Land Academy Live Just for the Fun of it (LA 824)

Land Academy Live Just for the Fun of it (LA 824)


Steven Butala:                   Steve and Jill here.

Jill DeWit:                            Hello.

Steven Butala:                   Welcome to The Land Academy Show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny southern California.

Steven Butala:                   Today, Jill and I talk about Land Academy Live, Just for the Fun of It.

Jill DeWit:                            It sounds like a weird topic, but you have a really good goal.

Steven Butala:                   Here’s what Jill just said. Right before we started, she said, “What the hell is this now?” What’s the point to anything if you’re not going to have fun doing it? These Land Academy Live events, it turns out, are a blast for us to do. They’re a heck of a lot of fun, it seems like, to people that are there.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Plus, it’s right on the beach. People bring their spouses, and they have a vacation.

Jill DeWit:                            Make a vacation. I’m remember being a little stressed go to the first one, then five minutes in, I’m like, “Oh, this is so much fun.”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Then it was great.

Steven Butala:                   How can you not have fun at a beach?

Jill DeWit:                            Yep. Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   That’s crazy.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   That’s the whole point to this. Even real estate investing and whatever you chose to do. For us, it’s real estate investing and now teaching, or whatever this is called.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   It’s fun.

Jill DeWit:                            We’re going to make up our own name for it.

Steven Butala:                   Jill and I are constantly laughing. I’m filming a show called The Steve Butala Daily Show, where people follow us around and watch the stupid stuff Jill and I … this dumb lifestyle that we have. It’s fun.

Jill DeWit:                            Exactly.

Steven Butala:                   I look at the drafts before they get … The show hasn’t been released yet. It will on YouTube at some point when we have enough accumulated episodes. I’m looking at this stuff going, “This is …” Even me looking at it going, “We’re having too much fun.”

Jill DeWit:                            “This is nuts.”

Steven Butala:                   And making a bunch of money while we’re did it, so …

Jill DeWit:                            It’s nuts. Yep.

Steven Butala:                   What’s the point to anything if you’re not having fun.

Jill DeWit:                            Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   I’ve been in places in my life … I’m sure you have, too, Jill … where you just wake up one day, and are looking at yourself in the mirror going …

Jill DeWit:                            “What am I doing?”

Steven Butala:                   “This is not any fun.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   “The person that I’m with is no fun at all. They’re not happy.”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   “This job is awful.” Hopefully not all at the same time.

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   “This job is awful. I got to do something about this. I know change sucks, but I’d rather go be homeless than do this. This is terrible.”

Jill DeWit:                            Yep.

Steven Butala:                   That’s what this episode is about. Maybe the episode’s over.

Jill DeWit:                            I was wondering. I’m not sure what we’re going to have left to talk about, but that’s okay.

Steven Butala:                   I got all into it.

Jill DeWit:                            All good.

Steven Butala:                   Before we actually get into it, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the online community. It’s free. As you’re listening to us, please drop your questions into the comments section below.

Jill DeWit:                            Curtis asks, “Hello, all. Getting ready for my first mailer, and Steve mentioned that it’s important to keep the same number over the years …” Phone number.

Steven Butala:                   Phone number.

Jill DeWit:                            “… as people will call you from mailers you did years before. Is there a service that’s used to keep a phone number permanently? I absolutely do not want to use a California number when mailing other states, however. Everyone hates us. I hate us.” Curtis is awesome. That’s just so good. I’m sorry. I’m so cracking up. “I hate us. I don’t want to waste too much time on this, but having a number you can’t lose is what I’m after. Thanks.”

Jill DeWit:                            All right. I want to first address the California thing, because that’s a crack up.

Steven Butala:                   People do hate us.

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t think it’s fair, by the way. It’s really not fair.

Steven Butala:                   I’m not from here, so I don’t … I’m not a Californian.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, but you live here now.

