31 July 2023

Patrick Donley (@jpatrickdonley) interviews Nick Huber, a serial entrepreneur, investor, and content creator focused on real estate and small business. Nick discusses how he uses Twitter to launch businesses and gain a larger following. He emphasizes the importance of leading an interesting life to attract more followers and openly shares his playbook. Nick has co-founded six companies in the past nine months, including Bolt Storage, which owns 1.8M square feet of self-storage facilities across 62 locations in 11 states. He has also published 400+ podcast episodes, 200+ articles, and thousands of tweets, sharing his philosophy on life and business while building his start-up portfolio.



  • How Nick has been able to use Twitter to launch several businesses.
  • The importance of distribution.
  • How hiring overseas talent has been a game changer.
  • Why you need to be leading an interesting life to gain a large Twitter following?
  • Why he shares his playbook openly.
  • What the downsides of Twitter are.
  • How he thinks about his social media strategy.
  • Why following your passion might not be a wise move.
  • What his current market views are.
  • How to find the right people to get advice from 
  • What asset class he would focus on if he were just starting out today.
  • How he manages his time launching several businesses and creating content?
  • What the end game is for Nick?
  • What the three levels of wealth are?


Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

[00:00:00] Nick Huber: But look, I love this game. I love it. I’m going to try to prove everybody wrong that I can do this. I can build an empire without working 80 hours a week, and it’s almost like me preaching to myself. I write this content all day. I am writing this newsletter. I talk about delegation, and I am really preaching to myself.

[00:00:15] Nick Huber: People think Oh, Nick is such a great teacher.” I’m just reminding myself of what I should be doing. I’m not perfect.

[00:00:23] Patrick Donley: Hey guys, in this week’s episode, I got to sit down with the one and only Nick Huber, a.k.a. “sweaty startup,” to chat about his strategy of using the power of Twitter to launch multiple businesses. You’ll also learn how overseas talent has been a game-changer for him, why you need to lead an interesting life to gain a larger Twitter following, and why he shares his playbook openly.

[00:00:51] Patrick Donley: We discuss his current views of the market, how he manages his time while launching businesses and creating content, plus a whole lot more. Nick is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and content creator focused on real estate and small business. In the last nine months, Nick has co-founded six companies, including Re Cost, e.g., Titan Risk Tax, Credit Hunter, and Web Run Labs.

[00:01:16] Patrick Donley: His primary business, Bolt Storage, owns 1.8 million square feet of self-storage facilities across 62 locations in 11 states. This interview was a real treat for me. I’ve been a huge fan of Nick’s for a long time, and I’ve learned a ton from him over the years on both podcasts and Twitter. I hope you guys enjoy this one as much as I did. So without further delay, let’s get into this week’s episode with Nick Huber.

[00:01:47] Intro: You are listening to Real Estate 101 by The Investor’s Podcast Network, where your hosts Robert Leonard and Patrick Donley, interview successful investors from various real estate investing niches to help educate you on your real estate investing journey.

[00:02:10] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody, welcome to the Real Estate 101 Podcast. I’m your host today, Patrick Donnelley. And with me today is none other than Mr. Sweaty Startup, Nick Huber. Nick, welcome to the show.

[00:02:23] Nick Huber: Patrick, thanks for having me. I think it’s been maybe two and a half years since I went on with Robert, so, it’s good to be back.

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[00:02:30] Patrick Donley: It’s been a while, and we are happy to have you back. I wanted to just kind of jump right in here. The last three or so months have been a different chapter of your life, it seems. I think you’ve launched six different businesses, maybe more at this point. I’m not sure; it’s hard to keep up. But I wanted to hear about the startups.

[00:02:56] Patrick Donley: I want to hear about how you’ve gone about partnering with the people you’ve chosen to launch the businesses with and then go into a little bit about the ones that you feel really excited about. The ones that you believe have the most upside potential.

[00:03:15] Nick Huber: Yeah, so I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I love starting businesses. I love running businesses, and it turns out to have kind of a competitive advantage, a cheat code when it comes to launching companies. You need a couple of things, and in the last couple of years of my life, I’ve been able to get those things, and one of ’em is distribution, meaning I have a tremendous reach now of business owners, entrepreneurs who follow me.

[00:03:46] Nick Huber: They read my newsletter each week, they listen to my podcast, they hang out with me on Twitter. And when you have that many folks who run companies and they start to trust you, they get a look into your mind about how you think about things. And when you can recommend solid stuff to them, there’s an opportunity to do some business.

[00:04:11] Nick Huber: So, I think the biggest one recently that I’m most excited about is the cost segregation firm. I had an affiliate referral program with a Cost Seg. They were doing some work with me, and we parted ways. And my CPA, Mitchell Baldrige, who had also done a ton of Cost Segs in his life, and I launched a company called RE Cost Seg.

[00:04:37] Nick Huber: A little over a year ago. It’s funny because. Just last month, I think on May 5th or sixth, we were looking, we said, wow, we registered the domain re cost a year ago, and we had done 650 plus cost segs. We have a team of 26 people now. Majority of them are engineers and it’s a rocket ship, so that’s one.

[00:04:52] Nick Huber: But yeah, we have a performance marketing company, Rhino. We have a web development company, web run. We have a search engine optimization firm, bold, s e o. We have a recruiting company for overseas talent in Columbia and the Philippines and Support Shepherd. So I have a lot of things going on right now.

[00:05:09] Patrick Donley: So I think from listening to some of the podcasts, like in researching for the interview here, Shepherd was the first one that you got into partnering with somebody, and then that’s launched into several other ones that you’ve developed. Talk to us about that first one, Shepherd, how that developed, and how you realized the power of Twitter and the power of just partnering with people and getting equity in these companies.

[00:05:39] Nick Huber: So in 2021, my company was growing fast, and it was the spring when we went on to buy a lot of real estate that year. I wanted to explore hiring talent from the Philippines and Colombia, overseas in Latin America. I reached out to a guy who’s now my good friend, his name’s Marshall Hasi, and he owned a company called Support Shepherd ( He helped me set up the process, find candidates, and build the job description.

