The best-selling author of Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need shares how he was able to achieve complete financial freedom within just 5 short years.
Grant Sabatier – Time is the Real Reward for Striving
Best-selling author of Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need
Thrive Nation on today’s show we are interviewing the founder of Millennial Money, Grant Sabatier. Grant was able to go from being laid off and being kicked out of his parents’ house to complete financial independence within 5 years. Grant is a respected voice by many in the financial independence community, who has interviewed Tony Robbins on the subject, and who has a website that now boasts having been viewed by over 10 million visitors. On today’s show, he is here to talk about the changes he made in both lifestyle and mindset that allowed him to achieve success, and why he believes that money is just money and that time is the true prize of all our striving.
ACTION ITEM: You can always make more money but you cannot make more time.
Make sure you are setting rocks in your schedule to focus on things that actually matter.
Write out your F6 Goals each day.
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What would it be like to have spent $180,000 on earning a college degree and not having a job so it would feel like stapling your tongue to a burrito? What would it feel like to have a college degree, but to find yourself without the cash needed to buy a burrito while living with your parents? It feels like stapling your tongue not to a burrito. On today’s show, grant teaches us how he became a millionaire by watching youtube videos and implementing what he learned. Grants is the best selling author of the new book, financial freedom. It is a proven path to all the money you will ever need unless you want a billion burritos. Throughout grant’s career, he’s been featured on ABC’s Nightline, the New York Times, Time and money magazine. [inaudible] magazine. See NBC National Public Radio in his last name. Subodh ta rhymes with Covar yet that’s a good boss. Tell their brother Hibachi. I usually say it’s about, it’s a French last name.
Thrive decent. On today’s show, we are interviewing a man who was kicked out of his parents’ house and then within five short years was able to achieve complete financial independence. And Ladies and gentleman, his name is an incredible names. He, his last name is, it’s a lot of fun. So I’m going to let you, I’ll read the first name. You read the last name. Okay. All Right, ladies and gentlemen on today’s show, it is our pleasure to introduce to you grant. So, no, no, I got it. I got it. It’s a sub RTA. Yeah, that’s it. Ladies and gentlemen on today’s show until people Grant Sabatier yes. How are you doing? I’m great. I’m great. How are you guys are? We’re just obviously easily entertained. Great. You’re already been awesome. Awesome. Uh, finish to that five year run. If you, if you secretly buy back your parents’ house and then kicked him out.
Yeah. Good News. Bad News. Your house quickly. You’re, you’re out. You hurt, you hurt doing well now. But I want to start off at the, at the bottom was, I think a lot of people can relate to this. Z, you’re an empty nester now. Your kids are finding their traction in their career. It’s really sad when they left. I just hate it. Your kids are finding the traction in their career though. Yeah, they’re doing great. Doing Great. Paul, your kids or are working with you, they’re, they’re getting that traction in their career. Grant. Talk to us. What happened? Why were you living with the parents? Walk us through this whole thing. Yeah. So I graduated
with a philosophy degree, uh, and kind of always did what I was supposed to do. Went to a good school. Uh, and then after college I bounced around for different jobs and just never quite found the right fit. I got laid off twice. This is, you know, back in 2010. Uh, and so ended up back at my parents, uh, at the age of 24, literally sleeping in the same bed that I slept in as a seven year old kid. And I tried not to get there. You know, I applied to over 200 jobs the previous month and hadn’t gotten a single call back. So you know, I was down to my last couple of hundred dollars and could no longer afford rent and my parents that I could come back for three months but that they weren’t going to give me a dime and so it was pretty much rock bottom for me in my life.
I want to ask you this and again if this sounds like a backhanded, like really, I don’t want this to be a negative question, but it might feel like it at first. Here’s, here we go. I knew a lot of people that I went to college with who have degrees in philosophy and it is now my philosophy as an as an adult, 38 year old man that you shouldn’t be allowed to earn a degree in philosophy. Do you believe that or am I out of my mind? Do you, do you agree that you maybe do like dead or no? Or what are your thoughts on earning a degree in philosophy? Looking back on it now?
Yeah, I think it really depends on the person. And so I went to the University of Chicago, which has, you know, one of the top philosophy programs in the world. And so in that case, the Roi of it, I think net for me has been really positive because it did teach me how to think. And the most important skill that I had when I landed back at my parents was, uh, you know, actually garnered from having a philosophy degree. So, in that case, it was valuable. I don’t think it’s, it’s valuable necessarily as a major, you know, if you’re going to, um, a less well-known type of school. With that being said, uh, you know, obviously some of the most successful people in the world have had philosophy degrees. So it’s like anything in life, it’s what you’re going to make of it. However, it doesn’t equip you with the practical skills that are increasingly required in today’s economy and today’s job market. And so it didn’t equip me for those skills, but it did give me the ability to think which ended up paying off
over the long run. Two part question. Grant Sabatier one, uh, back in 2010 you said you were, when did you attend? You were like 2008 or nine and then was starting to work in 2010 or what?
Yeah, I graduated college in 2007 so I bounced around for jobs, uh, in three years time
workplace. I mean, that was right at the beginning of the bus, wasn’t it?
Totally, but I had a job secured already before I graduated from college. Um, I mean, it was a job that I had to commute two hours each way too. But, um, it was really, really tough economy. And you know, it’s very hard when you’re 21 years old to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. And, um, the biggest question that I hated getting was, you know, what’s your why, what’s your, what makes you happy? And I, you know, you don’t know that when you’re that age or at least I didn’t and that I was really, really stressed me out. So that was, that’s how I ended back home.
And for those of us that are just completely ignorant of this, what does a philosophy degree from the University of Chicago set a fellow back? Well,
oh gosh. Uh, the total cost of the degree was about $180,000. All in
surely you can’t be serious. I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.
