on that. One of the things I really loved is he worked for six months for free to learn the ropes from a successful local investor. And, you know, I've been preaching about give before you get I got that story about how I got the hotel just because I helped my landlord out when I was a kid and all of those things. So I'm a big, big proponent of give before you get. But he's got a really long reputation as a leading industry business strategist, negotiator, advisor, educator, and he's author of the book Investing with a Purpose. So we'll bring him on in a minute. Hope you to miss Episode 659. That was Greg Potapenko. His thing was from Siberia to success. He emigrated from Siberia and he's built up a multimillion dollar business. And he's also a believe. He is a Canadian veteran because we couldn't have him on in our Veterans Month, which was September. But we're going to have him on a little after that. So check that out. Anytime you want to get it back episode, you go to screwthecommute.com, slash and then the episode number. His is 659. And after you hear 660, which is today, I'm sure you're going to want to share it with a lot of people, especially with the the great tips you'll have on the joint venturing we're going to talk about, but especially what's going on in Ukraine and how Rick has been helping out over there.
[00:02:11] All right. So make sure you pick up a copy of our automation book. I tell all our guests and and all of you listeners, you're crazy if you and your employees aren't using what's in this book. I mean, just one of the tips in the book we estimated has saved me 8 million keystrokes. You're just one of the tips and this is this is not like a three page checklist. This is like a 60 page book of how I automate myself and run this multimillion dollar business without pulling my hair out. I want you spending time with customers and prospects and developing products and services, not fighting with your computer. So check that out. Download your copy at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. While you're at it, pick up a copy of our podcast app. It's screwthecommute.com/app. You can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road.
[00:03:03] All right. Let's get to the main event. Rick Melero is a devoted husband and father and he's co founder and principal of the HIS Capital Group. It's a faith based and mission driven collection of entrepreneurial real estate investment and lending entities, entities assembled to influence and feed nations. And recently he's been doing some really great work in Ukraine. So, Rick, are you ready to screw? The commute?
[00:03:36] Yeah, you know. So how are you doing, man? Nice to meet you.
[00:03:41] It is a pleasure to meet you, Tom. Thank you so much for having me.
[00:03:44] Oh, it's my pleasure. Yeah. We always love to talk to people that are doing great things in the world. And you certainly are. And then that's what we want to talk about today. But. But it didn't always start out so easy for you, huh?
[00:03:58] No, no, no, it did not. Definitely have a little backstory.
[00:04:01] You weren't the silver spoon kid, right?
[00:04:04] No, absolutely not.
[00:04:07] So tell us tell us about your how you came up.
[00:04:11] Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, honestly, over the years, I was born in an island, Puerto Rico, with my family. Everything was great. We moved to Tampa Bay, Florida, which is actually where I started transitioning. And I wish I could just blame my parents, my mom, for everything. But let's be honest, you know, young teenage guy with a lot of ambition. I was a little tough to deal with. And so at the age of 17, the family made a very hard choice, which was to kick me out of the house. Yikes. And so, yeah, it was you know, since then we've had a great restoration, my mother and I. But let's just say those were pretty tough years. That really just was a big smack of reality for me. And so I had to get my own apartment and had to really start kind of developing myself at a very young age and struggle through a lot in order to get to the place where I could ultimately find my purpose. Right? And so, yeah, definitely was a tough, tough times. I could have complained about it. I could have cried about it. I could've been a victim, but instead I made a decision that if it was, it was going to be it was up to me. And so I really just started making some very strategic moves and really finding a career at first that started at least paying my bills so that I could really start focusing on who Rick was and what I wanted to accomplish. And so, yeah, it was several years of struggle before I found the real estate investment industry as my main focus.
[00:05:30] So you did have some and we it's hard for us to say it on this podcast since I've never had it the dreaded job in my whole life. So. So I'd say we kind of throw up in our mouth when we mention that term, but but it's kind of a thing that we do need to talk about. So. So you had some jobs and before you became this big real estate guy, right?