[00:06:10] Nick Huber: They did some vetting and brought me three candidates in April 2021. I interviewed all three of them in the Philippines back-to-back, and I ended up hiring all three employees. I was the first customer to have done that with them. It was mind-blowing to me that I could get such a high level of talent, these kinds of people, for just $5 an hour, which equates to around $850 to a thousand dollars a month.

[00:06:41] Nick Huber: Soon after that, Marshall suggested that I become an affiliate with their business and share my experience with them on Twitter. They offered to give me a share of revenue. When I became their customer in April of that year, they were doing 30, 40, 50 grand a month of revenue with 15 or 20 placements. Now, fast forward a year later.

[00:07:06] Nick Huber: We had—I had done the affiliate stuff. I had talked about my experience with them on Twitter. I continued to use them to hire and build out a branch of my business, and the company had grown six or seven times to $250,000 a month and almost a hundred placements a month. So I went to Marshall and I said, “Hey look, this is a good business. I wanna be a partner. I want to own part of it.” We negotiated, and I took a minority share, a 15% ownership share of the company. But if you fast forward to today, the company has exploded. If somebody approached us and wanted to buy it for $20 million, we’d probably say no. At this point, it’s massive. So that kind of woke me up to the power of distribution.

[00:08:01] Nick Huber: And yes, they had a lot of repeat business, 51% of their customers are return customers. And it’s not all attributable to my talking about it on Twitter, but as you’ve seen over the last months, once or twice a month, I can get a tweet about this business to go insanely viral and reach millions of people.

[00:08:24] Nick Huber: So once I realized the power of that, I got serious about launching several other companies and got more serious about it.

[00:08:33] Patrick Donley: So when you approached, I guess it was not Mitchell, but the first guy you were actually doing your Cost segs studies with for your self storage units, you were getting like affiliate referral.

[00:08:43] Nick Huber: Yeah, and this is significant. Affiliate referrals brought in 20, 30 grand a month at times for promoting these people on Twitter to my audience. So I went to the Cost Segs guy and said, “Hey, I wanna own part of your company.” But he just didn’t play ball. He was like, “No, I have a great business here.” It’s been an amazing relationship, though. My business has tripled since we started working together.

[00:09:13] Patrick Donley: Did he just not wanna grow or was, what was the situation there? I asked him for equity for nothing in exchange. And he said, this is my equity. I don’t need you. 

[00:09:24] Patrick Donley: At that point you approached Mitchell and what was that like?

[00:09:27] Patrick Donley: What was that like? Conversation? How did it go? You’re starting a company from scratch. He had been doing cost seg studies though, right? 

[00:09:35] Nick Huber: Yeah. He does high net worth real estate tax work, basically. So a ton of his clients do cost Cost Segs. He has done several new developments himself and he’s one of the smartest guys I know.

[00:09:45] Nick Huber: So pretty quickly in conversation with him around the same time I was negotiating with the other player, we’re like, Mitchell, let’s go do this. And we did. And that was a year ago. 

[00:09:55] Patrick Donley: And same with a kind of shepherd, didn’t you tell the guy, I’m gonna start my own thing if we don’t partner here? So 

[00:10:01] Nick Huber: yeah, it’s not like I was acting in a negative way with poor intentions.

[00:10:06] Nick Huber: It was more like, Hey, we’ve had a great run. Like this has been an amazing thing for you. It’s been an amazing thing for me and my family. I’ve grown your company, you’ve sent me a lot of money. This is great, but I need equity in this to keep doing it. If you wanna keep doing it, that’s fine. If not, we can part ways and I’ll go start my own.

[00:10:22] Patrick Donley: And it’s worked out great, it sounds like, for everyone involved. So it’s a win-win. I was listening earlier to one of your quick 10-minute YouTube videos where you talked about a mindset change after meeting with a guy, I think his name was Jim, who was a financial planner in DC. Can you talk to us a little bit about that experience with him and just how you’ve gone about freely giving your playbook on Twitter, in DMs, and responding to people?

[00:10:55] Nick Huber: So, I think a common misconception (I get this question all the time), “Hey, how do I get distribution as well? I wanna get 300,000 followers on Twitter. How can I grow my personal brand? How can I build a following?” And first of all, nobody’s willing to actually do the work in real life to be interesting. If you’re not building a business, a world-class athlete, a famous movie star, a country singer, it’s really hard to get people to want to follow you on Twitter unless you’re notable, unless you’re doing uncomfortable, exciting things that other people want to do. Making money is one of those things. You’re gonna tweet about money and building businesses, but it turns out you’ve never actually tried it or done it. It’s really hard. So that’s something that nobody wants to hear. That’s my first piece of advice to anybody who wants to get a following. Okay, are you doing anything in real life that’s interesting? If not, forget getting the following.

[00:12:03] Nick Huber: But the other part of it is people network the wrong way. People network with their hands down and they say, “Hey, how can you help me?” They’re going around the internet saying, “Help me.” They’re going around to cocktail parties saying, “Hey, help me. Help me. This is what I do. How could you help me?” And I kinda just flipped that on its head and said, “Hey, for free on Twitter, I’m gonna go and tell everybody everything that I know, everything that I know.” And real estate is a close-to-the-vest, secretive business where you don’t just, people don’t talk about how real estate wealth is built and made unless you’re in it.

[00:12:49] Nick Huber: Unless you’re part of it, unless you’re one of the people in the culture. So I had a friend in DC who kind of shifted my thinking on this a couple of years back. I walked into his office, and I was not his client, not his paying client. I sat in the office, and he did a full whiteboard breakdown of my entire net worth, where my money was, where I was paying the most taxes, and where my risk was.

[00:13:22] Nick Huber: He brought his CPA in, along with his tax attorney and estate planning attorney, and they did a 45-minute breakdown of exactly what I should do to set up everything. They advised me on what accounts I should set up, how I should do my estate planning, and where I could avoid taxes. They even suggested considering cash-out refi instead of selling a property. It was a ton of very valuable advice. Then he took my phone out, took a picture of the whiteboard when we were done, and sent me a text saying, “Go do all these things. Go do them all.”

