26 June 2023

In this week’s episode, Patrick Donley (@jpatrickdonley) sits down with Aleksey Chernobelskiy to talk about his transition from the corporate real estate world to going out on his own as an investor and advisor. You’ll also learn why a Sam Altman blog post on how to be successful deeply impacted him, what it was like immigrating to the U.S., the importance of 1% improvements in any area of life, how to network successfully, what it was like managing thousands of properties during the pandemic, and much more.

Aleksey is a Principal at Centrio Capital Partners. Prior to Centrio, he ran STORE Capital’s $10 billion commercial real estate portfolio consisting of 3,000 single tenant properties and ran the firm’s underwriting efforts. At STORE Capital, he sat on the Investment, ESG, and Employee Engagement Committees.

Aleksey graduated from University of Arizona with a quadruple major – Finance, Mathematics, Economics, and Accounting. He is passionate about education, mentoring others, and is a father to three girls. Aleksey is on the board at Academies of Math and Science, a 9-site charter school in Arizona serving 6000+ future leaders.



  • What his struggles were like for him after moving to the U.S. from Russia.
  • Why he chose to get four degrees in undergrad.
  • Why he chose to focus on his strengths rather than his weaknesses?
  • Why his two years in Israel was profoundly life-changing.
  • What it was like managing 2500 properties during the pandemic.
  • How he thinks of higher education and why many careers don’t require college today.
  • Why he stresses the importance of relationship-building and networking.
  • Ideas on how to network successfully.
  • How a Sam Altman blog post made a huge impact on him.
  • Why it’s important to understand the power of compounding.
  • What it was like working at publicly traded REIT, Store Capital.
  • Understanding what a sale leaseback is.
  • What his best advice is for someone moving into the world of entrepreneurship?
  • How he is splitting his time now that he has left the corporate world.
  • Why he thinks office space may be an asset class worth looking at further.
  • And much, much more!


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.

[00:00:02] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Because oftentimes I get asked, like, I don’t have a network. And someone just texted me yesterday, a friend of mine, and he was okay. Like, fine. I understand networking is important, like what do I do? And I, I think the first step more than anything which I was lacking is you have to be comfortable with reaching out to people.

[00:00:18] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And what I typically say is the best way to do that is realizing that regardless of your age or experience, You always have something to add or to help with the other person with. More broadly. The point is you have to understand that networking is not a taking activity. It should be fundamentally giving one, and then you just track that and let it compound over time and you look back in 10 years and I mean, incredible things will happen.

[00:00:48] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody. In this week’s episode, I got to sit down with Aleksey Chernobelskiy to talk about his transition from the corporate real estate world to going out on his own as a real estate investor and advisor. You’ll also learn why a Sam Altman blog post on how to be successful deeply impacted him, what it was like immigrating to the United States, the importance of 1% improvements in any area of life, how to network successfully, and what it was like managing thousands of properties during the pandemic.

[00:01:15] Patrick Donley: is a principle at Centrio Capital Partners, and prior to that, he ran store capital’s $10 billion commercial real estate portfolio consisting of 3000 single tenant properties, and ran the firm’s underwriting efforts. At store. He sat on the investment ESG and employee engagement committees. He’s also a graduate of the University of Arizona with a quadruple major in finance, mathematics, economics, and accounting.

[00:01:40] Patrick Donley: He’s passionate about education, mentoring others, and as a father to three girls, I really enjoyed this episode hearing Aleksey’s story, and I loved his take on networking, learning about sale leasebacks, and the compound effect of 1% improvements in any area of one’s life. And so without further delay, let’s get into this week’s episode with Aleksey.

[00:02:06] Intro: You are listening to Real Estate 101 by The Investor’s Podcast Network, where you 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.

[00:02:29] Patrick Donley: Hey everybody. Welcome to the Real Estate 101 Show. I’m your host today, Patrick Donley, and with me today is Aleksey Chernobelskiy. Aleksey, welcome to the show. 

[00:02:38] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Hey, thanks Patrick. You did a good job. 

[00:02:41] Patrick Donley: Thanks a lot for your time. I just wanted to thank you right off the bat for joining us today. I wanted to talk a little bit about, I was looking at your Twitter timeline just as researching for our interview and you made a comment on wanting to do a podcast about deconstructing the beginnings and the struggles of really successful people, which I actually think is a fantastic idea.

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[00:03:02] Patrick Donley: I love talking to our guests about their beginnings, their struggles. Of how they got to where they are. So I wanted to do that with you. And can you just talk to us a little bit more about your family immigrating to the United States, just some of the struggles that you faced early on in your life? 

[00:03:20] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I guess at a high level, I came to the US when I was 11.

[00:03:24] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Me and my brother, my older brother and my parents. And it wasn’t the easiest path. Essentially my parents had their degrees. Not make it to the us, which is a very Russian thing where they take things, essentially on purpose, 

[00:03:40] Patrick Donley: What were their degrees in?

[00:03:42] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Engineering. We essentially arrived in Tucson, Arizona without any means of making an income.

[00:03:48] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And of course, when you call them the feedback is well, you pay us a million dollars and we’ll send you a copy. So ultimately it took years for them to get it. And in the meantime we started actually, like, we started a legal club nonprofit in Tucson, Arizona. That actually took off quite a bit.

[00:04:05] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: We got like a few grants and my brother and I was 11, my brother was 13. So we were able to help quite a bit, and look and then I started watching, when I was 13, my brother probably right around 13 as well. 

[00:04:18] Patrick Donley: What year would this have been when you guys came here? 

[00:04:21] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: This was 2001. Yeah. So it was a tough upbringing, but my, my parents were wonderful. And you just, I guess, what’s the song? You started from the bottom, now you hear. 

[00:04:32] Patrick Donley: Tell me more about your parents. They started this club. What did they continue with that? Did they start to do other entrepreneurial things?

[00:04:38] Patrick Donley: Like what was their progression like? How did they support you guys?

[00:04:42] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: To be candid, it was tough. Thankfully we moved to Tucson and like a place like New York where a cost of living was pretty cheap. They ran the nonprofit that at some point they went back to college and got different, like student grants for working part-time.

[00:04:58] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: But I think they really struggled, and it was very difficult. But I think more than anything, it taught my brother and I like a big lesson and like perseverance and just even, picking up everything. One thing that I’ll mention quickly, like we essentially got a letter after eight years of waiting, it essentially said you’ll have a month to leave or something like that.

