RG 298 – The 5 Principles of Success with Steven Pesavento

RG 298 - The 5 Principles of Success

Today, I’m very happy to welcome a good friend of mine to the show—and a fellow investing podcaster, at that. Joining us on this week’s episode is Steven Pesavento of VonFinch Capital and the Investor Mindset Podcast!

If you listen to Steven’s podcast, you’ll know that he’s passionate about helping other people achieve success through changing the mindset. The Investor Mindset Podcast is one of the most successful in the real estate investing niche. But that’s not the only successful thing Steven has built from the ground up. He is also the President of VonFinch Capital, a private real estate investment firm that makes it easy for investors to make passive income. On top of that, Steven is also an active real estate investor, marketing expert, and Youtuber!

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Today, we have the privilege of hearing Steven’s five principles of success; principles that he learned from speaking with hundreds of highly successful people over the course of his career. We talk about focus, intention, mindset, investing in assets (apart from real estate), partnering, and so much more—all kept simple and straight to the point.

We don’t want to spoil the 5 principles of success here, so click that ‘Play’ button now and learn about all the things you need to know to start leading a successful life today!

Key Takeaways

  • Highly successful people know what they’re good at and they understand how to bring the right skill sets together.

  • By changing your thoughts and beliefs (mindset), you can change the outcome of the actions you take.

  • When you apply these 5 success principles, you can start thinking and acting like highly successful people.

  • Every challenge presents an opportunity.
  • As an investor, it’s important to know what you want and why you want it.
  • Hiring the right people and following the right mentors will lead you down the right path.


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Podcast Transcript

Reed Goossens (00:00):

Good day good day guys. Now, before we dive into today’s show, I want to let you know that some of you may be aware that over the past eight years, I have built a substantial multi-family real estate portfolio here in the US worth over half a billion dollars. And in that time, my passive investors have received fantastic double digit returns. And now you too can invest directly into my deals for as little as $50,000. So if you’re an interested investor, head over to Reedgoossens.com to find out more that’s Reedgoossens.com. Now back into the show,

Steven Pesavento (00:39):

The most successful people are highly focused on one specific thing. They have a very good understanding of what they are individually the best at, and they understand how to bring the right different skill sets together. So what you’re not gonna find extremely successful people do when they’re at the beginning of their career is they’re not gonna be going in 12 or 14 different directions. Now you might say Steven, I’ve definitely seen a lot of successful people. They talk about diversified, you know, having diversification, having multiple streams of income, they might be running multiple businesses, but they didn’t start running multiple businesses. They started succeeding in one business until they ended up having that type of momentum that could actually drive them forward. And then they were able to, once they hit a level of success, hire the right people afford to be able to attract the right people to then go in multiple directions.

Speaker 3 (01:40):

Welcome to investing in the US, a podcast for real estate investors, business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the US market, join Reed as he interviews go-geters risk takers and the best in the business about their journey towards financial freedom and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing.

Reed Goossens (02:00):

Good day good day ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another tracking edition of investing in the US podcast from Los Angeles. I’m your host Reed goossens good as always Abby with us on the show. Now I’m glad that you’ve all tuned to learn from my incredible guests and each and every one of them are the cream are the crop here in the United States. When it comes to real estate, investing, business, investing and entrepreneurship, each show, I try and tease out their incredible stories of how they have successfully created their businesses here in the US, how they’ve created financial freedom, massive amounts of cash, and ultimately created extraordinary lives for themselves and their families. Life by design. As I like to say, hopefully these guests will inspire all of my cracking listeners, which are you guys to get off the couch and go and take massive amounts of action.

Reed Goossens (02:47):

If these guys can do it. So can you now, as you know, I’m all about sharing the knowledge with my loyal listeners, which is you guys, and there’s absolutely no BS on this show, just straight into the nuts and bolts. Now, if you do like to show the easiest way to give back is to give us a review on iTunes and you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter by searching at Reed goossens. You can find the show wherever you podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google play, but you can also find these episodes up on my YouTube channel. So head over to Reedgoossens.com, click on the video link, and it’ll take you to the video, your recordings of these podcasts, where you can see my ugly mug, but the beautiful faces of my guests each and every week. All right, enough outta me, let’s get cracking and into today’s show.