[00:05:52] Oh, absolutely. Like what? Well, I mean, one of the first jobs that I ever got on the phone was actually in a collection agency. And needless to say, it was a very tough job because I didn't have any experience, but I needed to pay the bills. And so I got a chance of learning how to collect and how to resolve issues with people that didn't want to pay those bills. They didn't feel like they owed those bills. Funny enough, during that time I learned how to type without looking, so I really developed some skills in this job. But more than anything, what I learned in that, even in that little what seemed to be insignificant job was that if you were a good steward of your time and of your talents, you could ultimately get elevated. And what I learned is that even though this job was for most people, insignificant, really wasn't making a lot of money. I got really good at it. And what was really interesting is because I performed and I treated it like it was my business. Within a year and a half of being there, I was actually introduced through the main manager with the gentleman that was running the Spanish line of business for Capital One, and they ultimately offered me a job paying me double what I was making at the time, pay me compensation for four bonuses.
[00:07:00] And so I learned very quickly, even though it was very tiny move, I learned even during those times that even when you work for somebody else, if you were treated like your business and you are a good steward of those times and resources, is that it will always open up more opportunities. And so that's really where I transitioned to Capital One, and it was there that I continued to develop. And I got this love when I realized that they were the bank and they were making all this money, I remember telling myself one day I'm going to own a bank, and little did I know that I'd be speaking that prophetically into my life. And now we own it. We're private lending company, so we are lenders and we lend money to other people. So.
[00:07:37] Well, you should have named it. You should have named it Rick's bank. That's a good name for it. But that wasn't it. Now, I know you're very faith based. I'm not sure when you really took to that, but wasn't it kind of hard because weren't some of the people that you're going after in the collection agency really down on their luck, not just trying to hide from you?
[00:07:59] You know, that's a great comment. You know, I at that moment, I didn't really have a relationship with God, if you will. It was still pretty much I'm not going to lie. I was pretty skeptical for a very long time. I had to have a real what I call, quote unquote, God experience to really kind of humble me. But during that time, while I was there, I think that was the beginning, the underpinnings, if you will, of learning how to truly negotiate. And the reason why I say that is because here I am talking to somebody, like you said, who was down on their luck. Some people, of course, they knew what they were dealing with and they were just trying to find a way not to pay. But there were people that were struggling with real life circumstances. And so there's a balance when you're negotiating with somebody so that you can try to create a win win win that allows them the ability to pay their bill, but also win that make sure that they're able to still be able to survive and take care of their current obligations. And so it was a lot of there was definitely a lot of gray areas and a lot of moments where I learned failing forward, if you will, during a lot of those different interviews with people that needed help. And so a lot of discernment also of knowing who's talking out of where and who's actually telling the truth. And so that was that was definitely something that was cultivated through that struggle.
[00:09:10] Now. I remember now we talked before we started here a little bit about giving before you get and a lot of the folks listeners know my story of helping my landlord when I was in college. And then he came and offered me a no money down deal to take over a hotel when he retired. So. So tell us about your the time that you gave before you got.
[00:09:36] Yeah. You know, you know, to be honest, you know, after Capital One and that's when I had these this incredible experience, I surrender to God. I started going into the actual mission field. But here's what I learned. Number one, I learned that it is so much more fulfilling to give back and help other people without even expectations. And that was something that I got addicted to, is just the feeling of purpose, of making a difference in the lives of somebody. But I also learned while I was in ministry at that short period of time, that that type of ministry didn't allow me or for me the ability to do more. So if I was going to make a bigger impact, I had to find a different career to pay the bills. Right? And so that's really where I began my journey to real estate. I started doing some research and I realized that the wealthiest people in the world, they all boasted real estate in their net worth. It didn't matter what industry. What mattered is that all of them have real estate. That was one of the common denominators. So being a young kid with your experience, I sought out to actually go learn and one of the ways that I did is I started starting some mentorship courses, but of course I don't have any money to pay that.
[00:10:36] Some of those were 30, 40,000, and so I just couldn't afford it. And so I did the next best thing. I started looking for a job in the same direction, which was in the real estate space. And there was this gentleman that was flipping properties looking for an acquisition specialist, and he had this really cool ad. So I showed up, I gave it everything I had. And after about 45 minutes of pitching, this guy that I was the right choice. Tom here he very politely said, You know what, I like you. You are driven. You definitely have this drive within you, but you don't have experience and I don't have time to babysit. And so that was a big blow to me. And he said goodbye. And as I was walking out, I just remember thinking, just this sense of defeat. And I said, You know what? This guy may not give me a job, but I'm not leaving here without a job. So I turned back around and I said, With all due respect, Mr. Marcus, I want you to understand something.