[00:14:03] Nick Huber: I was like, “Jim, do you do this for everybody? You bring them in here and do a complete brain dump, adding a ton of value. You just gave me thousands of dollars worth of consulting, and you’re not even gonna charge me, nor put a hard pitch on me to become a client or buy anything.” And he goes, “Nick, you don’t understand. I do this for everybody who comes in. My goal is to have an hour-long conversation with them and give them so much good advice that they walk out with their head about to explode and a to-do list three miles long about how to make their life better. And when I do that, two things happen. First thing is they trust me. They begin to like me.

[00:14:56] Nick Huber: They understand that I know what I’m talking about. And number two, anytime they have another problem in the future, they’re gonna come back to me. So what happens is, before the person leaves my office, about 20-30% of the time, they sign a retainer agreement for us to represent them, to help them. And the ones who don’t, they walk out. Another 50% of them walk out, and they call me back a month later with another problem. Turns out people who are in business, doing business, it’s a dynamic environment, and they always need help, and they come right back to me. And then that last 20-30%, yeah, that’s a sunk cost. That’s marketing cost; they’re gone. They’re not my clients. I don’t care about that.

[00:15:47] Nick Huber: But what happens is when I add value, when I add value first to everybody’s life, it all comes back around and comes right back to me. It can be a massive advantage. My mind exploded. Here was a guy who was not giving a hard sales pitch. He was not walking around saying, “Hey, pay me.” He was not saying, “Oh, I’ll tell you the answer if you pay me.” He wasn’t doing any of that. He was literally giving, adding nonstop value for as much time as possible, holding nothing back, and it turned out that was an amazing way for him to build a business.

[00:16:30] Nick Huber: That’s a similar thing that I’ve done on the internet. “Hey, what can I teach people about real estate? What can I teach people about small business? Here it is, this is it. These are the profit and loss statements of my storage facility. I’m gonna be radically open about how we do business and how we make money.” Turns out a lot of people relate to that.

[00:16:58] Patrick Donley: It’s been incredible. It’s changed the whole ethos of real estate Twitter. It’s like an abundance mentality rather than the scarcity mindset that, like you said, most real estate investors typically keep things close to the chest. I’ve had a couple of guests that I’ve wanted to bring on, and they didn’t want to spill and share the secret sauce. So I think it’s the beauty of real estate Twitter, and you’ve been a huge part of that. Guys like Moses and a handful of others have really created this ethos of sharing, being open, and giving.

[00:17:36] Patrick Donley: I know one of our first guests that we brought on was a guy named Barrett in the self-storage industry. I know that he had a call with you early on when he was getting started, and he said he paid $1500 for it, and he said it was the best $1500 he ever spent. You’ve changed his life; not to blow smoke, but you really changed the guy’s life. He now has seven or eight self-storage facilities, and you see him biking around Europe with his family on Twitter. It’s really incredible what you’ve done. So I just want to thank you, first of all, myself and the listeners. I really appreciate the environment that real estate Twitter is and how much you can learn on there. It’s just unbelievable.

[00:18:29] Nick Huber: It’s an interesting place because when I started. Talking about what I do and how my business works and how we make money on Twitter, the natural, lizard brain inside of us says, well, why?

[00:18:38] Nick Huber: What do I have to gain? Why would I share this stuff? I’m gonna breed competition. My partner called me and he said, Nick, what are you doing? You’re taking pictures of our profit and loss statements. You’re telling people how and where we hire our foreign talent. You’re telling people what service providers we use, we’re giving away everything that we do.

[00:18:53] Nick Huber: You’re talking about it all. And I said, Danny, just trust me. Just trust me. I think that, okay, yes, we might breed a competitor too, yes. It may be a little bit of scarcity in the storage business, there’s only 50,000 properties. We wanna own 500 of ’em. There’s a little bit of scarcity there, but I have a feeling that good people and people that we might wanna work with and people who might want to.

[00:19:10] Nick Huber: Invest in us, they’ll find us. And sure enough we were able to buy a hundred million dollars worth of storage because we raised $40 million of equity from people that I got face-to-face with through the Twitter dms and people who gotta look into my mind about how I thought about business. And it increased both of our net worth massively.

[00:19:26] Nick Huber: So I think just the abundance mindset versus scarcity mindset was a huge part of it. 

[00:19:31] Patrick Donley: Initially you were on Reddit, right? You were writing on Reddit. Was that a totally different atmosphere, totally different kind of situation on Reddit, and I wanted to hear about just how you ended up switching over to Twitter, like who your biggest influences were, like how did that come about and like just the difference between the two platforms.

[00:19:48] Nick Huber: Yeah, social media. Before I got on Twitter, I thought of social media as a place where angry people went to hate each other, like they went to complain about politicians. I looked at how any celebrity on Twitter, as soon as they tweeted something, just the hate in the replies, the toxicity of any community when it reaches scale.

[00:20:06] Nick Huber: And so when Moses told me to come on Twitter, I was like, dude, no way, man. No way. That’s a cesspool of just complete negativity. And I was on Reddit, and that’s what it was like. Reddit, not much benefit came from Reddit. I didn’t meet very many people. A bunch of anonymous accounts being really mean to each other.

[00:20:22] Nick Huber: A scarcity mindset, crabs in a bucket. When you’re trying to climb out and improve, people are gonna grab you and pull you back down. But when I got on Twitter, I found out, yes, that there’s that corner of Twitter. And now that I have 300 followers, 300,000 followers, I can’t stay away from it. There’s a lot of really mean people on Twitter.

[00:20:35] Nick Huber: There’s also a lot of deal makers. It’s a lot of people who run companies. There’s a lot of people who wanna get better. There’s a lot of people who wanna get smarter, and it’s changed my life for the better. And I’ve learned a lot and built some amazing relationships through Twitter. 

[00:20:47] Patrick Donley: I had the same kind of perception of just social media in general.