Reed Goossens (03:33):

All right. And welcome to investing in the US. My name is Reed goossens, and we’re coming to you live from I, I, I REC 2022, the intelligent real estate intelligent investor real estate conference here in Redondo beach, California. And with me, I’ve got a good friend of mine, Steven Pesavento and he’s coming to you. We’re coming to you live. Obviously you’re gonna hear this been pre-recorded, but here’s the thing. He’s not actually never been on this podcast. He and I have been friends for multiple years now, and I’m really pumped at having this is

Steven Pesavento (03:59):

The first time I’ve been on your show. It’s crazy

Reed Goossens (04:01):

First time and I, I wanna welcome him. So Steven good day mate, welcome to the show. How you doing,

Steven Pesavento (04:05):

Dude? I’m doing great, man. I’m exciting. I’m in person. I,

Reed Goossens (04:09):

With that being said, because I can’t refer anyone back to a previous episode, give us a spiel. Who are you? What do you do where you come from? Yeah. How to get a good looking hair?

Steven Pesavento (04:18):

My name’s Stevens Pesavento. Uh, I have a great show called the investor mindset podcast and I run a real estate, private equity firm called VonFinch Capital, where we go and find really great deals, uh, and raise all the capital with phenomenal LP partners. Been in the business since 2016, flipped over 200 houses have raised tens of millions of dollar of equity and have, you know, turned that over and over again, successfully big into personal development. Excited to be actually talking today with you about the five success principles lessons that I have actually learned from studying, uh, hundreds and hundreds of successful investors and entrepreneurs and pulled them all down into very simple format for us to be able to consume

Reed Goossens (05:03):

Five of them.

Steven Pesavento (05:04):


Reed Goossens (05:05):

Five. Well, we’re gonna get into that, but before we do, I wanna ask you, and I ask you some of all my guests, how’d you one o’clock. And tell me how you made your first ever dollar as a kid.

Steven Pesavento (05:14):

The first ever dollar that I made as a kid, I, I can remember. I started working when I was really young, probably 10 years old. Uh, one of my stepdads had a framing company and I get $3 an hour to go out in stack wood and to pull nails out of, uh, braces and, and really just do grunt work, run around, clean things up. And it was great because I felt like I was rich. I had some money and, you know, money wasn’t really prevalent as a kid. It was one of the big kind of pain points, but being able to have that and feel like I had some ownership, some control was really big.

Reed Goossens (05:49):

It’s it is really important to, to have a good grounding and here where people come from when their relationship with money, because I think it’s so important to how you go and build successful, be success as an entrepreneur. Right? Yeah. So, so with that, let’s talk about the successful principles because as was a good segue into your principles that you’ve developed through, remind me that and remind the listeners that you have interviewed, how many people to get to these five, you know, the five commonalities that you see and

Steven Pesavento (06:11):

The people I’ve studied hundreds and hundreds of very successful investors, entrepreneurs, thought leaders I’ve, you know, done almost 300 podcast episodes on the investor mindset show. And you know, it’s been, it’s been phenomenal. And through that process, what I’ve realized is that there’s a few of these principles that are common, that you see these things over and over again, uh, whenever you talk to successful people, and that’s what really kind of you back to this idea of, if we can identify what those success principles are, if we can identify how successful people think, then we can actually start applying those within our own life. Okay. And of course I run the investor mindset podcast, and sometimes people hear the word mindset, but they’re unclear about what that definition is. And so the definition, uh, of mindset is, uh, your thoughts and beliefs directly lead to the actions you take and therefore the outcomes you experience. And what’s amazing about that is by changing those outcomes or by changing those thoughts and beliefs, you can actually start to change the outcome of what actions you take and therefore what is actually showing up within the world. So by understanding these five, six as principles at the core is applying any one individual principle is gonna change your life. But when you can start applying all of these, you can start thinking and acting like some of the most successful people, and you’ll start experiencing some of those same results as well.