[00:11:26] I don't take no for an answer. And I know right now I don't bring value enough to you to justify paying me. But if I intern for you for the next few months and I work for free, will you then have time to teach me? And that's really where the beginning of this relationship was. I took a night job just to pay my bills, and Monday to Friday, in fact, Saturday as well. I worked every single day in the morning till till the beginning of the morning, till the evening before I went to work. And I work for free for this guy learning the business. Within six months, I made him close to 80,000. And I learned some great things. And I got to say that I wouldn't have it any other way. There's something about adding value first where you completely learn more because you recognize you made an investment in yourself. And so I didn't take any minute for granted. I didn't take any no for granted. That season was a very amazing season of my life where I really learned what it was truly like to be an investor, because I first invested my efforts, my time into somebody else's business.
[00:12:22] Boy, I wish you could get that message to today's youth because.
[00:12:28] I'm working on my kids and they learn that.
[00:12:31] No Christian, the guy that referred you to me, has kind of renewed my will to live because. Because he's a young, young person that's really doing great things. But now I heard you on an interview, I think it was around 2019, and you were talking about thinking two or three years ahead and how to protect yourself from whether the market's up or down. But then the pandemic hit. What what happened to you in those times being big real estate, big shot and the pandemic hit? Did you prosper from it? Did you survive? What? What happened?
[00:13:14] You know, this can lead into a lot of things. I'll be happy to share. You know, and it's interesting that you said 2019, because during 2019, you're right, things were growing, things were moving along and nobody was expecting this COVID thing to take place and just wipe out the whole world in the way that it did. The reality is, and I really, really believe that one of the biggest keys to success, especially in business, but especially in real estate, is diversification. And luckily for us, we were already implementing some different strategies to diversify so that when this COVID wave hit. Instead of being afraid and pulling back like a lot of people did, and a lot of people just threw in the towel and gave up before even realizing what opportunities were there. What we were able to do is, number one, lean on the fact that we were diversified and then begin to open our eyes to look for opportunities. Because that's one thing I've learned since 2009, is that when everybody's running away from something, there's generally an opportunity. And so we began to say, What are those opportunities that we can seize today during this COVID era? That if we think long term will pay dividends and believe it or not, that led to an alliance that we built, a partnership, a joint venture, if you will, with a group that was working on a project and New Mexico on the beach and their funding partners as soon as COVID hit walked away.
[00:14:37] And so luckily, because we were in the industry, some of our colleagues introduced us. And instead of us saying, you know what, let alone the US, why consider another country? When we did the analysis of this property, we saw opportunity and we saw that we had a chance to get in. And so we took that time to do our due diligence and we ended up working on a project that right now we're building a Porsche house and our money house and a variety of projects on the beach that would not have been possible had we shrieked back like most people when COVID happened. And so there's a lot of great partnerships and alliances that we were able to build during that time. And I'm just grateful to say that we've actually grown and made more money since making those decisions than than even before COVID started.
[00:15:21] Yeah, and see, a lot of people when they hear I mean, first of all, if I get one more postcard from some numbnuts that says, Hey, Tom, talk to me about buying your property on so-and-so, you know, they just took I know they just took the real estate course for two days, then st the hotel, you know, now they're sending me a postcard. But, but when people hear real estate, all they think of is, oh, invest in real estate and become a landlord. But I think you said your secret weapon is like diversification and selling paper and doing all kinds of stuff. And that's what allowed you to survive and thrive during the pandemic. And I have one of my students. He's a he's a real estate attorney up in New York City. He said, Tom, I got to tell you, these commercial buildings are 30% occupied. You know, how are those that go by? Go? By a couple of them, Rick, because eventually come back, I think.
