David Meltzer | Building a $120 Million Portfolio, Losing it All and Earning It Back Again

Show Notes

David Meltzer explains how asking people, “Do you know anyone who can help me?”Can change your life The CEO of Sports 1 Marketing, a company he co-founded with Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon, which leverages over $20 billion in relationship capital to market some of the biggest sporting events in the world like the Superbowl, The Masters, Football’s Hall of Fame and many more share how to become successful and how to stay successful.


  1. Yes, Yes and Yes!!!… Thrive Nation on today’s show we have the incredible opportunity to interview David Meltzer, the CEO of Sports 1 Marketing, a company he co-founded with Hall of Fame Quarterback Warren Moon, which leverages over $20 billion in relationship capital to market some of the biggest sporting events in the world like the Superbowl, The Masters, Football’s Hall of Fame and many more. You may have seen him on Gary Vee’s, Tom Bilyeu’s or Ed Mylet’s podcasts…David Meltzer, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show…how are you sir!!!!?
  2. David, I understand that you became a millionaire just 9 months out of law school and then by the age of 32 you had acquired a net worth of more than $100 million…How did you do it sir…I would love to hear your story?
    1. I beat people with math. I took a job solely for the money
    2. I would work 2 times as many productive hours per day
    3. I was twice as efficiently
    4. I was twice as successful
    5. I knew I wasn’t as good as everyone so I just went on more appointments
    6. I worked 7 days per week 
    7. I worked 56 days per week. I worked 10 years in 9 months.
    8. I had salary, commission, and expense account.
    9. I built a portfolio of worth 120 million
    10. I own many different properties and even a ski mountain
    11. I had over 100,000,000 but I did lose it all
  3. David, my understanding is that you soon lost everything had to build yourself up again…how did you lose it all and how did you come back from the loss? 
    1. I lost it all from ego
    2. I didn’t ask anyone for help. I now teach how to not surround yourself with ego.
    3. I thought I could always borrow with the equity I had and didn’t see that that could go wrong in 2008. I was not liquid and I could not make payments.
    4. You can own a property and owe the bank very little
    5. Most times you can borrow against your equity. When the crash happened, the banks realized that they were going bankrupt and wanted to hold liquid assets. 
    6. It was an evolution not a revolution when I came back
    7. I was CEO of Lee Steignberg
    8. The hard part wasn’t loosing the money, the hard part was being an example for young athletes and their finances.
    9. When Lee, 10 years ago, we spun off with Sports 1 Marketing.
    10. We’ve worked with:
      1. Bruce Smith
      2. Warren Moon
      3. Avander Holyfield
      4. Troy Aikmen
      5. Etc…
    11. Warren and I buy and build big stadiums. I have a top entrepreneur podcast called “Playbook”
    12. I have an executive coaching program
  4. What’s it like working with Warren?
    1. He is calm and wise
    2. We’ve worked together for so long and he is always there for me
    3. He is my advisor
      1. The spirit of excellence
      2. The importance of calmness
  5. David, you wrote the best-selling book, ‘Compassionate Capitalism’ where you share your belief about how giving back can make you feel good while also improving your bottom line…I would like to have you share about this?
    1. People are discussing their real problems. Ask yourself:
      1. What action are you taking?
      2. What reactions are you taking?
    2. I have a pre-game analysis and go through lessons. Then I have a post-game analysis.
  6. You come across as a very proactive person…so how do you typically organize the first four hours of your day and what time do you typically wake up?
    1. I wake up at 4:00 Am
    2. Meditate for 20 minutes
    3. Work out for 1 hour
    4. I schedule on my calander
    5. I spend on hour with my family form 7-8 am
    6. I take 3 coaching calls on my way to work
      1. Calls with my clients every other week for 15 minutes
      2. We talk about the conscious and subconscious to create neural pathways
    7. I leave the office at 4 pm
    8. I take 3 more coaching calls when I leave
    9. I spend an hour with my family
    10. I stay up until 11:00 PM
    11. I wake up at 4:00 AM the next day
    12. I am on call from 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM every day of the week
    13. I have a guarantee and a free month after that, I charge $50,000/month
  7. Is there a message or principle that you wish you could teach everyone?
    1. Ask. People know how to give but they’re not asking.
    2. Ask: 
      1. Do you know anyone who can help me?
    3. Keep people in your flow.


Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription


XE on today’s show, we have a guest on the show. I’m on the program. Th th th he’s so good. This content is so hot, hot, hot. We needed to have music that kind of created that, that hotness to you and you think you found it. This music is sexy. It’s sexy. I like our guest, David Meltzer. Now David melts. So let me tell you about this guy. David Meltzer grew a net worth of over a million dollars with nine months after getting out of law school. Then he built a net worth over eight. He built a portfolio of over $120 million. Whew. Now he’s partnered with Warren moons, the a former NFL, great player. He has a great sports marketing agency. He’s doing big things and a again, but this is, this is the remarkable thing. He grew at portfolio to be worth over 120 million. He lost it all and he got it back. Come on now. I lost it all and earned it back. It’s impossible. Well, he built it back out. This show is hot. When the, when the economy fell apart and the banks collapsed, he was too heavily leveraged, couldn’t get access to his equity. He built it all back. This is the comeback story of the year. I love David Meltzer. This show is hot.

David Meltzer. David, welcome onto the show. How are you?

Amazing. I’m so excited to be part of this and look forward to helping whoever I can.

Hey, you are. You have been on so many different podcasts and features and publications. You are worth $1 million of net worth with the nine months after law school. You built a portfolio of 120 million. There’s so many places we could start, but can we, can we start with the post law school $1 million net worth with the nine months? How did you do that?

I beat people with math. So I took a job specifically for money. I sold legal research online when I graduated law school and it was a act plan $250,000 sales job. And what I decided to do was I was going to work twice as many productive hours a day than all the other salespeople. So 16 hour productive days. I was gonna do it twice as efficiently, 32 hours of productivity. And then I was going to be twice as statistically successful for 64 hours of productivity. Now I knew I wasn’t as good as a salesperson as the rest of the people cause I was right out of law school. So instead of trying to close more statistical deals, I decided that I would go on more appointments. And even if my statistical success was less, I would close more deals statistically each day than they would. So what I also did was work seven days a week.

So if I’m working, you know, 64 hours of productivity, that’s eight days a week. I’m working one day, I get eight days of productivity, seven days a week. Each week that I worked was 56 56 days of productivity. So I always joke around, I’d beat people with math. In fact, I never was even at plan because in order to make $1 million in nine months, you know, with that formula of 56 you know, days a week being produced, I actually made about a hundred grand. It just took me 10 years. I worked 10 years at nine months. That’s how I did it.

Wow. Wow. Now can you, uh, so what do you make a commission? Was that how it worked at that job was like a commission per

hourly salary commission and bonus and expense account as well. So I can save almost all the money that I made.

And then you, you were where you built a portfolio worth $120 million, is that correct?


What was in that portfolio? Was it just a signed Warren moon football cards or what was in that thing?

Oh no, that’s my portfolio now. It gets more and more valuable today. No, I, uh, I own 33 different properties, uh, golf courses, ski mountain, a lot of technology stocks, uh, that I had built, uh, through my early thirties. And I’m blessed to have had a Midas touch in my, uh, investing. Uh, although I learned some valuable lessons because as much as it might impress you that I had over a hundred million dollars in a portfolio, I ended up losing it all as well. But I did make it back.

How did you lose it all? What happened? And it did. Was it just a kind of an avalanche of, of things caused by one, one maybe wrong gas or one what, what happened?

No, I lost it from ego. I say that because I didn’t ask anyone for help. And so one of the things that I teach is, you know, how to not think of ego and not surround yourself with the wrong people in the wrong ideas. I thought I knew everything. I made one bad assumption. I thought that at all times I could borrow against the equity that I had. And in no idea did I ever see the banking system failing or the credit, the credit criteria changing. So after going my entire life with always being able to borrow against the assets they have, the equity that I possessed, all of a sudden in 2008, I was incapable of being liquid. And when you own and have your own economy with so many different properties, so many different business ventures, so many different investments that it is a sliding scale. Once you start missing or applying for too many loans and missing payments, it’s just a matter of time before nobody will give you any money. And those expenses really, really aggregate and really pushed me over the edge into losing everything.