[00:20:50] Patrick Donley: It was just a waste of time. And as soon as I got on real estate Twitter, I just was obsessed with it in a sense. Like now I do, we’ve got a newsletter. I want to get into your newsletter a little bit, but we’ve got a financial markets newsletter called, we Study Markets. I do the Twitter threads daily on that, on Twitter.

[00:21:05] Patrick Donley: And I just want to hear about how you spend a lot of time on Twitter. I wanted to hear about any downsides, particularly I know like with my wife, she doesn’t quite get it yet. She views it maybe like Facebook or it’s just not a good use of time. I’m like, this is like how I get educated.

[00:21:21] Patrick Donley: This is how I learn. This is like an incredible amount of information. Do you have any downsides that you’ve seen, like Twitter engagement and the time that you spend on Twitter? 

[00:21:30] Nick Huber: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s designed by some of the smartest tech and user experience engineers in the world to be addicting.

[00:21:36] Nick Huber: So also there’s nothing more stimulating than having hundreds and thousands of people hanging on every thought of yours. So yeah, it’s addicting. I spend too much time on it. The dopamine hits from. Going viral on Twitter is serious and it’s really hard to balance. So yeah, I go through phases where I have to take it off my phone and lock my phone in a box at 6:00 PM and it’s not all fun, that’s for sure.

[00:21:58] Nick Huber: And there’s just mean, there’s mean people in any community. As the community grows, you’re gonna have people who just get jealous and upset and hate on people because they view things differently. So they take shots. 

[00:22:09] Patrick Donley: I saw your one, I think it was last night, Pappy Van Winkle tweeted that you did that. I think it’s got over a million impressions, so that’s gotta be fun to do.

[00:22:16] Patrick Donley: You had another tweet that I really liked about how you think about Twitter in terms of those kinds of tweets are the top of the funnel. I. And then you work down to the newsletter, to the podcast to your eight or whatever, eight, nine businesses that you’ve got going. Can you share a little bit about that, more like how you think about just that strategy in general?

[00:22:37] Patrick Donley: ’cause I think it’s brilliant, like how you’re playing the game.

[00:22:39] Nick Huber: Yeah, look, let me be clear that you can have 1000 followers on Twitter, and it can be life changing. You can have 5,000 followers on Twitter, and it can be life changing. You can meet business partners, you can meet customers, you can meet investors.

[00:22:51] Nick Huber: You can meet vendors. You don’t have to take it to my level to get a lot of value out of Twitter, period. People who also say Nick got 300,000 followers on Twitter because he is the self-storage guy. And that is just simply not true. The way that I think about social media is it’s a funnel and at the top of the funnel is gonna be the stuff that interests more people.

[00:23:10] Nick Huber: And then you go a little bit more niche and you find content and you produce content that interests you. A smaller, but more valuable portion of the population. These are the business owners, these are the investors, whatever. Then you go even further down and you have a podcast where people can get on and listen to the way that you think about life and listen to your voice and get to know you in a more intimate way.

[00:23:26] Nick Huber: Then at the very bottom for me is my email newsletter, where every week I spend about two or three hours writing a thousand, 2000, 3000 words on management, hiring, real estate, firing, business, entrepreneurship, wealth, and that’s where people really get to know me and how I think about business and life.

[00:23:40] Nick Huber: So social media for me is a big funnel and at the top of it is okay, yeah, we have some goods and engagement and some funny posts because I have a weird sense of humor and I can’t help myself, but pick on people who get really angry about nothing on the internet. I can’t imagine being a grown human sitting in an office or a room or a house or outside or doing whatever they wanna be doing at that moment, and they get upset about what somebody else posts on Twitter.

[00:24:03] Nick Huber: That’s not a direct insult to them. I cannot wrap my head around that. So I just poke it. I can’t help but poke it. But yeah, you gotta cast a wide net. And I, and a lot of my content is just about living a better life because I’m pretty passionate about living a balanced, better life. 

[00:24:19] Patrick Donley: I also feel like you use it too as a way to challenge your own thinking.

[00:24:23] Patrick Donley: Like to have really smart people. You said that you have strong opinions. Lucy held, you’ll put ’em out there and then you’re open to changing your mind. So I wanted to hear about that a little bit. Have you had any, like whether it’s business or real estate or self storage, any strong opinion that you’ve had that you’ve put things out there and somebody’s changed your mind about.

[00:24:42] Nick Huber: I think just the bigger picture. I think a lot of people do what I do and they tweet about business, entrepreneurship, whatever, and they get more entrenched in their own opinions because people start to battle them. They hunker down, they put their heels deep down and they fight back, and then they become a.

[00:24:56] Nick Huber: A little bit more radical. You see it all over the place. You see it in politicians, you see it in, in celebrities. You see it all over the place of people getting more entrenched in their opinions when they tweet about it or they talk about it, or they preach it or they make content around it, or whatever it might be.

[00:25:10] Nick Huber: I think I’ve become oddly, a little bit more balanced. Like I’ve understood more points of view because I grew up in southern Indiana, a very conservative Christian family. I had never interacted with Jewish people. I had never, I didn’t have an African American friend until I went to college. This is who I was around and surrounded by and shaped growing up.

[00:25:30] Nick Huber: Went to college and I went to a very liberal school in upstate New York, an Ivy League school. And that changed, that was radically different from where I grew up. And then as I go about and form my opinions in entrepreneurship, wealth whether or not it’s for everybody is something that’s really shifted and one notable very serious way that I’ve changed my mind on.

[00:25:49] Nick Huber: You talked to me five years ago when I first started creating content. I thought entrepreneurship was for everybody. I thought if you weren’t an entrepreneur and you weren’t starting a business, you were lazy. You weren’t driven, you didn’t wanna take any risk, and you were afraid. That is not true. Most people are not cut out for the chaos.

[00:26:04] Nick Huber: Most people don’t enjoy it, and most people don’t need to have a super high powered, crazy career to live a fun, enjoyable life. The majority of the population. Over half of us go to work every single day, do the bare minimum to get paid, and then find joy in other areas of life. We come home and we have hobbies.