[00:05:19] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: But it was a very short term, and at the end of the day, of course we’re like, well shoot, like we only have a short time. Of course, I was a little kid, so I wasn’t very helpful. Probably. We waited for this document. I think they applied when I was born, right around there. And then we left right around when I was 11.

[00:05:37] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So it took 10 ish years, give or take. And when we got sort of a notice saying we can leave the country, it was within a few weeks that we had to leave. It was a very frantic like move. And my parents did it. I don’t know how to be honest. Like I have three kids now and it’s just hard. Like it’s hard to pick up and move.

[00:05:57] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And if you sort of think about their life, I think similar to most refugee parents, they sort of live a life in a sense for their kids. And that was, that was very meaningful, I think about it every day. 

[00:06:10] Patrick Donley: That’s awesome. Are they still living, are they near you or what’s the situation with your mom and dad?

[00:06:17] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: My mom lives in Tucson. My dad passed away like around 12 years ago. Just very quickly about like 10 days cancer. Yeah. Again I learned a lot from that. And life isn’t easy sometimes. 

[00:06:32] Patrick Donley: No, definitely. It’s not. I wanted to hear a little bit about like when you guys first got here, how was your English, what was it like starting school for you?

[00:06:41] Patrick Donley: Talk to me a little bit like as you got into high school, getting into college, like what was that like? 

[00:06:47] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I mean, it was rough. Like we didn’t know English. None of us, we probably knew a total of, let’s say like a hundred words as cool was rough, like me and my brother got made fun of all the time.

[00:06:59] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I remember coming to school for Halloween. The first time when I was so confused, like, what are all these people doing? Obviously, we don’t celebrate that in Russia. So, there’s just a lot of like, cultural aspects that are very different. And again, I think the beauty of something like this is when you have no choice.

[00:07:16] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Like, I literally couldn’t speak to my teachers. I couldn’t make friends. It was painful. And I’m sure I cry, I dunno, probably pretty common occurrence, and But looking back at it, when you don’t have a choice you learn something pretty quickly. So my brother and I picked up a decent amount of English was on here.

[00:07:34] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: My parents of course took longer, but sometimes the best way to learn something is just not to give yourself a choice. 

[00:07:41] Patrick Donley: Was there a Russian community then when you guys moved to Arizona, or were you pretty much on your own in terms of community? 

[00:07:50] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: There was like a refugee center that supported us. For example, we came and there was like an apartment that was furnished already for us and some food in the fridge, and then there, there were different levels of support for education, finding jobs, things like that, which was certainly very helpful. But you definitely, you feel like you’re on your own. There’s not a big community and everyone is pretty stressed out on making things work. And a lot of, even if you could get degrees and you translated them, the equivalents are not the same.

[00:08:25] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: For instance, my father-in-law was a. Was a dentist back in, us, what’s it called? Former u s Sr. And he came here with that degree, but it wasn’t recognized. And this is like a very common thing, doctors of all sorts, engineers of all sorts, like, you essentially have to remake yourself and it’s not in your teens and it’s not in your twenties.

[00:08:46] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Many times it’s in your thirties. And that’s a difficult path on top of raising children. Which is hard. Which is hard itself. 

[00:08:55] Patrick Donley: It’s incredibly hard and challenging. I’ve got a couple of Russian friends, that same situation came to the US. Their parents were professionals in the USR. They come here and it’s like you said, it’s a completely brand new start.

[00:09:08] Patrick Donley: It’s fascinating to me, like they’ve all done incredibly well. So I don’t, I wanted to hear like, does it give you a hunger and a drive that maybe like a regular guy, who’s just had a regular easy Life doesn’t have, would you say that is the case for you? Is there something that drives you or maybe like a chip on your shoulder?

[00:09:26] Patrick Donley: Like I’ve talked to some guests and they talk about having a chip on their shoulder that has driven them. 

[00:09:33] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: There’s no doubt. I mean, Patrick, like I think when you grow up living a very simple life and you’re exposed to other people and other ideas, I think initially you have like a very small view of the world and your personal possibilities.

[00:09:48] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And then as those possibilities expand and you dream bigger and think bigger, you realize what the different possibilities could be. And personally, again, we came here quite literally with nothing. Not even English. I didn’t have any relationship. My parents didn’t know anyone when I was like, trying to look for jobs.

[00:10:08] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And on the one hand, that was a very difficult experience. On the other hand it sort of set me off on a different track in terms of understanding the value of relationships and how I should have, let’s call it, optimized my undergraduate experience, et cetera, et cetera. 

[00:10:24] Patrick Donley: Well, let’s get into that. I want to hear about how you chose to go to the University of Arizona.

[00:10:28] Patrick Donley: You ended up with four majors, which I don’t think I’ve met anyone with four majors. Talk to us about why the majors that you studied, why you chose them, and just maybe some of the influences that kind of pushed you early on in terms of what you were thinking in terms of a career. Like what was your mindset at that stage, like what you pursue?

[00:10:50] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: In terms of what I studied, It was finance, accounting, math, and economics. I actually started in the engineering school and after sitting through a few weeks of chemistry and physics, I realized I liked it. I just realized that I’m not going to be able to stand out and be sort of, let’s call it in the top 10%, which by the way, is I think a big life lesson in general, meaning I think it’s just very important and I was lucky enough to sort of.

[00:11:22] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Some people say, work on your weaknesses, work on your weaknesses. And I think that is one way of thinking about life and other is work on your weaknesses by focusing on your strengths. And the weaknesses come up anytime, every day in different ways, right? But you don’t want to be in a setting where you’re not above average, let’s call it.

[00:11:42] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And I just kinda looked around and I was like, man, like I, I don’t understand things as quickly as other people. This is probably not for me. And so I had a mentor of mine in high school actually, that I’m still close to, which again, it kind of goes back to crazy stories, right? Because for some reason I didn’t even, I wasn’t even in this class, but we connected because I played ping pong and, he had a table in his room and we hit it off.

[00:12:08] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So at some point I asked him for advice because his wife was in engineering. And he actually graduated from the University of Arizona with a marketing degree. So he told me like, look I wouldn’t recommend marketing. Like you’re, you like math and quantitative stuff, so why don’t you like go work on Wall Street or something?