No, I, uh, have done commercial real estate in the past and, and I think for some of the listeners out there maybe, um, are not aware of what you’re talking about. I just wanna make sure we have about a half a million listeners and I bet you half of them maybe are struggling with grasping. Maybe part of what you just said. Um, cause I have met people, uh, David Meltzer that have a building almost paid for who are headed into bankruptcy. Can you explain how it’s possible to have a ho, a high net worth, but not have a lot of liquid assets for the listeners out there that maybe aren’t as far down their entrepreneurial journey as you are?

Yeah, that’s a great question actually. So what happens is you can own a property and you could actually, you know, owe to the bank very little. So if I have, you know, a $60 million property, I may only owe $6 million, that that means I’ve $54 million of equity. Most times you can borrow against that 54 million very quickly. You can get a line of credit for 5 million or whatever would be what happened in 2007, eight and nine with the crash is that the banks were going under and they realized mathematically, not only where those properties have greater risks, because that 60 million property could be worth 10 million in two years. Uh, but moreover they were going bankrupt. They were going under, so they wanted to hold as many assets. Uh, so they weren’t really keen on letting you borrow money against assets that the bank owned it if you, you know, defaulted on that loan. So what happened to me is that they weren’t gonna let me have equity against those properties. I then could make payments, which being my credit went down that I could borrow anywhere. Uh, but in the end, the banks, my bankruptcy was clean because most of my properties were with more than I owed, but they, they own them. So they weren’t going to sell them for more money that I owed. Right. They were going to get their money out of it, and they did very well.

So how did you, how do you, how do you go from losing it all a portfolio worth 120 million? How do you go from there to now teaming up with, with Warren moon and, and growing the, the, the sports one marketing agency? How did you go from the bottom to where you are now?

Well, you know, it was a evolution, not a revolution. I actually, when I owned all those properties, I was already CEO of Lee Steinberg sports and entertainment, the most notable sports agency in the world. And that’s where I met Warren moon. The harder part was it losing the money. It was telling Leigh Steinberg who hired me to be the Midas touch, uh, who used me as an example of growing up with nothing and becoming a multimillionaire. Someone that would help secure you, young athletes, finances, to give them a legacy of, at that time, 75% of all athletes were going bankrupt. So the harder part was, you know, thinking that I would not be able to continue my job because I thought I might lose my credibility by going bankrupt. But in essence, it actually built my own personal brand. And when, uh, li about, uh, 10 years ago, uh, had some personal difficulties. Warren moon and I, we, uh, were partners at the sports agency. We spun off what it is now, one of the most notable global sports marketing companies in the world working worldwide and at different events like the super bowl, pro bowl masters, Kentucky Derby breeders’ cup, all the award shows like the SPS Emmy’s, Oscars, Grammys and tons of different charitable events. Everything we do is to make a lot of money, help a lot of people and have a lot of fun.

So tell me when you were working with Elise Steinberg sports and entertainment, for the listeners out there that don’t know what kind of athletes where you’re working with then or maybe a few of the athletes names and then tell us, uh, kind of on a daily basis with the sports one, marketing, the kinds of organizations you work with on a daily basis. I know some of the events you just mentioned, but I’d love to hear about some of the people you worked with, at least Steinberg sports, entertainment and then who you’re working with now.

So the, you know, some of the great things that we got to do guys like Ricky Williams and coach June Jones, but we had a that from eight picks in a row, eight first picks in a row. You know, everyone you can think of from Bruce Smith to Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Aikman, Steve young, Warren moon too. You know, you know, all types of Olympic heroes from Carl, Carl Lewis and boxers like Evander Holyfield, even Oscar de LA Jolla, early on, Lennox Lewis, uh, baseball players like subathra Ramirez, all of those players released people. And then, you know, moving to sports, one marketing. What we did is instead of representing those athletes is we use our relationship with those athletes in order to attract business. My core competency is, uh, doing business and making real money. Not 3% of somebody’s contract, but you know, seven, eight figures. And so Warren and I have worked on buying and building stadiums.