Um, I felt very fortunate that I was able to, I played soccer and they don’t, they can’t give academic scholarships cause it’s d three, but I was able to get some academic money and so I didn’t, I didn’t pay full freight at all. However, I often recommend, cause you know, I ended up working in higher education. Um, the digital agency, one of them that I helped start was in the higher ed market. So I’ve had a ton of experience in education and I often recommend that if you can get into like the top 20 schools in the United States, uh, no matter what, it’s worth the cost. And so in that case, you know, I’m very fortunate that I didn’t have to pay full freight, but certainly very, very expensive degree.
No, no. Growing up, I want to get into the, the growing up and they’d kind of, the how you were raised. Were you, uh, growing up, did you, how, what were you taught about money and about being gone and being an entrepreneur or a business owner like you are today, what kind of things were you taught about money and business ownership as a young whipper snapper?
Yeah, so my parents grew up in rural Indiana, um, very poor, uh, with very little. Um, they were the first, uh, people in their entire family and even still since then to leave, uh, kinda their small, small area and they moved east to the suburbs of Washington DC when I was about six months old, um, specifically to give me a different opportunity. And, um, you know, even my father and I are the only ones on his side of the family to have gone to college. And you know, they moved to DC and my mom worked as a secretary and my dad actually cleaned, uh, offices at night. Um, and so they really started with nothing. Um, money was something that I knew they were always stressed about. Um, you know, they’re there. You know, it was something that was very present in our lives. I knew that I had the least amount of money, uh, on my soccer team.
You know, it was always something that I knew. Um, however, you know, I always felt like my parents were giving me the best opportunity that they could. Um, and that the lack of money didn’t really hold back us having fun. Um, you know, I was an only child and my father actually used to tell me two things when I was a kid. Some of my earliest memories is he’d say, life is a beach and money is freedom. And I never understood what either of those things meant. And I actually on my podcast, the first episode ever, I had my dad on and I asked him what he meant by money is freedom. And we got to dive deeper into that. But you know, here are two people who grew up with, with literally nothing and, uh, moved somewhere to give me a better opportunity. And I always felt that I always felt kind of what were putting into me and that’s why I took every advantage of the opportunities that I had.
With that being said, um, you know, my parents themselves were unable to save for retirement until they were in their 50s and now they’re in their mid sixties and they’re both still working. And so retirement was also always something that my parents talked about. Um, their friends talked about and I actually hadn’t heard of anyone who had retired early until we had a family friend who retired at the age of 49 after inheriting some money. And so this idea of like, I’m going to work forever, uh, for the next 40 years to try to retire with something that was so ingrained in me. That was something that kind of, you know, middle class, uh, always talked about and that was always around me. And so, um, not surprising now, uh, you know, it’s so many years later that I wrote a book, uh, about the topic and now I’m so passionate about it. What year did you say you graduate from High School? What year? I graduated high school in 2003 and in college in 2007.
So if you could think back about your senior year, your junior year of high school, did you have a favorite song? Like just a favorite jam where you were like, oh, that was the jam because you know, that song will be forever stuck in your head. And then our listeners’ heads, do you have a song that gets stuck in your cranium or a favorite band or favorite group from your time in high school?
Oh yeah. I actually, so I discovered Bob Marley when I was like 17. Oh Wow. I was dating a girl at the time and she took me to like an international film festival where they had a Bob Marley documentary. And that just blew my socks off. I was like, I was very, um, you know, I was pretty blown away by not only the music as well as just the general ethos and that had a huge and continues to have a huge impact on my life. I think it was the first time when I started to really understand this idea of kind of the con, the collective, um,
we’re all one, you know, we’re all, we’re all human. We’re all connected in that way.
I definitely got that from, from, from that point. That point on it pretty fundamentally changed,
changed my life. So 24 years old now you are looking around for some money to buy a burrito. It was my understanding and you realize, oh, I’m down to my final $2 and 26 cents and a, I don’t know how that feels to be down to your final two 26 and we’re looking for a burrito. I know what it’s like to be down to your final 50 bucks. It’d be looking to buy some chicken Panini at Walmart. I remember 96 cents. Yes. The budget gourmet section there. Granted your supply of sodium. We came with that a year supply of sodium so I can relate to the beat down on my final 50 so what happened? What was your Aha moment? How did you go from the bottom to the top?
Yeah, so August 2010 I, you know, been at my parents for a little over a month and had no job prospects. You know, I’d go down to dinner and just, you know, they’d give me that look where, you know, they’d asked me how things were going, but you know, I could tell just in the way they looked at me, the deep kind of concern and disappointment and you know, I had a lot of shame around that, but I woke up one morning and you know, I was just dejected and I was like hungry and I wanted a chipotle a burrito and I checked my balance on my phone and I had $2 and 26 cents left and I actually took a screenshot of it. Um, and it’s in the beginning of my book and it still hangs in my closet. To this day that was really kind of the ground floor.
Um, I knew that clearly what I was doing wasn’t going to work. And you know, I had two months before I literally thought my parents would kick me out and they might have. Um, and so it was around that time, that two moments, uh, really changed my life. The first one I just did a simple Google search for best money books and the two top books that came up. Uh, the first was your money or your life by Vicki Robin and Joe Domingez. And the second was automatic millionaire by David Bach. So I ordered those two books. I actually had to order them on my mother’s credit card that was tied to the Amazon account. I didn’t have enough money to buy them. Um, yeah. And so I got those books and you know, I started reading your money or your life, which the central premise is that whenever you’re working, you’re trading your life energy for money.