[00:12:25] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And I was like, what’s that? Like I literally, I didn’t know about the stock market. I was completely clueless, by the way, I also didn’t know that it was 2007, 2008. So that just like tells you how cool it was. And so anyways, so my first major was finance. Then I started, I took my first accounting class and I was like, wow.

[00:12:42] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Like I, I did really well. It comes pretty naturally. Accounting feels pretty important when it comes to investments. Let me double major in accounting. Then in the summer of 2010, hard to believe that I was 13 years ago, but I got accepted to a summer program at Harvard Business School, and I had, I spent some time with the Ph.D. admissions office there.

[00:13:05] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And as part of that, they said like, listen, you can certainly apply to one of our PhDs, but it’s going to be very difficult for you to be competitive without having like a very serious economics, and math background. So then I added math and economics and, so essentially the story was I was in school essentially double full-time for every summer, winter, every semester, like, nonstop.

[00:13:30] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And then close to graduation, I woke up and I was like, Hey what’s next? And originally the plan was to go the doctor route. I got into Cambridge for like a master’s that sort of fool fold into a PhD in financial engineering. And then I went to Israel, which is a whole other conversation, but I went to Israel, and ended up spending two years there instead of going to Cambridge.

[00:13:54] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And as part of that whole experience, learned a lot more about myself. And one thing I learned is like, I just don’t do well with theory. Things can’t be theoretical. I need to be very practical. And as part of that, I realized I need to go into industry. 

[00:14:08] Patrick Donley: Was it an academic program that you were doing in Israel, or was it something else?

[00:14:13] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: It’s called Yeshiva. It’s essentially a, call it like 12 to 15 hour a day. You can think of it as like sort of college or like religious college, if you will, where let’s say like 70% of the time you’re delving into the Old Testament, the Tali. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. Like, old scripture in Hebrew and Aramaic, and then about 30% of the time you’re spending understanding yourself as a person, like what drives you, how can you work on your character?

[00:14:44] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And, those men, those things are meant to be very complimentary to each other. 

[00:14:49] Patrick Donley: And so that was two years that you were in Israel, is that, did I hear that right? 

[00:14:53] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Two years, yeah. A little bit over two years. Yeah. 

[00:14:56] Patrick Donley: And did you find that useful? Like to have that period of time to, like you said, work on your character, work on maybe deeper questions, deeper issues that I think maybe a lot of young people don’t think about?

[00:15:08] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah I think it was probably the most profound two years of my life, and I generally don’t, it’s weird like sometimes people will ask me, people that are considering going to this fellowship or people that you know, aren’t Jewish, they’ll ask me like why did you do it? And they, the answer that they expect is, I really got a lot of religious stuff out of it, and that’s true.

[00:15:31] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I certainly learned a lot. In terms of scripture and things like that. But for me, a lot more of it was character based. Like I learned a ton about what type of person I want to be. I had found a lot of role models that I guess, at least in my experience, it was very hard to find in the typical corporate world.

[00:15:50] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And it showed me kind of how I want to live my life and what should I model my life after. And then, I went on entirely like. The exploratory phase of my life, realizing I, I’m not as introverted as I thought. In college, I sort of forced myself. I didn’t really have a choice with all the double full-time coursework.

[00:16:09] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I was in the library almost all day, and I just kind of assumed that I’m just like this introverted person that hates speaking to people. But when I got a chance to breathe in Israel, and meet some people, I realized I have like this massive drive to meet people, network. And a lot of people there were phenomenal and they expanded my mind in terms of even thinking about that.

[00:16:34] Patrick Donley: Yeah. It brings the mind, the, your pinned tweet is a rabbi, I believe, right? 

[00:16:39] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yes. 

[00:16:40] Patrick Donley: I forget exactly what he says, but can you share a little bit about that? because I think I remember watching it a while ago when I first kind of found out about you and I know it was really good. Can you share why that is pinned to you?

[00:16:52] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah, it’s like, it’s a very short, like two minute video, and I think it’s the one of the most meaningful two minute videos that I’ve seen. Essentially what he talks about is that difficult times are only difficult to the extent that they help you grow. In other words, if you are not going through a struggle, you as a person can’t grow.

[00:17:11] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And then, he uses a lobster as sort of like a metaphor to explain this. But you know, I think I, I’ve seen this to be true all the time. I, for example, at my last job at the store I managed, a 10 billion portfolio through Covid. And I can’t tell you how stressful that was.

[00:17:28] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: It was like, it was a lot, say the least, you essentially had 2,500 properties all in the lower middle market. And these are not public companies flush with cash. Feels challenging, and we got hundreds of calls for help and people crying and wanting help and you sort of had to triage the entire situation.

[00:17:50] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Like had a whole team to lead and we had sell site analysts and buy site analysts and credit agencies calling us like, what’s going on? What are you guys going to do? So it was a lot, but where I’m getting to is, That was probably one of the most meaningful career pivots in my life where I would you got through that and you’re like, man, I just learned a lot.

[00:18:14] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: But you don’t realize that while you’re going through the pain.

[00:18:17] Patrick Donley: I want to get back to store here shortly, but I want to kind of circle back to your year’s university days. You had four majors, I think you had what, a 3 95 grade point average? Something like super high. But you wrote also on Twitter that you, a class in cold calling or relationships would’ve been maybe your more useful than those four majors.

[00:18:36] Patrick Donley: Is that something that you really believe or, I’m just kinda like thinking about, like looking back on things. Is there anything you would or?

[00:18:43] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Was I tweeting for engagement? 

[00:18:45] Patrick Donley: Well, no maybe. Maybe. Or just, no, I’m kidding. In tongue in cheek, 

[00:18:48] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I, Patrick absolutely do, and I’ll tell you, I mean, I have three kids now and I’m day to day, I’m thinking like, should I send them to college?

[00:18:55] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And I. The answer. Look if they want to go to medical school or something like that, that very clearly requires a certain path, no problem. But I think 80% of the careers out there, and I would argue perhaps 50% of the higher earnings careers out there don’t require college. I think the best way to describe it, Patrick, is when people ask me, what do you use most out of your education?

[00:19:24] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I surprisingly tell them math. And they asked me why. Like, I don’t do calculus, I don’t do real analysis. Like those classes were painful, like proving calculus from scratch. Like that didn’t teach me anything, as far as investing goes, but it taught me how to, hit my head against the wall for three days in the library to figure out a proof and not give up because I know there’s an answer.