We’ve consulted on big movies and TV shows that I’ve built my personal brand over the last three years. I have a top digital business show called elevator pitch, uh, which is on cheddar and Amazon and entrepreneur network, which I’m the executive producer and host of. And then I also have a top entrepreneurial podcast of my own called the playbook. Uh, I speak around the world. I just had my fourth bestseller game time decision making was launched last week with McGraw Hill. I have, uh, an executive coaching program and one of Marshall Goldsmith top executive coaches in the world. Uh, and uh, really have built my own brand beneath what I learned at Lee’s, uh, both in a traditional sense as well as in the digital marketing space as well.

What, where do you live now?

So I have a home in orange County and I have a beach house in San Diego. And then we also have an office New York city.

So do you or did you have kids?

Four kids yet.

So how do you organize your schedule with all the things that you’re doing? Like what time, what, what does a normal day look like for you? What time are you waking up everyday? What are the first three or four hours look like?

Yeah. So I have two routines. One’s at home, uh, and then I have an adaptable routine that’s either if I’m traveling or I have people visiting or something odd going on. But every day of my life, I wake up at 4:00 AM Pacific time no matter where I am. Uh, I meditate for 20 minutes. I then put on my gym clothes and I work out for a minimum of one hour. Then I come back and be a student in my calendar. Uh, in essence studying time for productivity and accessibility. I then spend one hour with my family from seven until 8:00 AM and then I take three coaching calls, a why drive to work, and then I have more of a reactive calendar determined upon the day. I leave the office at four 45 and take three coaching calls on the way home. And then I spend, uh, another minimum of an hour with my family. Uh, then once again, be a student in my calendar and more reactive social and business, uh, calendar for the night. And I try to say up to 11, I don’t always make it, but my goal everyday is to live my life that make sure I wake up at 4:00 AM tomorrow.

Now, do you, what would you say you take coaching calls? What kind of calls and how long or how long, how long has each call?

So, uh, as a executive coach, I have a certain program I take 10 to 15 minute calls. Uh, these calls are for my clients every other week. I give them focus, homework to work on the continuum from conscious of conscious and unconscious mind. So I just don’t tell people what the things say and do and give introductions and learn from my situation and knowledge and dummy tax. But actually shift the paradigm of the subconscious, the 40,000 of the same thoughts you every B day to create new neural pathways, which then impact your actual genetics. You’re activating and deactivating different genetic traits of your personality characteristics, obsessive Dixons that create different energy that keeps a continual a success. So a lot of coaches unfortunately codes what the things say and do, but in the long run you just going to reset to your original thermostat. I actually upped the temperature of your thermostat so that you get expansion and acceleration in my coaching and I’m also on call from 4:00 AM to 11:00 PM seven days a week to give that chiropractic realtime measure before, during, or after advice that’s needed real time in order to effectuate quantitative results.

I’m the only business coach in the world that I know that number one coaches for free for one month to do an assessment of how I can help, who can help and two only will work month to month with a quantitative guarantee. I’m the only coach I know that guarantees that not only will you have subjective value of how I changed your life, but I guarantee I’ll be a profit center, which has made me one of the top coaches in the world. So anyone that coaches me is guaranteed to make money besides making significant changes in their life.

What is your coaching program costs for the listeners out there that are curious?

So as an assessment, I have 10 coaches beneath me, so it starts at zero. So, uh, if somebody can’t afford business coaching, I’ll oversee one of my coaches that will coach for free. Uh, all the way up to my billionaire clients pay me 50,000 a month, uh, for me to coach them.

Wow. Wow. And so you must be doing something right if a billionaire is willing to pay you $50,000 a month to coach them. I’m really curious, what’s your working relationship like with, with Warren moon and what’s he like up close because he was such a talented athletes, so brilliant on the field, off the field. I, I grew up in Minnesota and when he came and joined the Vikings, man, he turned that ship around. It was awesome. What’s it like working with Warren?