[00:16:21] Yeah, well, you speaking of those commercials, I'll give you a perfect example. You know, I believe this is our philosophy. We call it our 40, 40, 20. And really what it comes down to is just a mindset. And in fact, I use this with my own time management. 40% of our resources are generally allocated towards what we call short term gains. These are opportunities where we're buying distress today, but within 12 to 18 months we anticipate recovering that money with profit. The other 40% is what we call cash flow. Cash flow saves lives. Cash flow is extremely important in business. And if you're an entrepreneur getting started, learn that lesson. Cash flow will literally cover a multitude of sins, as we call it in the office here. Part of that has to do with that's why we lend money. We we own rental properties. We're even doing short term rentals again just to diversify and have various income streams. And then the last one is what we call our high risk, high reward, and that's when we see some great opportunities that may have a higher level of risk. But man, do they have a potential to quadruple our profit. And you touch on something, Tom, about those office buildings. A perfect example. During COVID, one of my clients that we lend money to saw that as an opportunity. And in Arizona he saw a building that was close to 18,000 square feet. That was a single tenant of the building that happened to go bankrupt during this event. So instead of running away from this property, he did some due diligence, he did some pre marketing strategies. Long story short, he subdivided that space. The second story now is residential, fully occupied. And then he actually broke down the square footage into multiple offices. So now they have literally summer tenants that are month to month, so are a couple of years in their contract. So he repurposed this asset that was a liability and he's turned it into this incredible income stream with various tenants in place. And that's what a lot of people do when they see opportunity.
[00:18:10] And you got to have cash to do that for sure. And that's why planning ahead when times are good and not. I mean, I think you said when most people are over leveraged.
[00:18:20] They are most people are overleveraged, you know, And you know, this gentleman, I like what I like about him. He's intuitive. He's he's resourceful. And so I do know that a pretty substantial amount of that mortgage was seller. So he was able to be pretty creative. But ultimately he figured out and picked where to put the money. Right. And I think by subdividing that space strategically, he's singing a great song now because he did it right. And so it just comes down to we've got to start with what we have, but we have to be disciplined enough to plan ahead and start carving out some of that capital that ultimately will lead us to generate passive income.
[00:18:54] All right. Now, you mentioned cash flow a minute ago as part of your 40, 40, 20 thing, but I also heard you say that you lost 12 million bucks one time, that people focus too much on short term cash flow instead of long term passive income. Go into that for us.
[00:19:11] Oh man, I would love to that. That is, believe it or not, that lesson still burns in my soul.
[00:19:15] Oh, it burns me just saying, thinking about it. Yeah. On your behalf.
[00:19:20] Yes. So one of those lessons of diversification really came from realizing just how shortsighted I was and call it pride, whatever. But especially during 2012 when things started transitioning for us, we obviously navigated a pretty horrible economic deleveraging that took place in 2009 and we learned how to invest. But ultimately, the moment we saw some quick earning opportunities, we were in these two particular areas in the near Tampa Bay and we started funding and buying properties there. I clocked it that in just less than four years we had done over 400 transactions there. I mean, buy and sell, buy and sell. Now, I'm not going to lie. We're making good money. We're going in and out of deals. And I kind of fell in love with the concept of just how much volume we were doing. Well, fast forward several years later, I ended up keeping about 30 of those properties, those properties that I had on average, all in 55,000 per door. Those properties at the time that we're now an investment of about 55,000 per door, we're an average 800 to $900 a month. And what's crazy is, after looking at it back, had I had the portfolio mindset, I could have taken at least a third of those profits that I made and just kept more properties. And after doing the math, we would have kept an additional 130 properties.
[00:20:46] Now, fast forward and this is really where Byrnes if you take a look at the properties that I still own in that neighborhood, those properties have now gone from 55,000 in 2012. I think one of the last ones that recently sold in one of our streets in not so great condition, sold for 240,000. And when you take a look at the rental income, the average income now that I have went from 809 hundred to 1500 to 1600 dollars a month. So the big lesson was, had I been thinking in the portfolio approach, I would have taken some of that profit and bought back some of these properties to hold. And today I would have had an additional 130 properties worth on average, 210,000 per house at a cost of 55,000 per house, and my cash flow would have been 1600 times 130 properties. So minus operating expenses, the cash flow on these projects would have been substantial. It could have literally been a massive gain. But I was too shortsighted to recognize the potential when I saw it. And so this is just one of those lessons that I learned looking back and recognizing what an impact that would have made on our business, on my family and my kids. And it's just something that now I challenge myself to always ask what I'm working on, a bigger project. How am I strategically positioning this investment and am I capitalizing in the best way possible? Because if I don't start asking those questions, it's very easy to go right back just to load. We've got these amazing properties worth millions. Am I going to sell them all? No. From what I've learned, we're selling two, we're keeping one, and we keep the same process going. And those are lessons of money that are lost. Then we could have really been a game changer for our family. But again, you live and learn so well. We're not let that happen again.