And so what are you willing to trade your life for? You know, you can always go out and make more money, but you’re not going to get back your time. And that was pretty massive. Uh, you know, worldview shift for me. Who wrote that book? Uh, Joe Domingez and Vicki Robin first edition came out in 1992. Now we’ve had a, we’ve had David Bach on the show from the automatic millionaire. We’ve had him on the show and, and, uh, he’s a friend of the program there. I’m not as familiar with, with Vicki Robin. Um, what turns you on to that book, just finding it top of the Google search or had it been recommended to you as well or, no, it was literally Google. Google has given me that recommendation. Um, and now both Vicki and David are good friends of mine. Um, and yeah, the book was your money or your life and it’s really about financial independence.
And so Joe Domingez, uh, the coauthor, he retired at the age of 30 after working on Wall Street and saved up enough money to, you know, check out and live life on his own terms. And I was so blown away that someone had actually done that cause I’d never heard of anything even remotely similar to that. And I was like, whoa. And it was at that time after reading those two books that I set two seemingly unrealistic goals to make and save $1 million and quote-unquote retire as quickly as possible. I want it to get to the point where I no longer had to work for money. And I set out on this like, you know, I needed a job obviously to make this happen. And I was doing another Google search a couple of weeks later and I saw a Google mobile ad for the first time. So those little ads that you see on your mobile phone, and I was like, what’s this?
And I literally googled Google mobile ad and there was, the first thing that popped up was a news story that job’s for Google ad campaign managers were projected to grow over 300% by 2020 and then right underneath it was what was called Google ad words university, which was basically Google’s platform to teach you how to run ads. I watched a simple two minute intro video and then below that it was like, and you can get certified for free by Google. You just have to take this test. And so I didn’t know how easy or hard the test was going to be, but I spent the next month watching every video and reading every tutorial in average university as well as youtube videos. I took the test, I got Google adwords certified, put it on my linkedin profile, put it on my resume, apply to a digital marketing agency in Chicago, which is where my girlfriend was living at the time.
And um, ended up getting the first job that I applied to a and was really off to the races, um, made $50,000. That was my starting salary at that job. By the end of the first year, I was making $300,000 from my full-time job and my side hustles. I was building websites, running and running Google campaigns on the side. I left that agency after that year, launched two companies, one agency specializing in working with lawyers, realtors, um, and, and consultants. And then the other in the higher education space, the Higher Ed one, I grew and became the number one MBA, uh, the number one marketer of MBA programs in the world doing all the digital marketing for like Chicago booth and Colorado Boulder and two lanes. And then the other agency I grew, uh, to be a well-respected agency in the legal field. I grew them, uh, for about four and a half years.
And so five years and three months after I left, my parents are reached financial independence at the age of 30 with a little over 1.2 $5 million in liquid invested primarily in tech stocks as well as a total stock market index fund. Um, and yeah, started writing about it on millennial money.com and took about a year and a half to unwind the companies that I had built. A because I already had enough money, um, very hard to walk away from those two businesses. But then I committed to writing full time and now I travel the world and write and speak about financial independence and financial freedom and a work to help people save enough money so they can live lives that they love and you are stressed out about money.
You are blowing our minds. And what I want to do here at Czi as I know you have a question. Oh, Paul is a question. I have a question. See, I have questions about your questions. There was so much ground we just felt was grounded. I was struck by how much is the Burrito at chipotle tape to pull a burritos? How much, how much are those pants, man in Manhattan, they’re like $13 and the the normal time they were like $8 okay. So 50,000 divided by $8 that’s 6,250 burritos on your first salary. That’s pretty good. That’s a lot of Burrito. That’s a lot of bridges that you didn’t have to worry about not being an afford to Burrito after that after you got rolling and then they did it just exploded from there. So that’s it. Yeah, the whole time. The whole time. So immediately I got that job and I didn’t want to make the same mistakes
I had made before. And so I was saving 60% of my income right out the gate. I drove an $800, a really crappy car. I lived in a really crappy $800 a month apartment. We’re going to call her. Uh, I had in 1998 Nissan Maxima.
What’s hot? That is hot. That’s a blah, blah, blah. It’s almost like break that down. 60% of his income he was saving. That’s, that’s crazy. Oh, and then I got over. You need to do, I got up to my peak savings rate was during the five years was 82%. Makes me one up. Oh, come on. Now. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s, I’ve thought their shoes loose to hot in here. I mean that was really hot. That was romantic. Okay. It’s time for the CPA to get back down. He’ll settle down, shut off the party. The party is over. Grant, I got a question for you. So in today’s Society,
uh, entitlement and coddling our kids would, what would you say to parents today? You know, what if your parents would have said, grant, that’s okay. Just lay there, I’ll go get you that burrito. You just,
it’s not fair. Fair.
One of the hardest things that he’s had to do a, you know, and being my dad was saying no, that he wasn’t going to give me any money. Um, and you know, at the time there was all the discussion because so many kids are moving back in with their parents and yeah, I feel I was, so even if they had given me money now looking back in hindsight, you know, I didn’t want to live with my parents. I felt really guilty. You know, I had enough kind of trauma I think around the situation that I would have gotten out. Um, but that, you know, that’s just the kind of person that I am, um, very, very tough to kind of make that decision, you know, as a parent to kind of cut your kid off, you know, in, in that way. I don’t think they would’ve thrown me out on the street, but I do feel grateful that they added a little bit more pressure to the pressure cooker.
A that helps me. It helps me get out of there. I have, I have very specific, very, uh, I have a lot of questions in enrollment of fire off at you hear Grant Sabatier, I want to just tap into your wisdom on this. How did you go about getting your first 10 clients? Oh, great question. Um, so the first client that I got was a law firm. It was just a two person law firm and I actually found that job on craigslist. And so, you know, a lawyer posted that he needed a job for $500. And so I ended up doing the job through the process. I taught myself how to build a wordpress website, which back in 2010 was, was more challenging than it is today. Uh, and then from that I understood and I was so grateful just to have my own client. I’d never had a client for anything that I really over delivered.