Exactly. Probably what you would think it’d be like I have, I call him QB one Kenobi. He is an old soul. You’re the wise man. He’s my best friend. He’s rock solid. He has all the strength that I don’t have and I have strengths that he does it. But, uh, you know, he is so calm and wise. Uh, I just, it’s a steady person that lives in integral, in, in character beyond belief. And you know, what I love about Warren is, you know, we’ve been working together for so long now. Uh, we used to work day to day together and now almost 63 years old. Uh, but he’s always there for me, you know, one phone call, text or email away and fly down here. He, uh, does a see all games up there in Seattle still. So we’re traveling buddies. Uh, he is my advisor, my true mentor. He taught me two things. The spirit of excellence and the majesty of calmness.

Man, that is so you, you, you, you felt inspired recently to write this book, a game time decision making. Um, could you share with us about the book? What inspired you to write the book?

Yeah. So I think that, uh, we have a happiness problem in the world and people are really disguising their true problems and there’s a decision to make. And the decision is how to be happy on a crate. There’s two mindsets we have to do with our decision making. One is what action are we taking through the day? And most importantly, what reactions are we taking? And so what I did is I created each chapter for different game time decision making processes to help people make the decisions to be happy, to help more people make more money. And what I did is break it down, uh, like a game. Uh, you know, a game plan. So I have a pregame analysis which tells you, you know, the lessons you’re going to learn. Then I go through and tell sports stories to illustrate what lessons about game time, decision making there are.

And then I give a post-game analysis to kind of what lessons we learned from the stories that we created. Uh, and a Tilman Fertitta the CEO of Landry is the owner of the golden nugget and the NBA rocket is the rockets wrote the forward to it. Uh, and I have unbelievable greats that are giving, you know, not only their stories, but advise everyone from Jack Canfield, the number one author in the world from chicken soup for the soul to Apollo Ono, sugar Ray Leonard and my lead Tom Brady. Just extraordinary names and strawberry stories that really bring the life, uh, the best decisions with confidence and clarity from the world’s best sports people.

You know, we have a Tilman Fertitta and we’re going to have him on the show here and I think a week, maybe next Wednesday. So, uh, excited to have him on the show there. And, and we have kind of a, a list we wanted to get, uh, and we wanted to get Tillman on the show. We wanted to get to a Wolfgang puck, John Maxwell. We’ve had a lot of really great guests. Warren moon is on my people too, yet, uh, people who have yet to say yes. You know what I’m saying? So I’m just going to keep wearing out your buddy Warren moon. Maybe you can lean on him for me.

I will leave.

He’s great.

They left him. So

that’s great. Well, Hey, I’m for the listeners out there, um, I know you have to run, I want to respect your time, but I also want to give you the opportunity. We have about a half a million listeners, many of who, uh, know who you are or who are learning who you are, they and they want to know what is an action step that they should take. Or what’s one parting piece of advice that you could give to all of our listeners?

The best piece of advice that I can give to your listeners is ask the number one thing that’s missing in the world is people know how to give, but you’re not asking. So if you have a pencil right now, just make sure you ask people every day in person on the phone, via email, or even media, radio, print, TV, or social media. Do you know anyone that can help me? I’m telling you, you want to change your life exponentially. And most people on earth have a thousand followers. Just doing that once a day, you’ll have 30,000 people in your network every month. It’d be do it four times, it will be 120 of 1.4 million by the end of the year. But it’s a very simple question. Do you know anyone that can help me keep people in the flow? Give as much as you can, be kind of your future self, do good deeds, but most importantly ask others for help. You can always find me at David Meltzer or anywhere David Meltzer on LinkedIn, YouTube, et cetera. Just remember D a, V I D M E L. T. Z. E. R loved to help and be of service to anyone that may need it.

You are an inspiration. Thank you so much for being on this show. Say hello to Warren and uh, best of luck on your new book and all your ventures.

Thank you so much. I will, I will jump on Warren right away to get you a call back.


All right. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

You got it. Take care of it.

All right, and now, without any further ed, do what.


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