Reed Goossens (07:31):

So let’s get into it. What’s the first one, because you are right. Mindset is super important to everything, you know, changing the way you frame something is real, really, really important. So what’s the first principle,

Steven Pesavento (07:41):

Well, framing that’s exactly it. So the most successful people, they see challenges as opportunities. And what does that mean? Well, that means that in life there’s things that are going to knock you down. There’s things that are gonna be unexpected. There’s relationships that aren’t gonna work partnerships, there’s gonna be businesses and things that are not always gonna the way that you want them to go. But the most successful people, they see those challenges as opportunities. And so what does that mean? Well, they look for profit in the problems because they recognize that when there’s a problem that equals profit. Yep. And so how does that end up coming true in the world? Well, perfect examples when you’re buying a large multifamily property, like we do, we look at those and we say to ourselves, well, you know, there’s an opportunity to raise rents or there’s an opportunity to improve this building, or there’s an opportunity to reduce expenses or do a better job of managing any of these things or reasons that many people would say, I’m not interested. I don’t want a house. That’s not all fixed up. I want to everything to be done for me, but we go in and we recognize the same thing. Some of the most successful people have realized that when you see those kind of problems, you then want to assess, well, how can I actually make this an opportunity for me? And for those that I’m involved with to be able to grow and succeed,

Reed Goossens (08:54):

Right? Talk to the next one. What, what’s the next success principle?

Steven Pesavento (08:58):

Well, I, I there’s, I mean, there’s so much to understanding this idea of challenges being actually opportunities. But when we go into the next success principle is that the most successful people are highly focused on one specific thing. They have a very good understanding of what they are individually the best at, and they understand how to bring the right different skill sets together. So what you’re not gonna find extremely successful people do when they’re at the beginning of their career is they’re not gonna be going in 12 or 14 different directions. Now you might say, Steven, I’ve definitely seen a lot of successful people. They talk about diversified, you know, having diversification, having multiple streams of income, they might be running multiple businesses, but they didn’t start running multiple businesses. They started succeeding in one business until they ended up having that type of momentum that could actually drive them forward. And then they were able to, once they hit a level of six success, hire the right people afford to be able to attract the right people to then go in multiple directions. That’s so you’ve

Reed Goossens (10:02):

Seen this. I, I I’ve seen it, but it’s also very interesting because as an entrepreneur, you get so scatterbrained you, like, I remember starting out and learning about real estate and learning about, you know, whole sailing and fixing and flipping and buying for cash flow and you know, all commercial real estate. And, and, and you just don’t know where to start. And so how do you, what are some of the principles that I can take on or the, the listeners can take on to do something and be focused today because we’re inherently gonna wanna learn everything and do everything and throw spaghetti against the wall to try and see what, what it sticks.

Steven Pesavento (10:33):

Well, there’s nothing wrong with going into it from this kind of, uh, big beginner’s mindset. Yep. Wanting to learn lots of things, but going in with intention, right? If you have a hypothesis of what you believe is going to happen or what you believe is gonna be good for you, you want to go in, you actually want to experiment. So, you know, try before you buy. Maybe you’re gonna go learn a little bit about this. You’re gonna learn a little bit about that. But once you commit that you’re gonna go down a path, you, it wholeheartedly down that path until you find success, you continue to iterate and maybe change along the way. But one of the biggest mistakes that’ll see people make, especially in the real estate space is you’ll go to a meetup. You’ll go to an event where at a conference right now.