And I got lucky that he was excited, that I was excited, that I did a good job. And I just asked him the simple question, hey, do you know anyone else who needs websites? And um, he recommended me to one of his friends who didn’t end up hiring me but actually invited me to a local get together of attorneys in Chicago. And I started talking with some of them. And basically three months later, so six months after I got this full time job, I sold my first $50,000 website. And so I made a website, 50, $50,000 website. And the, in the book I actually go into a detailed breakdown of how I did this. And um, a lot of it was based around the fact of I understood and I was selling this specific person. So I was selling this woman, um, who, you know, she reported to the partners at the law firm and I realized pretty quickly the number one goal here isn’t to build a website.
It’s to make her look as good as possible. And so she wanted to look good to her boss and her partners. And so I focused on maximizing the perceived value of my work. And so I went in and I was actually able to, you know, because I worked at an agency that did websites, I knew that the average market rate for a site like this was about 120 to $150,000. So that’s what probably agencies were quoting this law firm. And so I knew if I came in and underbid and also reduce the amount of time, so typically an agency with the overhead would take two or three months. They’d spread it out, you know, they’d pad the billing a little bit. And I was like, I can get this done in one month and I’ll do it for $50,000. And you know, no, like literally 100% guarantee.
And the thing is I had nothing to lose if I didn’t get the job fine. Um, and I ended up getting the job and then was off to the races that way I focused on niching down. That’s one of the things I’ve always done in my career is like so many people, they try to take any client from any industry. And the thing is my entire digital marketing career, I only worked with consultants, realtors, law firms and universities. That’s all I worked with ever. And when you niche down, you’d become a niche expert. So you start to understand the market, the market opportunities, the people, the people you’re selling to. You understand kind of their mindset and their pain points. And I got to learn a ton about business, school deans and um, you know, university presidents and you know, I started to understand these markets in a way that ultimately helped me become successful.
And then you can be like, oh, like in Chicago, I think I was the best person at building websites for law firms. And I know that’s like the most Nishi defined thing. But when you can kind of own that niche, uh, you, you can get paid a premium for it. And then the other thing that I did, uh, I think, well was selling was, was kind of tough beyond a, you know, cause cause I was so young and I was trying to build a network that I leveraged other people’s networks. And so I reached out to four or five recruiters in Chicago who are looking for freelance web developers, uh, to that, you know, bigger agencies would hire. And I actually became a backend support system for some other agencies. And so I was able to get clients, um, and they didn’t know. They thought I was just, you know, one person, freelancer.
But I worked with four or five agencies at a time and they were able to feed me business as well. Um, and so I actually didn’t have to do any selling at all. I had to do was maintain the relationship with the agency. They would do the selling and then outsource the work to me and my team. Um, so that’s how I grew one of my companies as well. Too many people focus on just like grinding it out. So and on Linkedin and emailing. And the thing is if you sell the same way as everyone else is, you’re just not going to get noticed or any results. And then the last piece is really the power of story. And that’s why in the book I talk about how story is so important. The one thing that you as an individual can outcompete bigger companies is you can tell your personal story.
And I was actually really passionate about helping lawyers who at the time their industry is being disrupted and I wanted to help make them successful and I was one guy. And so I could go in and tell an individual personal story. I could move a lot faster. Something that larger companies can’t do. They have so many restrictions. And so I’ve always played at the level of the human, the level of the story. And that’s the paradox in today’s age is that as technology grows and increases, the paradox is that the value of selling in the one to one human connection is actually increasing. So the better you are at telling stories, the better you’re going to be at getting a raise in your full time job. Selling, you know, I, I weave that through the book, but I got good at telling stories and then helping my clients tell stories.
So I made my clients look good to their bosses, which at the end of the day ended up being the most important goal. And w you know, was what would make them happiest. I would literally write emails for my clients to send to their bosses about here’s every, here’s where we are on the project, here’s how well things are going here. The checkpoints and, and the, the board probably never knew that I wrote those emails. Those would just come from my clients, but I made my clients look good. And so then in turn, you know, it would, it would, it would support the project and helped me get more business.
What does a website have to do to be worth $50,000 back scratcher, friend, maker, deep fryer, food, dehydrator, car detail, carbon, our washer. What does, what do you sell a $50,000 website? What kind of features does it have or benefits does it have? And then from your experience when you were competing at that point in time, uh, what did other web development companies typically charged for websites? Oh yeah.
So no website is worth $50,000. Um, the markup on websites are just immense. I’m just going to say, oh, real quick. I built, I built a $400,000 website one time for a brand, and literally, literally, this is the crazy thing. It took me less than a month and I used a template that I bought for $69.