Steven Butala:                   I know, but I’m still, in my soul, from the Midwest.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, where are you from in your soul?

Steven Butala:                   From Detroit.

Jill DeWit:                            You know what, though? I’m not so sure about that, because I thought you told me in your soul was to be out West, and that’s why you’re here now. You were displaced.

Steven Butala:                   I still have roots there, and I still … I understand. It’s not hate. I understand why people look at people in California a lot and say, “What the heck?”

Jill DeWit:                            They can live here, too, by the way. It’s not like they can’t.

Steven Butala:                   It’s not jealousy. It’s just weirdo-ness.

Jill DeWit:                            I don’t think we’re that weird. I think they’re weird. Why would you live somewhere-

Steven Butala:                   Here’s a couple of things about California-

Jill DeWit:                            … they don’t like. They just complain about us over here that are doing something about it.

Steven Butala:                   People in California don’t understand a few things. Here, I’m going to help. Everyone in California, I’m going to help you.

Jill DeWit:                            All right, here we go.

Steven Butala:                   If you are not a Democrat, every single election you have ever watched on television from the national elections all the way down to the local elections, has been destroyed by the fact that California and its electoral votes … the number of electoral votes it has … it’s just right when the whole televising of the elections start, Democrat. I don’t care either way if you’re Democrat, Republican, but I will tell you that there are people in this planet that, all over this country, who can’t stand this state because of that. And, they literally won’t come to California because of that. That’s number one.

Jill DeWit:                            How sad is that?

Steven Butala:                   Number two. I’m going to paint the profile. Jill and I live in this little beach community in southwestern Los Angeles. There’s little groups of beaches down here. I’ll paint the profile of a person who’s lived here more than 20 years. Back in the day, these beach communities were considered, “Oh, my gosh. Those weirdos that go live in that beach area. They’re nuts.”

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true. Like the slum area.

Steven Butala:                   So, these people, mostly hippies, maybe 30, 40 years ago, would buy property for, like, $10, $20, $30,000, literally, and live this happy life.

Jill DeWit:                            The shacks on the beach.

Steven Butala:                   I’m not Right, I’m not Left, I don’t care about that. That’s just what happened. Now those houses are worth $4, and $5, and $8 million.

Jill DeWit:                            And, even more.

Steven Butala:                   Some of them bought strip malls, and they bought strip centers, and all kinds of real estate. Some of them were construction guys that built properties and accumulated some land. Those people are crazy rich now. They’re multi-millionaires for doing nothing. Doing what all of us around the whole country have done, which is buy a house, pay the mortgage for a while.

Jill DeWit:                            And, stay there.

Steven Butala:                   Theirs just happened to be worth $4 million at the end, and everybody else’s happened to be worth 5% to 10% more a year.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   So, they’re independently wealthy. Because of that, they walk around happy.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s a good point.

Steven Butala:                   They walk around with a guitar on their back, smiling, and they have some drinks. Jill and I go out all the time and talk to these people and listen to these stories. I’m personally happy for them, because I found my little slice, too, albeit not that. It’s something else. This makes people in Texas, in other places, really mad. Maybe that is jealousy. I don’t know.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Right.

Steven Butala:                   It’s not just Los Angeles. It’s all through California that that’s happened. Nowhere in this country have they seen skyrocketing real estate values like in California.

Jill DeWit:                            I understand now.

Steven Butala:                   It’s like, “What are they so happy about?”

Jill DeWit:                            That and the weather.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Come on. All right, so back to the question about the phone number. I don’t think you’re going to be wrong if you have a … Whatever it is, keep it. Maybe you have a Los Angeles address, because that’s where your mail gets sent, and then forwarded to you wherever you are, or wherever you end up being in the future. I would say get a 310 or 213 if you still have that phone number, so it all ties together. That’s not crazy. Don’t even think about it. I don’t think you really need to worry about that. I don’t really [inaudible 00:07:25] run out and get an Arkansas mailbox with an Arkansas phone number and be hiding in California. What do you think?