[00:22:28] Just think, if you had that 12 million, you could you could buy gas at the gas station. I told my girlfriend, I told my girlfriend, I'm going to take you someplace really expensive. And I took it to the gas station.
[00:22:44] I love it.
[00:22:44] That's awesome. So now you can make tons of money. And I've made tons of money. And. And there's bigger things in the world than just money, I think. So this work you're doing in Ukraine, Ukraine, I want to get into that. But before I do, this should be a little maybe a hard question for you. You know, a lot of a lot of people will say, because I think part of your mission of is it's his investments or what's or is it his.
[00:23:13] It's his capital group. But the original name was his like home investing solutions. Right. And so we obviously we evolved into commercial, so we just kept his so we never forget that it wasn't about us. It was for his glory, God. And we kept the connection for the business side.
[00:23:27] All right. So I think one of the missions of it is it says influence and feed nations, right?
[00:23:34] That is correct.
[00:23:35] So some folks here in the United States might say, look. That's a beautiful thing to do. But boy, we sure have a lot of people in the United States that need help. So how do you answer something like that? Why you would go foreign instead of the US?
[00:23:53] Yeah, well, I mean, the reality, Tom, is we actually do quite a bit here in the US too. I believe that influencing nations includes the United States of America, that we should be investing in our in our backyard too. I'm actually one of the board members of an organization that was called Feeding Children Everywhere, but they also now have a new name called US Hunger. And that particular organization is doing incredible things to generate food for the families in the US that are dealing with food insecurity. And so we invest quite a bit in that. But to the same note, one of the reasons why we go abroad is because one of the things that we all have to recognize as Americans, we have been blessed. It doesn't matter what day you can be in the worst hood in America and you are still in the top 10% of the world with the opportunities that you have in America. And there have been countries that I have been to of Uganda. I've been to all kinds of countries, parts of Brazil. And one of the things that I've learned is that there are places where the people are perishing and it's not because they don't want to work, it's because there is zero opportunity.
[00:25:00] And so because we are so blessed here, I believe that we should be good stewards of those blessings. And that's really where the book Investing With a Purpose came in, really. It's talking about how a lot of people ask for money, donate, donate, donate. And when you're moved, a lot of times we take that money, we save that, we give it to someone else. I'm to be wrong. That's great. But if you think about it long term, the biggest issue that we struggle with is now we don't have the resource because we give it away. So what we tell people is learn how to invest that money prudently and from the profit from the fruit that you generate from that money, then you can invest in making a difference in your community all over the world. And that's really what we try to do. We try to invest the capital and from those proceeds we can then build sustainable investments to help people in the US and all over the world. Ukraine, of course, be one of those projects.
[00:25:47] Now once what's somewhat confusing to a guy that sits and watches TV all day. All right, which is one of your time wasters I saw on your Instagram, but I don't watch theatrical shows, more news and stuff. But what's kind of confusing since you've been boots on the ground over there, as we see the president of Ukraine and they're having meetings in these beautiful palaces and then but we hear rockets are killing everybody everywhere. And then we have people, journalists and us Congress, people walking down the street and shaking hands with people. It's hard to to to mix those two things. How can they not be like hiding in a bunker all the time if all these missiles are hitting them? What's what's it really like over there and how can you be there handing out stuff to kids and shaking hands and they're riding their bikes? It's hard to understand.
[00:26:45] No, absolutely. You know, that's a that's a very valid and interesting point that you bring out. You know, I've been already in Ukraine doing missionary work now dealing with human trafficking for almost seven years on the board of Mission 83, which is the organization that was in Ukraine at the time where the war started. Now, when we went, of course, we mobilize resources and it was incredible how all of our clients jumped in and so many different partners. I mean, millions of dollars in resources that were going out, literally, planes full of food, clothing, medical aid, you name it. It was just incredible. So I felt that it was my responsibility to go as a board member and support the organization, be the boots on the ground, make sure that our supply chains were working. Because, I mean, like you said, I mean, there's bombings, there's people dying every single day. Like how could this possibly get to the front lines? And so when I went to Ukraine, the first stop was actually in Poland and it was through Poland. And we entered and we went to our base on the west.