Wait, so is your markup right? Come on now I’m, let me say, I’ve never heard clay Clark have is, I’m on the wrong words taken away please, please preach the good news again. You said no one is worth $15,000. No, no, no website. So the two most profitable things, I believe in the
digital space, three most profitable building websites becoming more of a commodity now. And so there’s certain challenges, their domain investing. And so I actually was buying and flipping domain names during this time. That’s how you get like the two thousand three thousand percent returns. Like a domain. I’d buy for like $39 in a domain auction, I turn around and sell it for 2,500 a month later. And then the third thing is, um, sort of geographic lead arbitrage. And so going in, and I actually made money, I’d build these websites for realtors, but all real litters wanted is they wanted the lead or law firms. They wanted the confirmed lead, right? They wanted the hot person. Oh it was interesting in it. And they didn’t know how to get that lead. And so what I did is I’d use my own money and I put fee. I’d run Facebook and Google ads and then I would collect the leads and then I would actually broke or the leads to them in addition to building their website. And so they would pay me between $500,000 per lead that I was getting. My average cost per lead was like, you know,
40 bucks. I love a double dipping. So just out of curiosity, what was your biggest home run on a donee? A domain domain name you grabbed, cause this is, this is fascinating. What’s the, I can’t, I can’t say the actual domain not allowed to. It’s a celebrity. It’s a well known celebrity. Um, and, and I was able to, yeah, I was able to sell that down. That’s my $1,000. And it had to do with uh, yeah,
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. I can’t say what the domain is. Um, but that was the most profitable, but I mean, you make a lot of the money just, yeah. Buying in, churning the ones for, you know, you buy it for 50 bucks and sell for two grand and then some you hold onto. I have over 800 that I still own a ton in the money space. Um, someone just offered
me $3 million for my, uh, my blog domain, millennial money.com. I just want to sell it, right? No, absolutely not. Oh, I don’t, I don’t need the money, man. That’s the problem. The problem with me now is I’m in a place in my life where I don’t need the money. You want to do what you could do it. They, what you could do to make the $3 million you don’t, you can donate it to like, and I could send my friend and we’d go up to Chicago to collect it. Okay. Now I want to, I want to ask you about the word over deliver. You said the word over deliver, which means you probably read Napoleon Hill. Have you read Napoleon Hill? I have written and fully inhale. Yup. Talk to me about what over delivery means to you because I am obsessed with this idea. Well, the over delivering, I mean obviously it’s a relative term. I think a lot of people in life,
um, they feel like because they’re working harder, they’re working later, they’re working more hours, that they deserve more compensation. But that’s the biggest myth. And this entire world, like your boss probably doesn’t care if you show up at 7:00 AM or leave at six. In fact, when I had employees, I would at people and I had employees that would come in at seven and I would tell them, you don’t need to come in at seven. What’s important is getting the work done the right way. And the same thing as with overdelivering is that I think a lot of people like try to do so many things. But the important thing with over delivery is, is realizing those two or three things that are going to have the biggest impact on a person or on a person’s business and then delivering those. And I was able to do it in a lot of ways because I was able to niche down.
I had so much research that a lot of my clients didn’t have. And so I had things like industry reports around trends. One of the things I did very early on was get into Google search data analysis. And so I could actually start to the extent possible, it’s, it’s, it’s pretty tough, but start projecting demand around particular keywords and industries. And so for example, I could tell my real at our clients based on Google searches what neighborhoods I thought would be hot, you know, my, uh, higher education clients, I could actually project changes in demand patterns. So like fewer people are going to be interested in executive MBA programs in Boston next year. And then I was able to bring that data to them because I was analyzing it and that was something that was outside of the context of, you know, running a digital marketing campaign or building a website and that’s so high value.
And so in that case, something that’s so high value, even though it took me very little time, I knew it was super high value for them. And so I over delivered in that way, not just overdelivered meaning a lot of people just like, here’s more and more and more. It’s more important like what are those two or three things that if I can find them there, they go beyond the call of duty and people are going to be like, wow, now I associate Grant Sabatier not only with a good website, but he knows more about the market than anyone I’ve talked to. He cares about my business, he wants me to be successful. He’s not just completing a transaction. I mean the whole, it’s simple. I mean, you know, you’re, you, you when, when your clients win. And I really focus even in the client retention and the referral piece.
And that’s the thing is like these are actual people and getting to know them, building and forming those relationships, um, paid offs. I mean some of my clients I had for the entire, almost the entire five years. Um, and so that net revenue, the recurring revenue of, especially in the digital marketing space, that’s the bread and butter, you know, going into the next year and you know that 80% of your clients are going to renew. And so you have, you know, 3 million in business already booked for the year. That feels like a pretty good January. Um, and so, you know, focusing on that, uh, it really, really was how I tried to overdeliver
art. This is Paul Hood Hood, CPA’s dot com and I’ve got a question our listeners are going to want to know. So you got a philosophy degree and you’re talking about a Google searches and you’re talking about reoccurring revenue and marketing, digital marketing. Um, where did you learn this? I mean, is this just something that you had interest in? I mean, I know you’ve said you’ve, you’ve read all of the, the, and watched all the Google videos
and all of that kind of stuff, so yeah. Um, you didn’t learn that in college, so, you know, uh, educate our listeners on where to, where they could go.
Yeah. So in my opinion, it’s never been easier in history to make money. And there’s a reason, there’s a reason for that. It’s because there’s just so much information out there. You just have to be dedicated and curious enough to find it and stick with it. I’m a vast majority of everything that I’ve learned. I’m like the case study for Youtube. I’m like the digital native, you know, I, I mean, I learned all about corporate accounting just from youtube videos. I learned how to code in four different languages, all from Youtube. I learned Google adwords, all from Youtube. I learned how to do an income statement on Youtube. I learned selling strategy on Youtube. I mean, you get the point. It’s like literally, it’s like Youtube and yeah, there’s a lot of fluff on youtube as well. But if you search and you’re curious, um, and then you couple that with books.
I mean, now I’ve read three or 400 books on personal finance, entrepreneurship and investing. I got really into competitive strategy and I never got an MBA. I actually looked at getting an MBA and that’s when I was like, Ooh, um, it’s not, and I got into some top programs. I was like, I am not going to take out a loan for $150,000. But I had friends that did go to MBA programs and one of my friends took competitive strategy at Chicago booth, you know, a great business school. And I just asked him for a syllabus and he gave me his competitive strategies syllabus and I was able to find most of the readings, you know, for free. And um, ended up studying Michael Porter and a blue ocean strategy and Clayton Christianson. And you know, these authors, you know, you can go and just even, you know, I think I learned all, I took an entire year of MBA level competitive strategy.