[00:19:49] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Right? And that was probably the most important thing I learned. So now going back to your ultimate question, meaning wh why is relationship building and cold calling more important? Because I realized when I left like all the people that had relationships got the fancy jobs and my four majors and 3.95 G, they didn’t really matter.

[00:20:10] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: At the end of the day. Jobs go to people with relationships and I would say even further, I think typically people get jobs to get some sort of. Financial freedom or financial success. And as soon as you, you talk about leaving an organization or starting something on your own, it’s all about relationships.

[00:20:31] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I mean, everyone forgets where you went to school, what GPA you had a year out, two years out, and the way to get your first job is not your GPA or where you went to school. It’s cold calling people in the area, cold emailing and again, Patrick, my point more than anything is, this sounds funny, but in college, I didn’t even understand that was the same.

[00:20:56] Patrick Donley: Networking and relationships and cold calling like? 

[00:20:59] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah, like what did I just, I felt like it was like this dirty, like why would I bother someone with a question that’s like taking from them. I don’t want to do that. Like I’ll get a good job by locking myself in the library for five years nonstop and getting the most majors and getting the highest GPA and that was just like so wrong.

[00:21:21] Patrick Donley: So looking back on things like that’s not how you would’ve done things much differently? 

[00:21:26] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: No, absolutely not. Absolutely not. I think I could have learned everything that was relevant to what I do now. I mean, it sounds scary to say, but probably be a few months. I really don’t use that much knowledge from undergrad.

[00:21:41] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I don’t know, probably the University of Arizona doesn’t to hear this, and then, universities at large. But I think I would’ve focused a lot more on relationship building. I just totally didn’t understand how the world in the US functions. I think in Russia it’s quite, it’s very, like, it’s very academic based.

[00:22:02] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And it was a little late in the game that I realized in the US like people sort of care about your academics, but I’ve seen many cases of people with 2.5 GPAs, one major Goldman Sachs investment banking. And I’m like, what? Like how that’s impossible? And the answer is, by the way, sometimes it’s like an uncle or whatever.

[00:22:22] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: But put that aside. The answer is sometimes the person was like, Hey, let me cold email someone at Goldman. I’m in New York. And they responded and they got coffee and the thousands of other resumes that have way better credentials got ignored just because this guy had a personal relationship with a guy with 2.5 GPA.

[00:22:45] Patrick Donley: So is that something that you’ve really worked on since leaving college? Is learning how to network, learning how to cold call? Is that something that you’ve spent a fair amount of time on? 

[00:22:54] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah, a ton. A ton. I think I actually have a thread going out on this today because oftentimes I get asked, like, I don’t have a network.

[00:23:03] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And someone just texted me yesterday, a friend of mine, and he was okay. Like, fine I understand networking is important, like what do I do? And I, I think the first step more than anything which I was lacking, is you have to be comfortable with reaching out to people. And what I typically say is the best way to do that is realizing that regardless of your age or experience, you always have something to add or to help with the other person with, right?

[00:23:28] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So some of the examples I put in this thread were, No, cause I’m for you’re a college student. I help college students all the time. I get placement and the last thing I’m like, I don’t like, I’m talking to the MD of Goldman Sachs, like, how am I going to find a way to help them? Right? And one example is you might be at a club and it’s like, it’s an awesome club at, let’s say nyu and you have a really good connection to a bunch of interns.

[00:23:53] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: You might sort of be an in for this person to find really good intern candidates. You might have a software idea that this guy has never heard of. You might think of a stock idea that you barely like researched, but you just think is interesting, and you’ll mention it to him and he’ll be like, well, damn, like this little kid clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about.

[00:24:15] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: But I’ve never looked into that stock. Let me look into it. More broadly. The point is you have to understand that networking is not a taking activity. It should be fundamentally giving one, and then you just track that and let it compound over time, and you look back in 10 years and I mean, incredible things will happen.

[00:24:35] Patrick Donley: I’m now thinking about your Sam Altman post about the, you said that it was like one of the most important, what was it, an essay that you, that he wrote? 

[00:24:44] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah. Yeah. It was just a blog post. 

[00:24:46] Patrick Donley: I just was thinking about that, about like the 1%, kind of improving 1%, like one of the points was that, can you talk a little bit about why that made such an impact on you, and then also like how you implement it in your own life?

[00:24:59] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Just to set the stage, humbly said, obviously, I don’t know Sam, but from what I can gather, his last venture before open ai, let’s say, was not a complete failure, but not a success either. And he worked on it for many years and I think it was probably pretty challenging to walk away from it without a big success.

[00:25:23] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Then he is been working at Open AI for several years, and I think in many ways he never got fame until, I don’t know, he saw like six months ago, give or take, there was a Microsoft deal and a whole Chad Gpt obviously, and the beauty of this blog post, I think is it was written in 2019.

[00:25:42] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So he probably knew what he was sitting on, but no one else did. And it was just very insightful because I think there’s 13 different topics that he touches on, and one of them is, to your point, sort of apply compounding to yourself. Many times we think about compound interest. Many people don’t even know about it, but it will blow your mind if you really think about it.

[00:26:06] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And one way I apply this to my life is, funny enough, it’s Twitter. So like ever since I started with zero followers I have a spreadsheet that I update literally every day. And my goal is to get 1% more followers. Now, I think about that on a, as a daily goal and also cum cumulative goal to not be like overly obsessed with followers, like, and more obsessed with like, quality of the content.

[00:26:33] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And what happens is like, look, when you have a hundred followers getting one more, it’s very easy. It’s like a very attainable goal now, like I think around the 8,000 range and like for example, yesterday I didn’t get 80 followers. I think I got like 15, however, three weeks ago, one of my posts went viral and I think I got a thousand from that post.

[00:26:51] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And so again, like you, you kind of were like, okay, like I didn’t meet the goal for today, but I’m still over my sort of what the goal was. Had my post not went viral. So it’s like, great. Okay. And you just keep going every single day in and day out. Consistency is massive and if you apply consistency with the 1% rule, I’ve personally seen it work with, growing the Twitter following and it’s just pretty amazing to look back and think, it just took, let’s say an hour of daily effort, 30 minutes, whatever it is, and then over time it just compounds and you look back and you’re like, damn.

[00:27:24] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Like I, I built, it’s not a big following, but it’s certainly something. And it’s all based on this rule. I literally have the spreadsheet every day. 

[00:27:35] Patrick Donley: What were some other points from the Sam Altman blog post that also made a big effect on you? 