[00:27:45] We call it Crow's Nest, hidden location that we have. And we were housing hundreds of people there. We evacuated. I mean, literally at this point, I think tens of thousands of people to neighboring countries. Now, when I first got there, like what you said in my mind, I thought, man, this doesn't even feel like a war. And I totally forgot that Ukraine is huge. And so on. The West, other than seeing military guards and different tank deterrents and different things like that, you really didn't see a lot of a lot of debris or anything that would really make you feel scared. It wasn't until we started putting the resources in trucks and heading towards the zone, if you will, that we started noticing more and more buildings bombed. And we recognize that in this city the Ukrainians repelled the Russians and they got out of there. But you can start seeing tanks on the sides of the roads completely blown up. And so all of a sudden you start feeling a little bit more uneasy right as you start getting there.
[00:28:44] We actually I'm thinking driving a truck down there is a good place. The target for a missile.
[00:28:51] Yeah. And I will say, you know, honestly, to the grace of God, we almost got bombed five times while I was there. One of them at the time for for quite a while there were no bombs hitting Kiev, which is where the president is. And and but if you look at some of the areas they try to take over in Kiev, they are horrendous. I mean, I saw villages with literally dead bodies still on the ground. I unfortunately saw women and children, many of the women that were just so upset and hurt and you could see it in their eyes. And I found out later that almost everyone in that village was raped. It is devastating and it's happening every single day. And so being there and seeing just what a big country it is, they're limited on resources, so they're trying to do what they can. But even when I was in Kiev, I'm all got bombed within three miles of where I was. And so even though people are trying to do what they can to support their fellow members and trying to do what they can to live normal lives, at any moment, a random bomb can hit their place.
[00:29:47] And so it is a real thing. It is really happening. Some of these people have zero resources. Winter's coming. And let's be honest, anyone who lost their entire house, unfortunately, they don't have any clothes for the winter. And so there's just a lot of needs. I mean, that could go on and on. It's just it was it was devastating. And it was also an honor to connect with these people that even though they were going through these horrendous circumstances and they felt like they were left alone, they were the most incredible hosts. I mean, they were doing whatever they could, whatever little slice of bread they had to share with me because I was a guest To them, that was very moving to me to see people that still had decency. They still had a level of respect and welcoming us as guests. Even though they had zero resources left, they were giving us of what they had left. And it was it was a very powerful experience for me. And I'm definitely planning on going back and I'm and I'm doubling down on the long term here as a company to really help provide more resources to them.
[00:30:45] Yeah, I saw in one of your videos guy, his house was just devastated and he was living in one little, I don't know, nothing, basically with a couple pieces of bread or something and and a mattress on the on the ground. I think so. So just crazy, crazy, crazy of the the inhumanity of the people that are doing this. So we've got to take a brief sponsor break. And when we come back, we'll ask Rick what a prolific guy like him does on a daily basis. Do you get up early in the morning? Do you meditate? Do you have a morning routine? Those kinds of things. So we'll be back in a minute with that. But folks, about 25 years ago or so, I kind of turned the Internet marketing guru world on its head and that people at my level were charging 50 or 100 grand up front to teach them what they knew. And I knew a lot of these people, they'd be hiding out somewhere. If you gave 50 grand, you'd never see them again. So. So I said, You know, it's too risky for small business, so I'm going to turn it on its head and just charge them an entry fee and then tie my success to their success, which is kind of the overall theme of our talk today and joint venturing with people and that Rick's been so successful with. So people really loved this because they knew I wouldn't disappear on them because for me to get my 50 grand, they'd have to to net 200 grand.
[00:32:08] And so 25 years later and 17, 1800 students later, it's still going strong. We have the most the longest running, most unique, most successful Internet and digital marketing mentor program ever. You have an immersion weekend at the Great Internet Marketing Retreat Center. That's real estate. Hey, Rick, it's real estate, and we have a TV studio here. It's all one on one. We don't do any group. So you're not lumped in with people either more advanced or less advanced from you. Just loads and loads of unique features that no one on earth will do for you because I'm a crazy fanatic. So. So I got to quit doing this 20 some years ago. And I just love seeing you. Small business people thrive, so check it out at greatinternetmarketingtraining.com. There's no high pressure here. If you want to talk to me, I'm very accessible and we'll see how we can help you in your future online.