I think I probably did it in like three months. Um, just cause I put, you know, I was focused on it and then I knew a ton about how to compete and different industries and these books are out there. It’s like you can get a really good sense. You want to know how to compete and business just read Clayton Christiansen and Michael Porter and blue ocean strategy and you’ll get just three books. I mean, you’ll get a really good sense for, okay, you compete on price value both, you know, it’s like, it’s like, whoa. It’s like, okay, so I’m not going to sell the same thing as everyone else for a lower price. You know what I mean? Piling on
the Clayton Christensen, he was a guy who, uh, Z, you and I went out to lunch a couple of times. The guy by the name of Peach Patel who started digital tutors. Oh yeah. And when you and I went out to lunch, peach said, hey, this company that I’ve built, this company that had sold for millions of dollars, um, a lot of what I learned that I use to grow the company’s in a book called innovator’s dilemma by Clayton Christensen. Oh yeah. Remember hayseed amazing book, the renowned Harvard Professor, and we just interviewed him. We just released the podcast I think like five days ago, the interview with, with Clayton. And it’s, there’s so much great information out there and what happens is a lot of times people are Google searching. And I know a lot of our listeners going to Google search you right now, they’re going to Google search you then they want to know more about your book. Um, but there’s an article that I had read, it was a, it was a c NBC feature. You were featured in CNBC and it was talking about, um, your relationship with bitcoin. And, uh, can you talk to me about your relationship with bitcoin and your thoughts on bitcoin and just kind of more or less what this, uh, December, 2017 article is all about?
Oh yeah. So, uh, you know, back in 2011 to 2013, you know, I was obviously I was making good money. I was investing 82% of my income and I watched a documentary on bitcoin back then. Um, and actually the first bit coin that I ever bought a, you know, was it was, was around $70. And I had to actually meet someone in a bank parking lot and I bought the currency in person with cash. I couldn’t figure out like Mount Gov x was the only bitcoin exchange at the time. I couldn’t figure out how to buy bitcoin online and actually put it into a digital wallet. And so I bought it in person. That’s how I bought my first bitcoin. Um, and I was just using it cause I was really interested in the concept. I mean I thought, I still believe and think that blockchains are really cool.
Um, you know, and then in the case of my bitcoin investment, I just got really lucky, um, you know, and, and made some good money on it. With that being said, like, you know, I, I don’t think it’s a good investment. So many people hit me up and less now because it’s, it’s dropped so much, but so many people hit me up and they’re always like, hey, is this a good investment? Is this a good investment? So I wanted to clear the air with CNBC and be like, this is not a good investment. Do not invest in it as a terrible idea in every dimension. Um, especially for someone that only has like five or $10,000 to invest. It’s like, you know, if you have, you know, $200,000 invested and you want to take $500 or $1,000 or like 1% or a couple of percent of your net worth and invested into a cryptocurrency, by all means go for it.
But, you know, there’s, there’s cryptos they’re not backed by anything like the decentral MP. So I’m interested philosophically in the topic. Um, but as an investment, it’s just, it’s a terrible idea. Did you make money with the bitcoin? I did make money. Money. I can’t disclose that, but I made, I made, I made good money with the Bitcoin, but the big one actually didn’t have anything to do with me becoming financially independent. And it was kind of like a bonus. I’m also, some of my bitcoin got hacked. That was a crazy process. Like, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s, uh, it’s a, it’s the wild west, let me say, of the Internet. And so I was interested in that, in that concept. But yeah, I, um,
it’s not a good investment. Cryptos without a doubt. 100%. I mean, they figured out, like, even after I’d sold most of my Bitcoin, I felt grateful because they figured out that it was like, you know, all being inflated and just a, you know, a vast majority of the bitcoin was owned by such a small group of people. So the, you know, it was all so being propped up. So, I mean, I sell it like $20,000 a Bitcoin, but you know, I, I definitely did fine. I made, you know, in the, in the six, you know, mid six figures range, um, on my sale.
Now, I have two bonus questions here as we wrap up today’s show. Two bonus questions for you. Um, one you, you come across as a, as a well read guy, a guy who reads a lot of books. You’ve said you’ve read hundreds of books. Um, do you have a favorite one or two books? If you’re in way now, if someone is that there’s the listing right now, they’re kind of stuck in a mental rut. They own a business, but they’re kind of stuck. They’re not scaling like hoods, CPA’s, they’re not growing like your companies. They’re just kind of stuck. Uh, grant, what are a couple of books that you’d recommend to the listeners and why? Well, yeah, I mean, I’m going to do my shameless plug of my own book just because I financial freedom of proven path to all the money you will ever need. It comes out today. Uh, financial freedom, book.com, Amazon available worldwide. Um, I actually wrote this book. Uh, obviously it’s my own life journey, my own experience, but the publishing industry, I wrote it with Penguin Random House and they actually didn’t want me to write this type of a book because it’s not easy to classify. They want you to write in an investing book or they want you to write and entrepreneurship or a startup book or they want you to write a personal finance money management book. And what to me changed my life was being able to combine all three and then into what I call the enterprise mindset, which is finding all the ways possible to make more money in less time. So financial freedom, it’s all about, you know, how I optimize my fulltime job and launch my side hustles.
I had 13 income streams at one point. Um, how I turn my side hustle into a company, the trade offs I made, I got to the point where I had over in 20 over 20 employees. And that stressed me out so much because I was actually just managing my company instead of doing the things I wanted to. And so I hated that part about it. So I write about that, all the trade offs I made and then how to invest the money that I did make, um, and then what I would have done differently. Um, so it’s really geared towards if you want to make more money in less time, and this is the thing too, you know, I’ve read so many books, 95% of them are one idea and full of fluff. And you know, I’m not a CPA, I’m not a CFP. I don’t have an advisory business.