Steven Pesavento (11:11):

And what I can always tell when someone is brand new or when somebody is, uh, probably not on a path towards test currently is when they tell me I’m gonna flip houses and I’m gonna wholesale, and I’m also gonna do storage. And I’m thinking about doing multifamily, and I wanna do this. I want to do that. Well, it’s, it’s great to be excited about many different things, but frankly, the biggest mistake you can make is to try to focus in all those directions at once. Instead, if you focus in, you go down path until you hit success, and then you get the resources necessary to be able to diversify and go do multiple different

Reed Goossens (11:44):

Things. And I can personally say that I’m at that stage now where I can go and hire the right people. But in the beginning, you know, and we can probably going off a little bit of a tangent, but you, you, you want to attract other people who, so you can be focused in your area, but you don’t want, but you have other areas of business that need attention, like capital raising, right? You may not. You’re really good at it. I may be really good at operations, but you’re not maybe good at operations. So you need to build the business. You need a little bit of yin and yang. So yeah. How does that lead into the third principle that we’ve wanna talk about it?

Steven Pesavento (12:13):

Well, this is it’s perfect. Perfectly set up. I, I feel like you don’t even know what I’m going to say, but it’s right in alignment. And really what it’s it comes down to is one of the biggest mistakes that both passive investors and active operators make, and they’re unclear on what they want and why they want it. And so we’ve got a eight little document that walks you through this entire process. And so I wanna be able to share that with the audience. And if you guys wanna grab a copy of that, you can grab these full five success principles of the investor mindset@investormindset.com slash success. I’m sure you’ll include that in the show notes for everybody. But one of the things that you wanna think about is you want to ask yourself this, what do I want and why do I want it? What do I want and why do I want it?

Steven Pesavento (12:58):

And most people think you hear the, the phraseology or the idea of let’s start with why great to know what your purpose is. I definitely believe it. I think it’s a huge motivating factor, but it’s even more important to know what you want. And you use why to clarify that. What, so when we get it clear on this question, when we ask ourselves, what do you want? And let’s talk about past investing as an example. If the answer is I want to create more flex flexibility, I want to create, uh, more freedom. I want to have more fun. I want to be able to have a hundred percent control over every decision that have happens in that investment. Why do I want that? I want to feel secure. Well, one of those specific whats that you want does not align with passive investing. You do not have complete control over everything that happens with that asset.

Steven Pesavento (13:48):

So if that was truly important to you, then you’d actually need to step back and decide. Maybe I need to go the active route, however, or by getting clear on this, you can come into it with eyes wide open about what is the right fit and what isn’t. And a lot of people make the mistake because they’re unclear about what they want. And then they start looking at a lot of investments and they get excited. They maybe pull the trigger on something that isn’t truly an alignment. And I personally did this in my business. I started flipping houses. I, you bought over 200 houses. We built a very large house flipping portfolio, but at the end of the day, my what and why I was doing it was to prove that I could be a real estate operator that I could make money today to be able to invest tomorrow for passive income. And through that process, I ended up building a business that was no longer in alignment it with what I actually was going for, which is why we ended up shifting our direction, building a business around our ideal client. And it’s only through that process of understanding what you want and why you want it. And the more often that you do it, if you do this every day, you’re gonna continue to readjust to be on the right path towards where you actually want to end up.

Reed Goossens (14:58):

For those of you who are interested in staying up to date with all the latest happenings in my business, or to learn more about passively investing directly into my multifamily value, add deals, then head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter by signing up, you’ll automatically be notified about my new up and coming investment opportunities. You’ll be able to stay up to date with all the latest real estate news here in the United States, and much, much more. So head over to Reedgoossens.com and sign up to date now, back into the show.