[00:33:05] All right. Let's get back to the main event. We got Rick Melero here from his It's his capital group. There we go. And it's a faith based and mission driven bunch of real estate investment people and entrepreneurs. And and so, Rick, what's a typical day look like for you? I mean, you get up early. Do you have a morning routine? Do you what do you eat? Do you work out what's what's life like for Rick?
[00:33:29] Yeah, actually, I over the years, I've really believed that I am I'm an asset. And because I have a love for myself, I help you love. I want to make sure that I do what I can to be as productive as possible. And so I generally have what we call weekly rhythm. Ever since I implemented this about five years ago, I saw my productivity go through the roof, my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my kids.
[00:33:55] You call this a weekly rhythm?
[00:33:57] That's correct. I call it my weekly rhythm.
[00:33:59] So I don't have to dance if I do this because I don't.
[00:34:02] Have that much. No.
[00:34:03] All right.
[00:34:04] Go ahead. No, no, no. So I have a basically a life plan that I do every quarter, roughly, is when I sit back and I look at all the areas of my life that I want to thrive in. I believe success is thriving and balanced with purpose. And so I'm a big fanatic in making sure that we're thriving in every area of our lives, not just the ten and one and two and everything else. And so part of that requires that every week I have a weekly rhythm. And so basically the most important thing of that time is every week I take a break on Monday and I schedule what's important, what are the goals that I need to accomplish? Then I schedule those things into my calendar. By the middle of the week, I inspect what I expect, so that's when I take a pulse check and I see what I've accomplished. I implement. And then ultimately on Friday, I have an accountability partner that I've been working with for years and he asked all the tough questions Did I do what I said I was going to do? And what that has created for me is this cadence where I'm able to be consistent. And part of those questions are not only business, but they're also related to my productivity at home with my family. And so what that has done is force me. I get up, as you were talking about earlier, I'm usually up by 430 in the morning, I'm at the gym by five, and I really focus on making sure that my body, this temple is in good shape. I try to eat at, let's say, 6040 plant based foods. I spend a lot of I come home, take a shower and get ready, and then I spend time with God.
[00:35:27] I call it my face time. That was before face time was the thing. And then a good 45 minutes to an hour in the word of God, studying, praying. And I have a list of many people that I prayed for on a regular basis. And then I get to the office, and when I get to the office, I already know what I need to do because I've already scheduled what was important. And so I try to remain focused on the important things. And it's incredible that Weekly Pulse check does for me, though you'll be amazed how many times life gets in the way things are pushed aside because of an emergency or whatever. But on Wednesday, I realized, you know what, Friday someone's going to call me out. So generally Wednesday and Thursday I get so much done because I'm fresh and keenly aware of what I haven't done yet. And so that cadence has been huge for. Me. And one little, little bonus throw in there in my accountability calls. I generally, once a month will have a reward and or punishment. And so there's always a cause and effect. So if I perform, I get the reward I wanted, whether that's a trip or vacation or whatever. But if I don't perform, then I have to do something for my accountability partner, and that's my punishment. And so that might be wash to the car or whatever it is. We make it fun. But it's incredible how just that little tiny carrot, carrot or the stick you choose. Right? And so it's amazing to see how just those little adjustments really develop a very healthy, consistent weekly rhythm that helps you to thrive in every area of your life.
[00:36:48] Yeah, I've used at least part of that technique my whole life. As I announce something to the world that I'm going to do and then I'm too embarrassed not to do it. I guess I've got a world full of accountability partners. Yeah. So.
[00:37:02] Exactly, Exactly. Now, what works?
[00:37:05] What happens when you fly to Ukraine, the other side of the world? How what happens to your schedule when that happens?