I don’t have like a $10,000 course. I have nothing to sell people. And so I have more money than I need. And so I wrote this book to level the playing field being like, you know, here, cause most money books, they’re scammy or they’re all fluff. I wanted this to be the highest Roi whenever. So check out financial freedom. The second one, if you’re an entrepreneur, rework by the guys that started 37 signals and base camp rework just completely blew my mind about, you know, why you shouldn’t be having meetings, why you need to think about work and an entirely different way. I think that is probably the best sort of business culture book that I’ve ever read. Blue Ocean strategy completely changed my life. Um, the simple idea that most companies compete in the red ocean, so they’re competing on price and all these things.
But if you can find a blue ocean and you’re essentially immune to competition, um, southwest airlines is a good case example of that. Um, and I recommend that book hardly. It actually, blue ocean strategy became kind of my life strategy where I kind of look at the market even now in what I do. And I’m like, oh, everyone writes investing books or everyone’s over there, I’m going to play over here. And so no one’s ever written a book like financial freedom, no one like millennial money. My website combined, you know, like really vulnerable personal writing with the shininess of a big brand that was a blue ocean strategy. And so blue ocean strategy couldn’t recommend it. And then the final book, um, the art of living by Teak Nhat Hahn, um, we spend so much of our life chasing that million dollars or that job promotion or that next thing.
Um, but so much of life is within. And so it’s a lot harder to kind of stop and look within and ask those questions. Because to me, money only matters if it helps you live a life that you love. And so the important question isn’t it? The first question isn’t how much money do I need? The first question is, what kind of life do I want to live? Um, and what does that life look like? And so doing that deeper work, a, you’re going to realize there’s a lot there and that that freedom that you’re seeking is already within you and be, you’re probably need a lot less money than you think to live a life that you really love. And the better you know yourself and grow and understand yourself and what it means to be fully alive, the less money you need to actually do that. And the easier it is to manage money, have a relationship with money, make decisions. And so the art of living is not a money book by any means, but I think it’s an incredible way to look at life. Um, and strongly recommended for all business owners. Uh, because at the end of the day, money is infinite. You can always go out and make more money, but you can never get back your time. This moment is all there is. And so how do you make the most of your time first and use money as a pathway to freedom?
No. Well Great. I have a final question for you here in an Andrew. You’re get on Amazon. Get Ready, get it. I’m going to Amazon Z. Oh wow. Ammonium is our, here we are. I’m Amy. I’m at, I’m on Amazon. Granted, you don’t need the money and I don’t need the money, but it is a game. You have to convince me as to why I should buy her book because I am prepared. Andrew, are you ready to buy the book? I’m ready. It’s 1770. I believe I’d get anything out of the book at all that I can apply the, I’m a big book buyer. I read, I buy and read books, so I’m, I’m a Z. I’m pro book guy. You know what? I think there’ll be a challenge for Grant Sabatier. I think there should be a grant challenge. Okay. Now you’ve read thousands of books. Yes. Okay. Yeah. Many, many books. And he hit an interesting point and I love the way he puts us cause it’s all, it’s just business. You know, it’s like my book will give Your Best Roi, right? That you can, that you can find in a book. Yeah. And I’m gonna call that the grand challenge. I’ll challenge you to buy his book. Yeah. Read it and then rank it on the Roi scale of the thousands of books you’ve read. How’s that? How’s that for grant grant? If you’re okay with this bet dude. Totally
okay with this bet. I, so you’re at a different point in your life and who this book is geared towards, right? Yep. So you have plenty of money. You figured out money, you know, money have a career that it sounds like you love. And so this book is probably not for you in that sense. With that being said, most of my, or at least some of my financially independent friends, have read it. And this idea of time being more valuable than money. One Guy, uh, literally stopped everything and flew his entire family to Europe for three weeks to spend time with them. Another one actually sold one of his companies, uh, you know, a couple of, like basically a couple of weeks later, closed on the sale. And then he went and actually moved back to the town where his parents are because they’re older and he realized he had just wanted to spend more time with them.
And so there, there’s as much life as there is money in this book. Um, but yeah, it depends, uh, you know, the actually the book opens with an epitaph. Um, you know, basically the quote is, um, you know, for things to reveal themselves, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them. And so if you come to the book, uh, and with an open mind and a clear heart, you know, I think, I think you’ll definitely get something from it. And then with that being said, I’d love your thoughts having read thousands of books I’m on where you place it on the Roi scale because at the end of the day, man took me 2,900 hours to write the book. Um, and I put everything that I have into it and you know, I want it to look back when I’m 80 years old and I remember I left it all on the floor. So if you read it and there’s something I could have done better, I want to know that so I can write the bonus chapters and give those away for free too.
I love it. Okay, Andrew hit the buy button. Are you ready to buy it now? And Andrew, come on. Where’s the drone with the book? It should be you already buying the book. Buy The book. Get gets shipped here. We’re buying the book, the book out there. Thrive nation is called financial freedom. A proven path to all the money you will ever need by grant some of the ass up. Greg, can you give us the last name but give it can say it one more time? [inaudible] it’s about 10 books. Legit, man. The books legit. I think you’ll like it. Uh, so I got David box, a big endorser of it. Oh, Tony Robbins as well. So we’ve got, got a lot of good luck. David Bach will not endorse crap. By the way. David Bach is one of the top financial authors of all time. Nine Time New York Times bestselling author.