[00:27:41] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I think the two that I pointed out, one big one was that the only way to get like really wealthy is owning something.

[00:27:48] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And his point more than anything was typically careers are fairly linear, whereas owning something is not linear. And I don’t know, maybe I’m just, I think that was cool because I like math, but I think it’s very Patrick, it’s something that I just, coming from Russia, you’re just like, get on the career train, stay on it forever.

[00:28:10] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Stay at the same employer forever. And that success, and, you just read something like this and you’re like, well, wow. Like, I never thought about that. I also think it’s amazing. Hearing it from someone who was not so successful when he wrote it on paper, at least you could say, and I’ll tell you one more thing re related to that is one big one quote that I really loved is, he talks about how probably going to mess it up, but it was something along the lines of, I don’t care how long it takes me to find a new opportunity or a new job.

[00:28:47] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Because I know that the goal is once I find that opportunity the rest of my life, career beforehand should essentially become like a footnote. In other words, what I’m about to, the rocket ship that I’m about to jump on is so meaningful, and that’s why I’m so patient because I need to find the right thing.

[00:29:08] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And that one thing, and by the way, I think it’s very true in his life, right? Like OpenAI became a massive company and everything that he did beforehand is like a footnote on his life compared to this one thing. And hopefully happy to continue, but yeah. 

[00:29:26] Patrick Donley: No. I’ll definitely put that post in the show notes and so people can read it on their own if they’d like.

[00:29:31] Patrick Donley: because it’s very good. And I do want to move on to talking about real estate. So you’re in Israel at Yeshiva right? For two years. When did the real estate bug bite you? Like how did that come about? 

[00:29:43] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: It actually didn’t, like all of my experiences before real estate were investing, I did quantitative investing, like distressed trade claims, not real estate, just a trade claim in a Chapter 11 or a chapter seven bankruptcy proceeding.

[00:29:59] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Then I did strategy consulting, a little bit of private equity turnaround work, and then I really didn’t touch real estate until I, I moved to Phoenix. And in a funny way, so store and really any single tenant investor, or I should say most of them, if you’re writing a long-term lease that is, let’s say 15 years, and you only have one tenant in a building, so the majority of your work in terms of investment thesis is around the credit.

[00:30:30] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Because if the tenant leaves and defaults, you’ll have vacant building on your hands. So because of that, I joined store as a portfolio manager when I came, but I think what it brought wasn’t really the real estate knowledge. Funny enough, it’s a REIT, but it very much functions like a private equity type of credit place because so much of the work is credit related.

[00:30:57] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And that was a really good fit. So I, I did a lot of work on the portfolio side, in terms of the, managing the portfolio. 

[00:31:04] Patrick Donley: So When you got hired, when you got hired on at store, what capacity did they bring you in at, were you an analyst? What were you up to for them initially? 

[00:31:12] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I was I mean, I guess officially my first title was portfolio analyst and I got brought into the portfolio management group, which I think at the time was roughly 4 billion, give or take. And I worked on a lot of, anything that we, that 4 billion that we owned, we needed to understand it.

[00:31:31] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And keep track of it. So we already presumably understood it since underwrite, but if you bought something a year ago, something could completely change. And the goal was always to have a really good handle on the strengths of your contracts throughout the term of the lease. Right? So meaning just because the business was doing really well in underwrite and gave you projections that made sense to hear from them that were good, that doesn’t mean that they reached them.

[00:31:57] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And so we would collect quarterly financials from the sort of consolidated entity and any properties under it that we owned on a quarterly basis. We would process them, anything concerning. We ultimately brought back to the owner of the business or the private equity sponsor in some cases. And ultimately, of course, if you own the real estate, your only decision is, hold and take on the risk or sell, right?

[00:32:23] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: That’s really all you can do. But there’s quite a bit of analysis that goes into, how is the tenant doing, how does it compare to our expectations before, how does it compare to last quarter? And I guess my larger point, Patrick, was I got, I had a credit bug, like I liked analyzing financials, understanding businesses, and that’s what really brought me to store.

[00:32:44] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And then I realized, wow, like real estate is fascinating. 

[00:32:48] Patrick Donley: Explain, you mentioned single tenant leases. Talk to us a little bit about, explain that, for some of the, our listeners who don’t understand what a single tenant lease is, some of the challenges of those, what you were looking at. And then I guess just more broadly, what exactly was store focusing on in terms of their portfolio investments?

[00:33:07] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I guess if few definitions first there’s something called the sale leaseback, which is essentially, imagine Patrick, you own, I don’t know, five childcares. And you own and operate from those locations, meaning you own the real estate and you also operate out them, out of them. I e you own the operating company.

[00:33:26] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: At some point you had to put a mortgage on your properties and it’s probably like 60% loan to value. And the question is always, where does the other 40% come from? Right? And more importantly, is it the best use of that 40%? So to anyone who is sort of trying to grow their business most, in, in most cases, it is not the best use of their cash to park it in real estate.

[00:33:52] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Because if you’re an operator, you could make much more money operating your business and expanding through acquisition or through organic growth. Right? But your money is like stuck in your real estate. You get what I mean? That’s where the sale leaseback transaction sort of began. You essentially call such a person.

[00:34:12] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: You say, Hey, how about we buy your 40% equity out, you’ll pay down the loan. Meaning you sell the building to us, you take the proceeds, pay the loan, 60%, 40%, you’ll keep as cash, minus taxes, obviously, and then you can do whatever you want with the money. In other words, you could take the money, you can invest it into the business, you can buy another business, right?

[00:34:34] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: You can, I don’t know, invest into Bitcoin, but that’s how the sell leaseback concept started. You sell it you sell the building and then you lease it back. In other words, you as a tenant then, as the original owner of the building, are able to stay in that building. You sign a 15 year lease, right?

[00:34:50] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So it doesn’t displace your business and in the meantime you’re able to capitalize on the 40% equity. So that’s what store did we specifically, did single tenant sell these backs? In other words, it’s a, it’s kind of, we think of a freestanding building that has one tenant inside and there’s the operator.

[00:35:10] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And again, we do the sell lease back, lease it back on like a 15, 20 year term. And within that, there’s a lot of granularity. It’s, this is a sell lease back market. A massive market. Billions of billions trade every year. Within that we played, there’s sort of like the investment grade sells back space, which, you can think of doing a sell these back to McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger, Starbucks, whatever, like the investment grade type credits.