[00:26:22] Nick Huber: We have family, we have friends, we have other things that excite us. So I’m a little bit different in that way, and just understanding that not everybody’s like me has been pretty eye-opening. 

[00:26:31] Patrick Donley: I wanted to shift gears a little bit. You mentioned my co host Robert, you guys did an episode a while back, but he recently had a guest on, his name is Ken Rusk.

[00:26:38] Patrick Donley: He’s actually an Ohio guy up in Toledo, and he wrote a book called Blue Collar Cash. A lot of ideas and principles are similar to your kind of sweaty startup ideas. I’ve got a son who’s, he’s a senior, he’s going into a senior year. He’s not a college guy, like he’s, it’s not going to be his route, and I’m trying to encourage him to go more into the trades, so, I wanted to hear, get your thoughts about, I know you’ve got, what, two boys and a young daughter.

[00:27:00] Patrick Donley: Right. I wanted to hear a little bit about just how you think about how you’re going to advise them in terms of education and going to college versus doing the sweaty startup blue collar cash kind of route.

[00:27:13] Nick Huber: I might be speaking out of two sides of my face here because I am going to encourage my kids to go to college.

[00:27:18] Nick Huber: I’m gonna be, if things go well, I’m gonna have a high net worth. I’m gonna have a lot of resources. I’m gonna have a lot of connections, and I don’t think that my kids necessarily need to start out working with their hands. I think that they can skip that just because they’ll be privileged enough to have my mentorship in my background.

[00:27:33] Nick Huber: That said that’s not the case that most people are in. Most people are not in that situation. Way too many kids are spending 60 grand a year on liberal arts degrees when they could either not go to college and start working the same jobs that they’re gonna have access to with their liberal arts degree.

[00:27:46] Nick Huber: Or they could go work for small businesses in the service sector and do really well for themselves. And when it comes to entrepreneurship, that’s where I have a pretty strong opinion of. Hey, there’s two ways to go about entrepreneurship. There’s the, what most people think that entrepreneurship is, where it’s Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, shark Tank, new invention, new idea, big idea.

[00:28:06] Nick Huber: Raise money. If you walk by anybody on the street and say, Hey, what’s entrepreneurship to you? That’s what they’ll talk about. When in reality, the wealthy people in my town, the rich people that I know, the people who have done really well for themselves, the people who have bought back their time, they have more freedom.

[00:28:19] Nick Huber: You ask them what they do, and it’s normal existing, old fashioned businesses. Where, Hey, there’s a problem out there. Something needs clean, something needs cut, something needs maintained, something needs built, somebody needs help with something. We’re just gonna go do it. We don’t need to be spectacular business.

[00:28:36] Nick Huber: We don’t need to have a moat. We don’t need to have a new idea. We don’t need to raise venture capital. There’s customers here, there’s businesses here. All we gotta do is get a little slice of the pie. So when I hear entrepreneurs say, Hey, go follow your passion, chase big dreams, big goals. It makes me sad because the best way to.

[00:28:53] Nick Huber: Having a smart person end up with a job tells ’em to go chase what they’re passionate about, because they’re gonna chase things that other people are also passionate about. There’s gonna be a ton of competition, and the world is a sick place and it doesn’t care. The world does not care about you and what you’re passionate about, period.

[00:29:09] Nick Huber: The world could care less, the economy could care less what you love doing, okay? It exists. People are paying money all day, every day for things that they need around their houses and their lives and in their worlds. You can decide that, Hey, I’m gonna find a way to go get some of that. Or I’m gonna do what I’m passionate about.

[00:29:25] Nick Huber: My advice every single time is to do whatever can set you up to then later in life, do what you’re passionate about. 

[00:29:32] Patrick Donley: Totally makes sense. I wanted to shift gears a little bit real estate show here. I wanted to talk a little bit about just your market views, what you see going on in, whether it’s self storage, commercial real estate.

[00:29:41] Patrick Donley: Have you done any acquisitions lately? I think I listened to a podcast you did with Chris Powers maybe three or four months ago about things just weren’t penciling. So I just wanted to hear a little bit more about what you’re seeing right now and what you’re looking towards unfolding like in the next three to six, nine months.

[00:29:58] Nick Huber: Yeah, another one of my side businesses is a property and casualty insurance business, and we’re seeing just another industry where you look at what’s piling up against real estate. Right now the list against real estate is getting longer and longer. It’s interest rates going way up, insurance costs going way up.

[00:30:16] Nick Huber: Property taxes going way up. And finally we’re seeing a world where rent growth, and inflow tenants is not just a given. It’s not just something that has happened from the post covid stimulus, right? So real estate for us in the self storage business is not fun right now. You could hear different things from other people.

[00:30:33] Nick Huber: I’m not having fun in real estate. It’s not fun at all. We are not making big chunks of money. We’re not transacting, we’re not selling, we’re not refinancing, we’re not putting. Hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in our pocket, like we were in 2021, 2022, 2021. We bought $50 million worth of storage, 2021, 50 million 2022, 38 million so far in 2023.

[00:30:53] Nick Huber: We’re halfway through the year and we bought one deal for $1.2 million. I have 45 people on my payroll. We’re spending more money on deal flow than we’ve ever spent. We’re underwriting probably 20 deals a week, looking at hundreds of deals a week, and seller expectations. They want too much money. For interest rates being seven point half percent.

[00:31:11] Patrick Donley: How do you see things unfolding then? What’s gonna happen with all this? Like there’s gonna be some kind of reckoning and I just want to hear how you’re preparing for it. 

[00:31:20] Nick Huber: Yeah. We now have a portfolio. We now have something to lose and I have to do my job, which is to protect my investor capital and my own capital.

[00:31:27] Nick Huber: So I spend a lot of time thinking about the downside and managing risk. That’s another thing, like if you’re listening to the show and you haven’t made it yet, You gotta be careful who you’re getting advice from. If you’re getting advice from a bunch of people who are already wealthy and already rich, they’re gonna have a totally different mindset than you are trying to make it.