Reed Goossens (15:32):

And I think going back to one of your earlier comments about focusing being hyper focused, it’s okay to be hyperfocused. Listen, it’s really important to be hyperfocused, but it’s okay to pivot in the future. Absolutely. And it’s okay as entrepreneurs. I, I, I remember hearing this, uh, one of the guys who had on the show, Dan Priestley, he talks a lot about writing the wave, right? Yeah. And when youre, when you’re an entrepreneur, you need to be able to be nimble enough that things will happen in the business that you need to pivot. And you, you and I both personally experienced business challenges that, that you’ve gone from fixing and flipping into something that you wanted to prove to yourself that you could operate, but it wasn’t in alignment. And it probably caused you a lot of angst and, you know, anxiety and sleepless nights, but you got clear and then you now have pivoted into your new venture. So with that being said, what’s number four, because I know we’ve got, we’re trying to get down the list here. We’ve only got 20 minutes. So we’ve got, we’ve gone through one to three, but what’s the fourth principle that people talk about or what you’ve developed and you’ve seen, or you’ve observed through all the different research you’ve done over the years.

Steven Pesavento (16:29):

Well, it it’s really key, right? They, they invest in assets. They invest in developing assets. They invest in cash along assets. They invest in assets that are gonna protect their wealth. And so when you go through this process of actually investing in assets, an asset is something that is actually going to create value for you, or is going to retain value. And so when you go through the process of investing in assets, that be, you know, a piece of cash flowing real estate, but another asset, a lot of people fail to recognize is the asset of your brand, right? You and I have both done a very good job. We’re sitting in front of a sign that says the Reed goons brand. We’ve got the investing in the US. I have the investor mindset podcast. I have VonFinch Capital. I have the Steven Pesavento brand in each of these all are individual assets that allow me to be able to build relationships at scale, be able to build trust and both attract people to work with me as well as to be able to create income. And so a podcast is a great asset. I mean, there’s a lot of different ways that some of the most successful people invest in creating assets, but at the core they are not, uh, just going out and spending money. They’re asking themselves, well, how can I invest this money to then deliver a future return or future value in some type of way, shape or

Reed Goossens (17:44):

Form. And I wanna just clarify that there’s, you were talking about digital assets and personal branding cause we are both operators. Um, but as a passive investor, you also gotta understand where you wanna put your money to work in an asset, meaning physical asset. Uh, if you are more inclined to go down the path of being an operator and building a brand and raising capital and doing all the rest of it, digital assets are fantastic. And we can do a whole podcast on that, which I’m sure you would, you and I both love to talk about, but that is, it is important to talk about these principles and what people are investing in and investing in assets for the long term is super important. Just understand that takeaway from principle number four is that there are other assets out there besides a piece of real estate. You know, we happen to both use the business, uh, of real estate investing as our foundation, but we have other assets out there to support our core nucleus, which is to grow a portfolio.

Steven Pesavento (18:31):

So, and, and I would just say with that, one of the big reasons why I personally invest in real estate and run VonFinch Capital is so that we can create a very large diversified portfolio for ourselves and allow others to invest alongside us. Sure. Right? So by being able to build some of the assets that I just shared, uh, that I talked about, but you think about a great example, like Richard Branson, Virgin, his name individually Richard Branson, just by having that name attached to a company is an asset that directly allows him to be able to raise, raise money, raise money, to be able to reach a lot more people. And so these are some of the reasons why you’re gonna choose some of the different partners that you’re gonna work with is because of those assets that they bring to the table and the trust that ends up coming along with them.

Reed Goossens (19:21):


Steven Pesavento (19:21):

And so that leads us into the fifth and final, which is maybe

Reed Goossens (19:25):

To it, you, you would know this guys on podcast, right? Which,

Steven Pesavento (19:29):

Which is the importance of partnering with experts and hiring great mentors, coaches and advisors, people that really support them in their business. So one of the big things to differentiate is what’s the difference between a mentor versus a coach, a mentor, somebody who has already been down that path, it’s the same path that you, your if want to go down and what you’re gonna do is essentially learn from them, word for word, and follow in their footsteps. They’re gonna light the path so they don’t have any trip up. You don’t end up stepping in any potholes or falling down along the way they have already done what you want to do. And you are going to go down that path and do it a coach. On the other hand, doesn’t necess, Sara have had to have done what you want to do. However, what they’re the best at is helping you and others get the most out of yourself so that you can go to that next level.