[00:35:39] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And then there’s a mid to low to mid-market, which is sort of like the step below that, which is anything from three pizza shop, Mom-and-Pop operation to let’s say like a K R. Backed 50 million EBITDA manufacturing operation. So that’s where we played, I think, did I answer everything? 

[00:36:02] Patrick Donley: Yeah. So you grew the portfolio, it sounded like it was about 4 billion when you started there, and when you left it was around 10 billion?

[00:36:09] Patrick Donley: So talk to me about that growth, what was that like trying to manage that process? 

[00:36:14] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah. It was a lot. I can’t say I did it by myself, right. I worked for a public read, so, there was a sales team, an investment team, a portfolio team, and at some point I actually essentially took the investment team and the portfolio team merged them under myself as part of like a reorganization.

[00:36:32] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And so the beauty of that was anytime you look at transactions, so we’ve been talking about childcare, so let’s say childcare. So a childcare transaction comes in. I’ll assign it to one of my vice presidents that cover childcare. So in other words, they don’t only have questions based on what the perspective tenant sent us.

[00:36:51] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: They might also have questions based on the, I don’t call it 400 million of childcares that we only already from the portfolio and that vice president covers that entire exposure. Right. So there was sort of this feedback loop and once you close on something, That childcare would sort of come back to that person to manage for the rest of the lease term.

[00:37:12] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Do you get what I mean in terms of scale? Look, we I mean, I think the management team did a phenomenal job. Like, they I think firstly the business model is very well set out. Chris of Volke started sort of like this idea in many ways and it’s just extremely well thought out.

[00:37:30] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: There’s a massive market for it, not that many people want to buy. This might be interesting for some of your viewers. Not that many people want to buy low to middle-market, single-tenant buildings. Why is that true? Because they’re more complicated. There’s more structuring involved. Sometimes I would get balance sheets that don’t balance, and the immediate reaction is like, oh my gosh.

[00:37:53] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Like what do you like? What planet do you live on? You don’t have balance sheets. That balance. And then once you see more of them, you realize these people have been operating this business for 20 years and like it’s a business. And like their controller quit a year ago and they just made a mistake.

[00:38:11] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Like they’re not in the business of financials. And you ask obviously plenty of questions, sort of make sure that everything is really sound and there’s always sort of an art to how you ask those questions. Because if you get on a call with a prospective tenant and say, Why doesn’t your balance sheet balance, they might not want to sell them, sell their building to you anymore.

[00:38:34] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So there’s a way to ask things. Right. But yeah, it’s a fascinating space and because of the, I guess I can say sophistication that’s involved on the origination side, the competition is just much less. We typically acquired in like the eight to nine cap range while in and outs and McDonald’s and all those guys, they were treating it like the fives.

[00:38:56] Patrick Donley: So back to the Sam Altman quote about having, an equity stake in something. At what point did that kind of feeling develop you’re working for store, you’re doing pretty sophisticated deals, growing a portfolio from 4 billion to 10 billion. At what point did you say, I want to get a little bit of the piece of the pie for myself?

[00:39:15] Patrick Donley: Did that come about pretty early in, in your career at store or maybe later on? 

[00:39:21] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah, I mean, I think I I was very blessed to, I essentially got my, I think it was, got promoted like five times within four year period and. As you move up the chain, typically in like a public read they give you shares that rest over a period of time.

[00:39:37] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And so I, I got a piece of the pie, granted it’s, 10 billion a u m company or market cap, however you want to think about it. And so it was a small pie, but it was a meaningful pie to me some pie. Right, exactly. And so that really helped me build some wells, thankfully. And I’m very thankful for it and all the opportunities that store gave me.

[00:39:58] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: But then ultimately to your point I realized, and this was pre Sam Alman, but I realized that, generally speaking, your career opportunities at a big company are, they’re sort of, it’s, it is interesting. They’re, I think they’re generally like linear. Then they get exponential and then they’d be sort of become linear again, because you have senior leadership or whoever, like you have the executive team and.

[00:40:22] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Are they ever going to quit? If they do, are they going to hire someone externally or low yield? You just don’t know these things, so a lot of it is very, it’s very chance based. And the question is, how many years do you want to wait? And for me it was just becoming difficult to wait longer and longer.

[00:40:41] Patrick Donley: Yeah. So talk to us about those next steps, what it was like to leave, because we’ve got listeners, and I’ve talked to several people recently that are at, in a position where they’re in a great career, but they’re ready to take a leap to doing something on their own entrepreneurially. And that’s a tough transition.

[00:40:58] Patrick Donley: Can you talk about that, what that transition has been like for you and just what you’ve got involved with and maybe just like advice to people on how to handle that big step. 

[00:41:08] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I think that the, probably the biggest piece of a device I would have is learn as much as you can while you’re at a place.

[00:41:15] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Generally speaking, I think it’s very easy to assume that you can figure things out, and many times that’s true. You can call an attorney or you can call a friend or whatever, right? But while you’re at a company you sort of have a ton of things that you can learn and a lot of people that you can learn from.

[00:41:32] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And I think probably 90% of the time, those chances good waste, because you’re just, you’re sort of on this like one track mindset, right? But if you know that one day your goal is to start something on your own, I think that’ll change your perspective and how you view the world and how you view your job as well.

[00:41:51] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So I think that’s one. Two, hopefully, I’m not being annoying, but like relationships are big. I think it’s I always encourage people to keep track of all your relationships starting college, if not earlier in one place. And at some point, all of them will become super helpful, and sometimes a relationship that you spoke to 10 years ago randomly on the phone will become your capital source 10 years later.

[00:42:19] Patrick Donley: So what does that look like for you? You said you keep track of all your relationships in one place. What does that look like for you? 

[00:42:25] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I literally have a Google document and I’ll just keep track, like first name, last name, firm, city, state cell, and then, I’ll just keep track of notes of, when I spoke to them what it was about, when was the last time I spoke to them.

[00:42:42] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And many times. Just to give you one example, I think I wrote about this. My read I also did this with a bunch of people that rejected me. I had so many interviews during undergrad and I’ve kept in touch with a one of them. Many times you get sort of like a rejection email, even if it’s from hr by the way.

[00:42:59] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And many times you just won’t respond. I took a very different approach and I said, wow, like, no problem. Thank you. Here’s a few things that I learned. It was a pleasure, blah, blah, blah, and then. Many years later, I’ll reach back out because I randomly remembered some of the lessons that I learned in that interview process.

