RG 180 – From Quadriplegic to Financial Freedom Using Real Estate with AJ Osborne

AJ started in real estate as a broker for 15 years and then moved to investing in commercial real estate. He did this after completing his first self storage deal and realising the value of cash flow and passive income. AJ is also the host of the Cash Flow to Freedom podcast. AJ made his first dollar looking after farm horses when he was a child.

AJ started working in health insurance brokerage and actually still owns a brokerage. He was introduced to insurance by his father who sold insurance and had his own firm. AJ joined and and sold insurance and really enjoyed the income control – you make money or you don’t eat. After working for a while he realised that this wasn’t the American dream – he still had to work for an income and so when he ran out of time for commissions he had to run faster on the treadmill. He learned that he was rich but not wealthy; wealthy means you don’t have to work for that money, so he had to redefine his goals and learn what he was good at. He decided to go into self storage because it’s not a true real estate asset, it’s more of a retail business where you buy and sell products. He bought underperforming self storage businesses from others and turned them around, he also built up a management company to get the most from these assets. This business was a cookie-cutter style so that he could replicate it everywhere. For a while he was making no money and pouring the profit back into buying assets whilst also running the health brokerage firm.

This all came crashing down when he was right at the top of his game, he woke up one morning paralysed and had to be put into an induced coma on life support. He lost the ability to earn income and couldn’t operate the new large brokerage firm. After a few months he was still paralysed but when home in a wheelchair. 2 years later he can walk with leg braces but is still paralysed. While he was paralysed he could still underwrite deals and go and find them online so this changed how he worked.

The illness paralysed him from top to bottom so he had a breathing tube and was in a lot of pain, so much pain that he couldn’t sleep. His eyes were paralysed for a while so people had to get close before he could see them, his wife would put his new 3 month old baby next to his head. When he started to recover the small things were huge, for example the first time he could drink water.

Top tips

  • Most important habit -Having goals
  • Most influential person – His dad
  • Host important tool- Trainwall app
  • cashflow2freedom.com

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