[00:31:41] Nick Huber: If I were brand new with nothing to lose, I would be at risk right now. I’d be going around looking for opportunities. Instead, I have a big portfolio I’m protecting. I’m thinking about the downside. I’m thinking about, Hey, how can I get through the next couple years no matter what happens, and make sure I don’t lose any buildings?

[00:31:54] Nick Huber: It’s a really important part of all of this. So if I was a gambling man, I’d say, It’s a 50-50 shot, right? It’s a 50% chance that total chaos hits and there’s blood in the streets. There’s a 50% chance that rates start to drop, and this goes down as just another mild recession. So I’m not smart enough to predict what could potentially happen, but I know that inside of my company we’re worried and we’re protecting against the downside, which is loans that are maturing and cash crunch from investors and a debt crunch from bankers and protecting from that trifecta of horrific.

[00:32:25] Nick Huber: Situations for real estate investors. When you, when the banks slow down and they’re not lending as much money, and when the investors slow down, they’re not giving you as much money and the tenants slow down. They’re not moving into your properties as fast as they were. Those three things can create a snowball of destruction.

[00:32:40] Patrick Donley: You’ve been putting out a lot of content, like PDFs, I think, to get emails to get people signed up for the newsletter. A lot of great content. One of ’em was what, like real estate asset class you would be interested in if you weren’t into self storage. So I wanted to hear a little bit about that.

[00:32:54] Patrick Donley: I’ve actually, I’ve gotten some of those PDFs, which I really appreciate. One of them is on the business, the 20 steps or the 20 tools that you use for business. Yep. Super useful. Talk to us a little bit about asset classes though, that if you were just starting off, we’ve got a lot of beginning intermediate investors.

[00:33:08] Patrick Donley: What would pique your interest right now? What asset classes would you focus on? 

[00:33:13] Nick Huber: So this is another thing that if you only listen to people who have built massive wealth and have big portfolios, they’re gonna feel a lot differently about real estate than you are as somebody who’s just starting out. My advice would be to go towards an asset class that has more operational moving parts.

[00:33:28] Nick Huber: Something that’s really harder to scale, like start with something that’s hard to scale instead of going after an okay, multifamily 300 plus unit. Properties where yes, you can buy $500 million worth of multifamily in one year. Yes, there’s a very scalable model to do that. There’s no private equity firms going around buying $500 million worth of RV parks or daycares or single tenant industrial where.

[00:33:49] Nick Huber: You gotta do a lot of work to run these as small businesses, so I love it. I love it. There’s a lot of moving parts, imagine an RV park, you can seg the hell out of it. It’s super tax efficient to buy an RV park because of all those ground improvements and there’s a lot of moving parts.

[00:34:04] Nick Huber: You gotta move in RVs, you gotta keep the place clean, you gotta keep the utilities maintained. People hit stuff, people. Have problems at these properties. All of that spells opportunity for me. If I’m a beginning real estate investor, because I want a headache, I want it to be non-scalable because when it’s not scalable, I’m not competing against big money.

[00:34:20] Nick Huber: I’m not competing against nationwide companies. I’m not competing against everybody. I’m competing against one region. And if I can buy a kinda a small business that’s disguised as real estate. That’s a win for me. Self storage checks that box, a self storage facility. People think of it as a real estate investment, and yes it is, but it’s a small business inside of it.

[00:34:38] Nick Huber: Coupled with it, the same applies to many other asset classes that I love. 

[00:34:42] Patrick Donley: So things are slow right now. Real estate is not fun for a lot of people. Is that why you’ve been focused on scaling these other businesses and getting those off the ground? I wanted to hear kinda like an average day for you right now.

[00:34:52] Patrick Donley: Like, how are you spending your time? Is it on the businesses that you’re throwing a lot at the wall right now and I I’m sure a hun, like a lot of ’em are gonna stick and do really well. Talk to us about how you are spending your time. Because I read something like, you work what, 30 or 35 hours a week, but yet it seems and you do not, it doesn’t seem like you’ve got this, you’ve got a lot going on, so talk to us about just how you spend your time. 

[00:35:15] Nick Huber: Yeah. I have a team at my, above all my companies, a team that’s helping me run my companies as an operator, head of marketing content person. We have two video editors. We have a HR person, so like the company above is growing. I can flip a switch and get my individual operators at these companies what they need to run these companies.

[00:35:34] Nick Huber: No, it’s still, that said, it’s still stressful. There’s nothing more stressful than a three month old company from month three to month 12. It is not fun. No matter how good of a business you’re in, because you are hiring, you are building processes. The first three months are fun. It’s exciting. The website’s coming, the first customers are coming, everybody’s excited.

[00:35:51] Nick Huber: Month three, you’re like, wow, I’ve been working hard for three months, and the problems are just starting. So it’s a lot to get all these companies off the ground, but I have, my model is that I partner with operators, like I partner with people who are already really good at what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to offer.

[00:36:05] Nick Huber: And they can actually help and they know how to run teams and build teams and delegate. So it’s not like I am interviewing candidates at each individual company. I am working closely with my operator and they’re growing the businesses. So I spend probably half my time, 15 hours a week on content, whether it’s Twitter.

[00:36:21] Nick Huber: Podcast appearances like this, my newsletter and the other 15 hours a week are on working with my individual operators and giving them the tools they need to build and grow these companies. 

[00:36:32] Patrick Donley: I wanted to jump to the newsletter. You mentioned that I think you’ve grown from what, like 40,000 subscribers to like over a hundred at this point in the past three months.

[00:36:40] Patrick Donley: I want to hear about that growth. I want to hear about your producing and writing your own content. Correct? Like you don’t, I think like you’re not farming it out to anybody. It’s your voice. It’s your ideas. I think you view it almost like a diary. So can you talk a little bit about how you think about the newsletter and its growth?

[00:36:57] Nick Huber: Yeah, I think about the newsletter as a list that I own. One of the only lists that I own. I don’t own my Twitter account. I could get de-platformed at any time. I’m just a cog in Elon’s Twitter machine. So I know that if I rely on Twitter to be a long-term business development tool it’s sort of risky.