Steven Pesavento (20:22):

Now what’s a great example of that, right? Uh, one of the, the greatest examples is Michael Jordan at any given time during his, his career, he had over seven different co coaches from health to nutrition. And then of course we know about the head coach, Phil, but Phil was not the best player on the, on the court, but he was the best at helping those individual players get the most outta them and then work together. And so that’s really important because a lot of people end up messing this up. They really need a coach when they’re going after a mentor, or sometimes what they really need is the strategy of following in those footsteps. But then they go hire a coach that is really gonna try to pull the most out of them. So they really work well together. And then finally, that last piece is all about the idea of partnering with X experts.

Steven Pesavento (21:07):

So this idea that you’re gonna go out and find people who you’re gonna align your interests with. And when you’re talking about investing, this is really important. This is what we do at VonFinch. I know this is what you do reed as well, but you can do this throughout pretty much every area of your life. You try to find other people who have similar values, similar vision, and in that, by working together, whether it’s in a written partnership, whether it’s a relationship with your spouse, whether it’s other families that are in your neighborhood or other businesses like we’re discussing here, you find ways to have alignment of interest, which means at the end of the day, you guys are both driving towards the same thing that when they win you win. And this is one of the beautiful things that I love about real estate is it actually really allows for that alignment. And it’s one of the reasons why I’ve built my entire business around real estate, because it really attracts people who are interested in personal growth, creating a better life. And then of course, going out and trying to do that together with other great people.

Reed Goossens (22:07):

I love what these, this particular topic. And just to reiterate what Steven just said, the difference between a mentor and a coach. I remember starting out hiring a mentor because I wanted to be this other person right today in my business. I have mentors. I, you know, you’re a mentor of mine, you know, I don’t pay you money, but I have a coach who I pay. Yeah. Uh, who now she’s not in the real estate space, but she helps me be the best I can be and get the most of who I am as a person and my highest and best use. Um, so understanding the difference between mentor and coach and where you are in your investing career is really, really important. And maybe when you’re starting out, um, having a mentor is better than having a coach because you want to be in, you know, surround yourself with the people who you aspire to be.

Reed Goossens (22:46):

And then the, you know, the partner with experts once you’ve got going, once you’ve got running and you’re up and you’re up there and you you’re starting do a few deals starting to look at who do you wanna align with to partner on deals? Because this business is supposed to be fun, right? We we’re trying to, we we’re in real estate for a reason to make money for ourselves. We, our families for our investors. But also we wanna partner with people because that helps us grow and scale quickly. So with that being said, I’ve been writing down ton of notes here. Could you take us back through the five, the five principles again, and where we can go to find that exact formula on your website.

Steven Pesavento (23:16):

So you guys are gonna grab these five success principles of some of the most successful investors. You can find that@investormindset.com slash success, investor mindset.com/success, and those five success levels, of course, are they view challenges as opportunities. They are ultra focused on one specific niche until successful. They understand what they want and why they want it. They invest in assets over liabilities. And of course they have a great, uh, support staff of mentors, coaches, and they partner with experts. So those are the five success principles. Again, you can find those@investormindset.com slash success. And, uh, if you end up liking what we’re talking about, I encourage you to shoot me a DM @Steven.Pesavento on Instagram. Lot of content coming out every single day, right over there. It’d be great to interact with you, be able to support you on your journey.

Reed Goossens (24:09):

Well, this guy is an absolute fricking legend love having for the first time on the show. It’s not gonna be the last time we’re gonna have you on the show, but again, I wanna thank you all for taking the day at taking the time, outta your day to tune in, to continue growing your financial IQ. What’s what we do every week here at investing in the US. You can follow me again on, on, at Instagram as well on Reed Goossens. Or you can go to Sen’s dot com. It’ll be all the show notes from summer of today. Show notes up there. Remember to head to investing mindset.com/success, to get your copy of Steven’s incredible five success principles, and we’re gonna do it all again. Next week’s remember, be bold, be brave, and go give life a crack.