11 years ago, HGTV was showing episode after episode of regular, everyday people making a lot of money through real estate investmenting. I was hooked. At 22, I bought my first student rental property with the help of my dad - he was my first Joint Venture partner and the person that led me to my career path. Since then, I’ve invested and been involved in millions of dollars of deals including house flips, income properties, rent-to-owns, mortgage lending, and more. I have also become a go-to media source and provided my expertise to major media outlets including Sirius XM Radio and Huffington Post. After nearly a decade of experience, I launched Mitch Parker Group which is designed to help people build and sustain long-term wealth through real estate. Realizing that certain investors would rather have investments that don’t require any work, I founded North72 Real Capital; a mortgage investment firm that focuses on boosting investment returns while decreasing volatility and portfolio risk. This makes long-term financial planning a much easier process and enables our clients to spend more time enjoying life and less worrying about their finances.
My mission was always to bridge the gap between real estate and financial planning and help more people retire financially independent. This continues to be the driving factor behind my work to this day.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business?
My dad was always an entrepreneur so I think it came naturally to me. I joke around that I grew up in an office and was put to work from a young age sending faxes and sorting files. A few years back, my mom started her own business which is super successful so it definitely runs in the family.
How did the idea for your business come about?
After graduation, I quickly realized how few people actually knew what to do with their money. They just trusted banks or advisors without doing proper research or educating themselves. I saw a need for good advice that was transparent, honest, and easy to understand with no pressure attached to it. I’m extremely confident real estate is the best way to build long-term financial independence and as I did more deals, people would ask me questions and it naturally built up from there. Today, we help buyers and sellers acquire and dispose of properties as well as assist clients place capital into more passive investments such as fully managed private mortgages.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Getting started, I realized that I had no boss, nobody to be accountable to, and a crazy amount of freedom. While these are things I love about entrepreneurship, it takes serious discipline to be successful. Finding a schedule and method to work which ensures I’m as effective as possible is key. It’s something I constantly tweak and tune to this day.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I was lucky to always have amazing support from my family with whatever I chose to do but I totally understand that’s not always the case. For someone in a different position, I would say pitch your parents or friends the same way you would a client. Show them you’re passionate about your idea and have a game plan that maps out your success.
If they don’t agree or approve of what you’re doing, you have a tough choice to make. The good news is that you’re an adult and have the power to make it. Being able to make these tough decisions is part of the foundation to becoming successful.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Being passionate about what I do. I love being able to help people secure their financial futures. If you don’t love what you do, find a way to change it. If you start a business that you’re not 100% in love with, you’re much more likely to give up when things get hard.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Have fun and don’t take life too serious. Shit is going to happen and it’s never as bad as the scenario you create in your own mind.
Secondly, clients care more about solving their own problems then they do about you - it’s not personal. Pitch your product or service as a way to solve these problems and I guarantee it will resonate much more. I hear pitches where people go on and on about how successful they are but they never offer a solution to what I’m looking to solve.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
My advice is typically the same no matter where or how old you are when you start your company.
Find at least one good mentor. A few are even better but quality is key. They will be able to answer a lot of your questions and move you along your path much faster.
Become amazing at one thing and brand yourself as the go-to expert in that niche. It’s way better (and less stressful) to be amazing at one thing than half-decent at ten.
Whatever happens is your fault. If things are massively successful, it’s because of you. If things blow up and you end up back to square one, it’s still on you. Knowing that you have the control is very powerful.
Everything will take longer, cost more money, and be harder than you think. Learn to enjoy the struggle and look at problems as challenges. Entrepreneurship is a tough road and designed to create winners out of those that fight and endure through the hard times.
Love what you do.