[00:37:13] Nick Huber: So I focused on building an email newsletter list of people who want to get a look into my mind and I can reach out and touch their inbox every Monday or every Monday and Thursday if I want, or go the whole month without doing it if I want. That’s it. That’s the big tool as I grow these companies and as I grow my personal brand and reach is that email newsletter.

[00:37:31] Nick Huber: So I write it. I don’t delegate the writing. I cross all the content is a flywheel, meaning I write my newsletter and from that newsletter comes several tweets. From those tweets comes, several small videos from all those thoughts come from the things that I can say on podcast interviews like this.

[00:37:47] Nick Huber: So it’s all a flywheel, but I don’t delegate the newsletter writing. I think it’s really tough to build trust and build an audience if you’re gonna farm out the writing piece. 

[00:37:56] Patrick Donley: I think you follow Justin Welsh, like he’s got a really great model for content creation and then how to, I forget what he calls it, but it’s brilliant.

[00:38:06] Patrick Donley: He’s the solopreneur guy. I believe you actually reposted one. 

[00:38:09] Nick Huber: I’m a good friend with Justin. Yeah. He’s a great guy. 

[00:38:11] Patrick Donley: Yeah. Can you talk about that a little bit? Like how, do you remember what he calls that, like how he, ’cause he’ll create like a ton of different Twitter posts and threads just from like a single newsletter that he puts out.

[00:38:22] Nick Huber: So Justin is a, he’s elected to have a small team and I think that’s amazing. Solo entrepreneurship can mean a number of different things. I think he’ll end up with some employees, some especially in the Philippines and Columbia, to delegate some small tasks. But he sells coaching and courses. He writes his newsletter and he is a very good copywriter.

[00:38:41] Nick Huber: He can write very well on Twitter and LinkedIn, and he’s grown. He’s got, I think, 800 or a million followers across Twitter and LinkedIn alone. He’s grown a great business. Look, this is why business is so amazing and so exciting to me because there’s gonna be two people with two different goals.

[00:38:56] Nick Huber: His goal, make great money, and with a small team, my goal is to build an amazing, big team, make even more money, hopefully if things go well. But I love interacting with the people and managing the people, and enabling, empowering the people. You can still do really well in business without that goal, and that’s why it’s so, there’s, here’s decisions you make every single day as an entrepreneur, and there’s no right decision.

[00:39:18] Nick Huber: Playbook on how to make the decision, and there’s no right one, like you can make a different decision and still win each way. 

[00:39:24] Patrick Donley: Making it up as we all go along in some ways too, like trying to figure out what works like it’s an exciting time For sure. I want to hear a little bit about your why. You are, I forget what your cash flow is right now, per month. It’s like a ton. Like you’ve magnified it quite a bit here. What’s your long range goal? What are you trying to push towards and is there an end game? There was an investor, Nick Sleep is the guy’s name, and he ran a company called nomad Partnership.

[00:39:49] Patrick Donley: Investment Partnership. He retired at 45. He had a, like an X number and once he hit that, he was gonna be done and he did it like I think, and that’s really hard for people to do because the number keeps moving. I wanted to hear a little bit about your why and what the end game is for you. 

[00:40:05] Nick Huber: I’ll let you know when I figure that out Now.

[00:40:08] Nick Huber: It’s really easy for me to say I’m gonna, I’m gonna tone it back when I get to X, or when I get this number in my bank account, I’m done. But an amazing thing happens is that when you make more money, when you start more businesses, when you get a bigger reach, when your distribution grows, more opportunities come your way.

[00:40:23] Nick Huber: The level of opportunities grows. So I say no almost all the time now. People approach me with potential partnerships, investments ideas. Businesses buy all these different things that I could do to start spending my time in different areas. The answer’s almost always no, because I have to be protective of my time and what I’m gonna go after.

[00:40:43] Nick Huber: But look, I love this game. I love it. I’m going to try to prove everybody wrong that I can do this. I can build an empire without working 80 hours a week. And it’s almost like me preaching to myself. I write this content all day. I write this newsletter, I talk about delegation, and I am really preaching to myself.

[00:40:58] Nick Huber: People think oh, Nick is such a great teacher. I’m just reminding myself of what I should be doing. I’m not perfect by any means, but I’m also a pretty balanced person. I wanna, I love playing golf. I love fly fishing. I love to travel. I love hanging out with my kids. I love hanging out with my wife. I like all the different things that come with it.

[00:41:14] Nick Huber: So I really think there’s three different levels of wealth. The first level is that you can actually pay your bills without stress. Like you can survive, you can feed your kids, and you can survive. The second level is that you can go into a restaurant and not worry about the price of any of the dishes, and you can order what you wanna order.

[00:41:30] Nick Huber: And the third level is that you can just travel anywhere you want to go without worrying about the cost of the travel in the hotel when you get there. Beyond that, there is no difference to 250 grand a month of cash flow or $250 million a month of cash flow. The boat’s bigger, the plane’s bigger, the house is bigger.

[00:41:45] Nick Huber: That’s it. That’s really it. Yes, I would like to get an airplane, and then it’s about building awesome memories with great people. And part of that is business. I think an amazing thing about entrepreneurship and business is that I can create millionaires, like I can turn other people into millionaires.

[00:42:00] Nick Huber: That’s a really fun thing, and I’m going to do that to a lot of people, which is great. My long-term goal is to, yes, I have a certain amount of cash flow per month. Right now it’s $250,000 a month. I wanna get that to a million dollars a month. I wanna start buying businesses, but right now I’m starting these companies and I’m surrounding myself with operators, people who are operating these companies.

[00:42:19] Nick Huber: I’m getting to know them. I’m getting these. I’m seeing how they think. I’m seeing how, where their strengths are, where their weaknesses are, and I’m getting familiar with them and comfortable with them. We’re growing these companies. Several of them will be shut down and not work. Several of them will be big companies and great companies.

[00:42:32] Nick Huber: I don’t know which ones. That in itself is fun. The fact that I’m making decisions now and I don’t know the outcome that makes it so fun. The other half of it is when I get to know these people and my reach has grown and these businesses have grown, and I have a Rolodex of amazing operators that are on my team.