[00:37:15] Yes. I mean, I still try to implement the weekly rhythm. Obviously, there's going to be times when you're on vacation where I will still schedule the important things. But even in Ukraine, I can do push ups. Even in Ukraine, I can do sit ups, I can still face time with my family and at least really have some some quality time with them. Let them know I love them. So I generally it's it's not so rigid that it doesn't bend with the traditional schedule. But what I've learned is because I schedule something when I schedule it, I'm in that moment and there's nothing more powerful than being in that moment and there's nothing else that matters because this time is focused on this moment right now. And it's really helped me to just get extremely focused to add value in every situation that I'm in. And so whether I'm in Ukraine or I'm on a vacation with my family now intentionally there because it's scheduled, that's equals productivity for me. So when I have face time or family time even, it helps me to shut everything off because right now everything else is a distraction. The only thing that matters is this family time that we've scheduled. And so it really helps, no matter what, to bring balance into your life.
[00:38:24] Now, without revealing anything that we shouldn't know about. When you go to Ukraine on a mission kind of like this, you sleep in a barracks or something, wouldn't a hotel be a target for rockets? I mean, how do you get by daily life and brush your teeth?
[00:38:41] Yeah, well, you know, luckily in our base when we're on the West, we have a home. We have quite a few people there. So we did share some space with people, but at least we had a bed. When we started getting more into the field, we were closer to Buka. We were in like various places, like heading towards Kharkiv in those areas, if there was no safe place to stay, sometimes you just stay at a friend's house that is a local, which we did a lot of, or sleep in the car if you need to. And so so it just it was definitely a very long trip where we like give an example as people will be there seven days I was there three weeks for security reasons. We had a security team with us that was kind of keeping an eye on everything we did. And so it was definitely an experience. We definitely got to meet with a lot of people and we stayed with local people, some of which I have never met in my life, and they were just so gracious to us. But yeah, there were several nights where my phone is going off. I look and say, Oh wow, look at this. You know, we have air raid sirens going off. Look around me. There's been a confirmed bombing. And so obviously, to say the least, that was a little edgy at times, but I'm working at home. Yeah, I was able to stay in touch pretty much for the most part, every single day. I was able to to let my wife know I was okay because what's.
[00:39:59] Your family think about this?
[00:40:01] Oh, man. You know, like.
[00:40:03] You know, jack up your insurance for you.
[00:40:09] Luckily, we have insurance and we have a great team in the office. So I was pretty confident that they can they can take care of the fort while I was gone. And, you know, it was more of an emotional thing, honestly, with the family. It took me several months to make the decision to go. I told my wife, we're going to pray about it, and when there's a peace, we'll go. And literally when the peace came, it was instant. We took action. I think the one who took it the most.
[00:40:30] She went.
[00:40:30] To none and she just stayed. But we needed to be on the same page, you know, because if the Russians didn't kill me, she would. But it was one of those things for sure where, you know, on all the people, I thought for sure my daughter, who was 11 years old, she's a little mini me. She's going to take over the business. I thought she would have a little bit more complexity, but she understood it. The one that actually was shook up the most. And we didn't know about it until like three days before was my eight year old son. He really struggled. And so it was really important for me to send him videos, consistently communicate with them when I could to kind of put them at ease and let them know, Hey, I'm doing something that's bigger than us sometimes. You have to step up and do that. But I want you to know I love you. So that communication was essential for me. And I try to do that every single day.
[00:41:18] Great, great lesson. So how do people get involved with this?
[00:41:21] You know, for those that want to learn more, obviously they can go to HISCapitalGroup.com and reach out to us directly. We'll be happy to send you some of the information that we have or you can go straight to mission823.com and that is the non-profit organization that is already established in Ukraine providing resources there. You know, from from a board members perspective, I can tell you that all the resources that we have are really going into the field. We have weekly meetings with our staff just kind of showing progress reports of the different lives that have been saved because of the support of people like those that are listening today. And so it really is making an impact, saving lives.
[00:41:58] Okay, folks. So HISCapitalGroup.com and mission823.com. So Rick, thanks so much for coming on. Great insights great family man that's doing big things in the world and and it started with rough beginnings and not everybody had the silver spoon and you're an inspiration to those those people.
[00:42:28] Thank you, Tom. I really appreciate the time. What an honor it is to be here with you.
[00:42:31] All right, folks, check out make sure you pass this episode around. This is episode 660. screwthecommute.com/660. Rick and his group of really wonderful people, entrepreneurs and real estate investors are doing great things to help out the world. And that's part of why we do what we do. So we'll catch everybody on the next episode. See you later.