[00:43:16] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Or maybe I wasn’t prepared for something, and like it was a meaningful lesson and the hiring manager will be like, what? Like you said, thank you. And you remembered like that I grilled you on. I don’t know. It’s a CAPM model. And that was such a meaningful event in your life. Like, yeah, I’ll get coffee with you in New York.

[00:43:35] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Like, that’s cool. Like you just you don’t, people don’t do that. 

[00:43:39] Patrick Donley: And CAPM is what? Capital Asset Pricing Model is that? 

[00:43:43] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah. I just pick something random, like you’ll look at these like crazy questions in my opinion many times dumb questions in interviews, but whatever it is, like, or you’ve got grilled on the modeling test and you completely failed.

[00:43:55] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And one path is to just, shut down and say, well shoot, I suck, like onto the next one. Another path is I suck, but like, let me get better and stay in touch with this person because this person helped me realize that I suck. And then you reach back out and you’re like, Hey, I had like, I’ll tell you, I had a funny experience.

[00:44:14] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I. At some point in my life, like very early on, I didn’t know anything about real estate. I got introduced to like one of the senior people at I think it’s like 50 billion fund. And, he brought me in. I was like super nervous. I like, could barely talk. Probably still very like introverted as a person.

[00:44:32] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And he asked me what a cap rate is and I totally like Patrick, I butchered this thing. Like I, I remember looking it up and like, I kind of said it right, I think, and then he had a follow-up question and I just totally failed miserably to the point I think, like he laughed, but I still stay in touch with him.

[00:44:51] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And it’s kind of like a joke now because, Everyone makes mistakes and you learn. And then, years later, I ended up running a 10 billion portfolio for a real estate company. Life takes you in different directions and it is just, it’s so valuable to stay in touch with people. Cause you just, you don’t know how you might be able to help them years down the road.

[00:45:11] Patrick Donley: So let’s circle back leaving store. You talked about a little bit what that’s been like. What are you up to today and how long ago did that happen when you left them? Was that over a year now? 

[00:45:22] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah, I left a little bit over a year ago, about 14 months. Today I’m essentially splitting my time third, a third.

[00:45:31] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: About a third of my time is consulting across a bunch of different asset classes. I’ve done a pretty big engagement with one of the largest office platforms in the us. I’ve done some consulting for single-tenant funds. 

[00:45:44] Patrick Donley: And what type of consulting are you doing when they bring you in? What type of work are they requesting you do?

[00:45:50] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: It’s really all over the place. Right? I mean, so some of it is investments related. In other words, like we’re looking at this investment. What do you think? Some of it is more, call it like strategy, so for example, like the Off the Street was thinking about going public and I helped them interact with the investment banker out of Singapore because they were just kind of speaking a language that was not so familiar.

[00:46:18] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And then, like I have an existing contract to the software company. It really varies, but it’s, again, it’s very relationships driven because you don’t know what people need until you speak to them. And sometimes, this is the funny part, is sometimes you don’t even know how you can help someone yourself.

[00:46:34] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: You get into something and you say a comment and they’re like, oh, I’ve never thought about that. And you’re like, oh, like, that seems like a pretty simple idea. But it’s a simple idea to me, based on my experience at another company, and I’m coming into here a little cold Turkey, let’s say, on what office is right and how it functions.

[00:46:55] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: But you learn about it and you learn enough, and then new people bring interesting ideas. So that’s kind of like where I spend a third of my time. Then another third is looking for transactions myself. Some of that is single tenant at lease. I’ve been kind of picking up on that in the past two months as cap rates have, I don’t want to call stabilized, but got better before, like, things just didn’t make any sense.

[00:47:19] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: But I’ve also looked at, I looked at a vacant office building recently on mixed use building. What’s your take on vacant offices? Oh gosh. It’s funny. If you would’ve asked me this three weeks ago, I would’ve said, don’t touch them. But a few weeks ago, I a local sponsor in Phoenix went under contract on something.

[00:47:38] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And he told me about it, which is actually the third. Third is helpless capital introductions. He asked me for potential, some help to fundraise some money. And Patrick, I mean, the deal is ridiculous. I think the office is so illiquid at this point that there are some opportunities that, I mean, you can screw up five different ways and still make money to be candid.

[00:48:01] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Like I didn’t look much into it, but now I’m starting to. 

[00:48:06] Patrick Donley: And you mentioned prior to our recording or me pressing record, you’ve got your own rentals too. So can you talk a little bit about that? What that been like and if you have a strategy further on down the road that you want to continue to expand that portfolio?

[00:48:20] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I have two rentals in Phoenix. I don’t know if I have a strategy for rentals specifically. I sort of think about I, in many ways, they like fell into them like we lived in those houses or planned to renovate them, and then something didn’t work out. And we moved and I just decided not to sell because it’s a decent passive income play, although sometimes it’s not so passive as most real estate investments.

[00:48:42] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So I would just, whenever a broker tells you that something is passive income, you should not believe them. But I think, it, I think more than anything playing in the residential market expanded my mind in the same way that store expanded my mind to the possibilities. I mean, it’s crazy to see the company acquire 2 billion of transactions.

[00:49:02] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: It’s also really mind-expanding to buy something on your own. I personally find it very mind-expanding. I don’t, by the way, I don’t even know if that’s a phrase, but I’m using it anyway. I look at some local businesses to buy nowadays, and it’s a very fascinating exercise. Like hypothetically, could I close on a business?

[00:49:21] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Sure. I just don’t know what to buy yet. But as things come up on the market, I look at it, I look at different real estate opportunities and to me it’s always a question of I never knew, my wife always talks to me about this. She’s like, why don’t you just get a job? Like, why are you like, why are you so hesitant?

[00:49:38] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Just go be an accountant. So whatever. I could never really explain myself until that somehow quote that I literally sent it to her yesterday. I was like, this is perfect. This literally explains what I’m hesitant about. It’s like, I don’t want any opportunity. Like I, I really want something that I can be at for many years and it will make the rest of my career seem like a footnote.

[00:50:00] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: It’s a big question of where should you spend your time and where’s the return on that time will be the best.

[00:50:06] Patrick Donley: I love it. What was the phrase? Mind-expanding what? I forget the phrase you used. 