[00:42:46] Nick Huber: And look, right now, all I’m doing is surrounding myself with great people. That’s it. Like I spend my time each week collecting talent and I’m getting them in my ecosystem and I’m working with them and I’m getting to know them. And then five years from now, when the cash flow’s here and we have the bank roll and we have an even bigger network, it’s okay.

[00:43:02] Nick Huber: Instead of starting an agency, we’re gonna buy a 10 million company. And we’re just gonna do it. I’m gonna put my money in and we’re, I already have the operations team that we’re gonna turn this business around with. That stuff seems really fun to me. I look at business as a puzzle. It’s a challenge.

[00:43:16] Nick Huber: It’s exciting, it’s stressful. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me grow as a person and go, I’ll always want to do it. I’ll never, Hey, I’m gonna check out and go to the beach. Of course I’m gonna work less. Of course I’m gonna have to leverage other people to do more and more of the work.

[00:43:30] Nick Huber: But entrepreneurship is just fun. It’s a game and I love playing it. So I think I’ll do it for a really long time. 

[00:43:36] Patrick Donley: Some of what you’re saying reminds me, I watched the Arnold documentary on Netflix. I don’t know if you saw that. It’s a three part series and first starts off with his bodybuilding career, then acting career, and then political career.

[00:43:46] Patrick Donley: And along the way, he was basically when people told him no, like it just gave him all the more impetus to prove people wrong. So in some ways it’s like you want to, I don’t know. I kinda like what you’re saying, like I was really inspired by the documentary. Some of what you’re saying rings true to what he’s saying in terms of.

[00:44:02] Patrick Donley: Tell me I can’t do it, and I’ll show you that I can in some ways 

[00:44:05] Nick Huber: there’s a lot of people that are telling me that I can’t grow a real estate empire at the same time as build companies at the same time as be a good husband and be a good dad and be fit. And I’m gonna try, I’m gonna try my best to do it all just to prove ’em wrong.

[00:44:18] Nick Huber: Maybe 

[00:44:20] Patrick Donley: you got a couple minutes here for a quick fire round. 

[00:44:22] Nick Huber: Yeah. 

[00:44:23] Patrick Donley: All right. Your main superpower, what is it? 

[00:44:27] Nick Huber: I’m charismatic. I can get people to follow along in my mission. 

[00:44:30] Patrick Donley: Favorite real estate conference? 

[00:44:33] Nick Huber: Reconvened with Moses Kagan out in Los Angeles. 

[00:44:36] Patrick Donley: Who’s the smartest guy you know that’s made the biggest impact on your life?

[00:44:40] Nick Huber: Chris Powers. He’s the real estate guy in Dallas-Fort Worth. He’s the one who taught me to build my, he taught me to build my real estate private equity company the right way. He’s also a flawed human like me that is working every single day to get better. He’s humble. He’s just a great mentor of mine.

[00:44:54] Patrick Donley: Yeah, he did a podcast, it’s been a month or two ago with Brent Beshore. 

[00:44:59] Nick Huber: Yep. Brent’s amazing too. 

[00:45:00] Patrick Donley: Yeah. It was a fantastic podcast where Chris really opened up about his own journey in a way that I thought was very authentic and real, and really touched me. There’s a mentor of Chris’s that made a huge impact that I had on the show named John Marsh, who I’m not sure if you’re familiar with, but he is Really another incredible guy that I think Chris actually looks up to and gets a lot of advice from.

[00:45:23] Patrick Donley: So really good stuff. Amazing. Last one here, real quick. Most impactful purchase under 250 bucks. 

[00:45:29] Nick Huber: Under 250 bucks. I got some insoles for my feet recently, they’re called Power Step and my foot pain went away and that’s been an amazing thing. But I also, once a week I have a personal trainer come to my house and work with my wife.

[00:45:42] Nick Huber: That’s a great investment. I have a tonal on my wall that is okay, it costs 3,500 bucks, but it’s 50 bucks a month and I love it to get 15 minute workouts that get me sore, and I only have to do it twice a week to feel strong. A nanny for my family has been the best investment that we have ever made.

[00:45:57] Nick Huber: We weren’t sure if we would use all the hours. We weren’t sure about the stress, what our family would think. It’s been incredible to have that and I think Ultimate Life Hack is a private plane sitting 15 minutes from your house where you can get anywhere in, in a time machine, but I’m not there yet.

[00:46:10] Patrick Donley: Nick, I really appreciate your time. I know you gotta run here. For the people that want to find out more about you, I know that you’re on Twitter, but any other ways that people can get in touch with you and learn about what you’re up to? 

[00:46:20] Nick Huber: Go to and sign up for my newsletter. Get a look into my brain every week.

[00:46:23] Nick Huber: And if you buy real estate and you wanna look at my cost seg firm or my property and casualty insurance company, it’s We have some amazingly hard working brokers over there at Titan Risk and Bolt Storage paid 380 grand a year in insurance for our 63 properties.

[00:46:40] Nick Huber: We found a new carrier and got that down to $280,000. So I’m pretty excited about the flywheel of me being a customer of these companies. It’s pretty fun too when it saves you money or makes your business better to be a customer. 

[00:46:53] Patrick Donley: Yeah, no doubt. I’ll put links to all the businesses RE Cost Seg and all the different things Titan and some of the web, what is it, web run labs and all that stuff.

[00:47:02] Patrick Donley: I’ll put in the show notes for sure. 

[00:47:04] Nick Huber: Patrick, thanks for having me. I’m a huge fan of what you do. The audience that you all are building is huge too, so you’re gonna be able to have a lot of fun and impact a lot of people. So I’m excited to do more of these over the years. Yeah. 

[00:47:14] Patrick Donley: Cool. Thanks Nick, I appreciate it.

[00:47:15] Patrick Donley: Have a great day. 

[00:47:17] Nick Huber: Thanks Patrick. Bye. 

[00:47:19] Patrick Donley: Okay, folks, that’s all I had for today’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the show, and I’ll see you back here real soon.

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