He won’t endorse crap. He wouldn’t do it. So I’m buying the book and I’m happy with that. I’m already satisfied with my purchase. Are you? No buyer’s remorse. The 1770 the money you did, you just buy it. The order has been placed. There we go. Yeah. That’s how we get stuff done. Thrive nation. And you have an assistant, Andrew, push a button on now. Grant Sabatier. We like to end each and every show with a question. Yeah. Well, Oh, I’ve got a big deep, I’ve got a hard-hitting question. We have time. Come on one more quick question. Do it. Okay. I’m going to, are you by a window? UI somewhat near winwin third jumps. Don’t you look out the window. I’m going to drive up virtually a Delorean time machine. Okay?
And I want you to virtually right now walk out, crawl out the window, jump if you want, but you know, get out the window and go get in that, that car. And I want you to punch in the date of the last week of the last week you were living with your parents after college. And I want you to go back in time to the time that you were screenshotting that you had $2 and 60 cents in your bank account. I want you to pull up to your house, knock on the door, enter the house, sit down with yourself of sales south and have a conversation. And what would that go like?
Yeah. Uh, the first thing I’d say to myself is, um, you know, don’t forget to breathe.
Okay? It’s a hard, but it’ll, it’ll all work out. Okay.
Um, I made a lot of trade offs in this five year, three month period that I wouldn’t make again. Um, take care of your health. I gained almost 50 pounds during the the process. Um, yeah, don’t forget your friends. I lost a couple of friendships and remember to stop and smell the roses along the way that even though you want $1 million and to be financially independent, all that freedom that you’re seeking, that, that you feel so tight, so constrained right now, so stressed out, all that freedom that you’re seeking is so much closer. You don’t need millions of dollars are to be financially independent. You know, great goals to have, but just get to six months of expenses or a year of expenses. Because with each level of financial freedom, you’re going to feel more in control, be able to sleep better at night, and you’re going to have a lot more of that freedom.
And that’s something I didn’t realize that I’d already had. That thing that I was seeking. And then the final thing, their biggest revelation, revelation of this entire process that I’ve had since 2010 is that it wasn’t about the money at all. What I was actually looking for was peace and money to me. Success to me, it’s, it’s about peace. It’s having that easy feeling, waking up and knowing that you are alive and you know, life is like music. It’s meant to be played. Like the Allen Allen Watch, the great philosopher said. And so that piece was what I was looking for all along. And look for ways to find it along the way. Uh, you know, you don’t have to wait all the way until you get to financial independence to define that. And so, um, that’s what I would have taught myself. This show is
too good. That’s too deep. Poverty shall artist said, who? Good. Hey Bro. Hey, here’s the next month’s lottery winning numbers. I mean, I would have done, you know, it’s like, here’s the build grant has to go and enjoy his time freedom. Now I’m going to let him go. He’s got to go. So the show with a boom grant, we’d like to show the boom boom stands for big, overwhelming, optimistic momentum. I’ll, where are you physically located right now? Granted, a New York City. I’m in Manhattan. Are you prepared to bring the boom from Manhattan? Let’s do it. Boom. Shakalaka. Here we go. Here we go. Take a look at to answer. There are so many great takeaways from today’s show. However, I want to really focus the attention on two big action items for the listeners out there and I want to make sure we take note of these at the bottom of the show notes so that we, all the listeners can reference these later cause there’s so many knowledge bombs that were taught there.
But the first action item that I want to encourage everybody out there too to take today as I want you to ask yourself, where in your career do you feel most stuck? We’re in your career. Do you feel most stuck and no matter where that area is, find mentorship in that area and this case grant felt stuck in the area of money. He had money problems, sweet googled best books about money and he found a book, found two books, read the book. But the worst thing you can do is to be stuck and to not know where you’re stuck. If you are stuck, trust me, there is a book that’s been written about how to get unstuck. There was a podcast about it, there is a conference about it. There’s something that you can do. There’s somebody out there, there’s a mentor, somebody out there who can help you shift your mindset and to help you unlock your potential to help you get unstuck.
So I would encourage you to ask yourself today, where are you most stuck and how can you, who can give you the mentorship that you need? Now the second area that I want to encourage you to, the second action item I want to encourage you to take today as I encourage you to automate your savings. And one point grant indicated that he was saving up to like 80 I think 85% of his income or 80% plus of his gross income. Yup. Andrew, you’re an aggressive saver. What percentage of your income are you saving as of this Monday? As of this Monday, it is 35% and what were you saving previous to this Monday? A 25% all right. And why did you decide to up the game to 35% to say 35% of your gross revenue as opposed to the previous 25%, which by the way, it is as quite a large percentage of your gross income to save.
That’s true. Um, so we decided to go ahead and up it because, um, there’s two reasons to up it. One is if you get an increase in income, you should up it to compensate for that. But also if you pay off some debt. So we paid off some debt and we decided to go ahead and up it. And instead of getting comfortable with that extra cashflow, we just automatically put it in savings and we’re never going to see it. There it is. So if you’re out there today, again, if you feel stuck in any area yourself,
where do I feel stuck? What area is, is my biggest limiting factor? Where am I just spinning in a circle and then ask yourself, who do you know? Who can you think of that has expertise in that area? And that is how you get unstuck. So there’s, it’s through book. Sometimes it’s through a podcast, sometimes it’s through a workshop, sometimes it’s through a friend, but you want to make sure you don’t get stuck. So identify what is your biggest limiting factor. And the second area is automate your savings. Get Ahold of the company that does your paychecks. If you’re an employee, get ahold of the HR department. If you’re a business owner, get ahold of the company that does those paychecks for you and automate your savings. And to Andrews has already ended with a boom. Shaka Laka. I’m just going to say, uh, we will see you tomorrow, right here on the thrive time show on your radio.