[00:50:13] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I totally just, I don’t know. I think that’s English. Yeah. No, it’s, I didn’t know English when I was 11, so I didn’t know English when I was 11 and one of my only B’s in college was English.

[00:50:22] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: So I can officially say, sometimes I’ll say like, is that English? I don’t know. 

[00:50:28] Patrick Donley: That’s funny. That’s funny stuff. I wanted to get into a quick fire round if you’re up for it. We’ve got about.. 

[00:50:34] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I don’t know what that means, but let’s go. 

[00:50:37] Patrick Donley: Okay, let’s do it. No, it’s just a kind of a rapid-fire questions and you can just kinda gimme your quick thoughts on things here.

[00:50:42] Patrick Donley: So I wanted to hear about like any of your favorite real estate books, anything that’s made a big impression on you. 

[00:50:49] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: To be honest, it’s not real estate books. Personally, I like learning just by doing, I have a hard time reading like long-form books, but non-real estate books. I think probably the two that were most impactful for me is there’s one called “Deep Work” by Cal Newport.

[00:51:06] Patrick Donley: I just did a Twitter thread on that yesterday. 

[00:51:09] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: No way. Okay. I’ve, I think I’ve given probably 50 of those as gifts and then the second one is “Never Split the Difference”, which is it’s a negotiations book. Both have definitely changed my life. 

[00:51:23] Patrick Donley: “Never Split the Difference” what’s that guy’s name?

[00:51:25] Patrick Donley: Chris Voss. Is that right? 

[00:51:27] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Voss. Yes. Yes. Vos, that’s right. Yeah. 

[00:51:29] Patrick Donley: Yeah, that’s a good one that actually comes up a fair amount in people mentioning it as a book that to check out. 

[00:51:35] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah, it’s very good. 

[00:51:37] Patrick Donley: We mentioned Twitter quite a bit. Who do you feel is putting out great content on real estate Twitter? 

[00:51:43] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Oh man, so many people. They’re your top two or three follows. I’m afraid to even mention people because who am I? Who am I going to forget? I don’t know. Look, I mean, like, I really enjoy some of the things that Chapon Guy puts out. Moses Kagan is very good, especially like Moses Kagan’s, you could say personality, like his tweets just feel like very down to earth.

[00:52:09] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: It’s not very corporate-y. It’s very friendly and I, I’ve had some conversations with him too, and like he’s just phenomenal. Some other folks that I’ve connected with that are just very impressive. Yeah. I’m trying to remember their anonymous names. I think he’s like EB or something.

[00:52:28] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: He changes his name like every other day. 

[00:52:31] Patrick Donley: Did you end up going to that New York event that was it strip mall guy put on? 

[00:52:36] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Somehow I got an invitation. I was very touched and I actually booked a ticket. And then like always one of my kids got sick and then my wife, put out the hammer. It looked like a great event.

[00:52:49] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Yeah, it looks really fun. I mean, I was so excited for it. Hopefully, I can come to the next one. 

[00:52:54] Patrick Donley: I want to hear a little bit about like your number one inspiration is that your kids your wife, your parents? Who’s your number one inspiration? 

[00:53:02] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I think pre-having children, I could probably name a few people.

[00:53:07] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Generally speaking, it’s people that, hey, and this is hard to find, but people that are, let’s call it like, in the billionaire ranks, but are extremely humble and simple people that you know, just as a person. I appreciate that a lot and I think it’s very difficult to find. 

[00:53:28] Patrick Donley: Do you have any entrepreneurial heroes like that?

[00:53:30] Patrick Donley: Can you, do you have any names that like come to mind? 

[00:53:33] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: There’s a pretty substantial owner in New York like the Sharon family, Ruby Shone. I mean, he built a massive empire. Very humble person. His kids are incredible people. Spend a ton of time in the community. It’s amazing to see, live in simple houses, drive simple cars like it is just, it’s beautiful to see.

[00:53:57] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And for me, it’s very inspiring. And I know like one of the top people at Goldman that also I think he like still drives like a 1990 Toyota or something like that, so the people like that I just really lean on to. And then I think if you would ask me now in a weird way to my kids, meaning they can’t inspire me professionally because you know, they’re like they’re learning their ABCs, but in another way, everything that I do is, is really for my wife and my kids.

[00:54:22] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And I look at them and they’re so unassuming and they’re just like, daddy, like, why do you have to go to work? That’s not a bad question. Like, sometimes I need to ask myself that. And yeah, so kind of a, sometimes it just reminds me of priorities and, that’s something that was definitely difficult while the store, or really any company is just balancing time, between a family and work.

[00:54:47] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: And one of the big benefits to be on your own is, having that be a lot more flexible. 

[00:54:52] Patrick Donley: Aleksey this has been fun. I really enjoyed getting to know you a little better. I really appreciate your time. For our listeners that want to get in touch with you or learn more about you, what’s a good way for them to do that?

[00:55:03] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: I think you can probably Google my name and not find anyone else. I’m probably most active on Twitter now. I am less active on LinkedIn and hoping to get back on my blog as well. So, you can maybe put it in my link tree link and, people can find it there or whatever. They can find it.

[00:55:23] Patrick Donley: And what’s your Twitter handle is what again? 

[00:55:26] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Just my last name. Yeah, it’s literally my last name. Yeah. I think again if people will my name, like all these split things will pop up. 

[00:55:33] Patrick Donley: Absolutely. And I’ll put all this info in the show notes, the Sam Altman, the blog post, A lot of the other things that we’ve talked about.

[00:55:40] Patrick Donley: “Deep work”, “Never Split the Difference”. Some good stuff that you’ve mentioned along here. We’ll all be in the show notes. So yeah. Aleksey, thanks so much. Really appreciate the time. 

[00:55:48] Aleksey Chernobelskiy: Hey, thank you Patrick. It was a pleasure. I’m looking forward to staying in touch. 

[00:55:52] Patrick Donley: Okay folks, that’s all I had for today’s episode.

[00:55:55] Patrick Donley: I hope you enjoyed the show, and I’ll see you back here real soon. 

[00:55:58] Outro: Thank you for listening to TIP. Make sure to subscribe to We Study Billionaires by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Every Wednesday, we teach you about Bitcoin, and every Saturday, we study billionaires and the financial markets to access our show notes, transcripts, or courses, go to This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decision, consult a professional. This show is copyrighted by The Investor’s Podcast Network. Written permission must be granted before syndication or rebroadcasting.


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