Steven Butala:                   Well, there’s a right way to do this and a fast way. I think that you need to own your phone number. Let’s just start there.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s for sure.

Steven Butala:                   There’s a difference between owning your phone number and using one. There’s an owner of record for every single phone number out there. If you Google it and say, “I would like to own my phone number,” and then port it somewhere. If you’re porting a phone number, you own it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Look up porting.

Jill DeWit:                            It can follow you around. It takes 30 days when you make the transfer.

Steven Butala:                   Do that, for sure, for your main number. I would not use an 800 number, an 833 number. I think that makes you a company.

Jill DeWit:                            Yes. That does [inaudible 00:08:11] the wrong message. Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   If you live in California and you’re mailing Tennessee, do you have to have a Tennessee number? I don’t know.

Jill DeWit:                            I wouldn’t, because you want to keep it consistent. You want to keep that phone number forever, unless you want to port 10 phone numbers. I mean, you could. Theoretically, you could port 10 phone numbers around you for the rest of your life. I wouldn’t. We started with a Scottsdale number and a Scottsdale address, and we will keep a Scottsdale number and a Scottsdale address.

Steven Butala:                   Millennials, in general, they don’t care about area codes.

Jill DeWit:                            That’s true.

Steven Butala:                   I read a whole thing … It’s only the older generation that they look at it, “Well, what is it? Where’s 480?”

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Nobody cares anymore. I wouldn’t over think this. I would not use an 800 number, and I would not over think this. But, you do want to own it. Because, we were in a situation, Jill and I, where for years and years we were in an executive office share. The building got sold, and the guy that owned the actual office share company decided to pack it in, and he owned all those phone numbers. Jill was good friends with him, so he just gave them to us.

Jill DeWit:                            Like, “We got to get these numbers.”

Steven Butala:                   These are the ones that millions and millions of mailers went out. I freaked out. Jill found a workaround. So, you don’t want to put yourself in that situation where, for whatever reason, you don’t control that phone number and you sent, whatever, three million mailers out over the last decade, and you’re going to lose control of that phone number. That’s why I say own it.

Jill DeWit:                            Right. Thank you.

Steven Butala:                   The local to local, not so much.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   Today’s topic: Land Academy Live, Just for the Fun of It. This is the meat of the show. What good is any of this if you’re not having fun? Since we brought in California and Detroit and stuff, I grew up in an environment where it was a figurative contest to see who could suffer the most. The culture is still like that. “What do you mean, you work in a union, and you work at … Ah, that’s nothing. I am in a union, and I work in a actual …” It’s just this thing back and forth. I hear people doing it in a bar all the time. “You haven’t suffered like I’ve suffered.”

Jill DeWit:                            That’s not the contest.

Steven Butala:                   Where does that come from?

Jill DeWit:                            Right? I want you to finish that, because then I’m going to tell you how I was raised, what my dad told me. The speech he gave me, because it’s hilarious. It’s so different from why speech, by the way.

Steven Butala:                   Those fathers from Michigan, by the way.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah.

Steven Butala:                   No, I just think that … I still talk to people from Michigan, and it’s not as bad, I don’t think, anymore. Maybe it’s just because we’re older, but I would … That’s the summary of it. Can you tell me, Jill, what your side of it is?

Jill DeWit:                            Here’s how I was raised, which I love my dad for this. He sat me down and really gave me a talk. He said, “You know what? You can really do anything you want to do.” He said, “I set out to have a job. My goal was to have a job that paid very well and I didn’t have to work a lot of hours.” That was his number one goal. That’s where he came up with airline pilot.

Steven Butala:                   That’s beautiful.

Jill DeWit:                            Isn’t that great?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            And, he did it. That was the goal. Like, that’s perfect. Some people want that, some people don’t, but you have to sit down and think about what do you want. What’s good for you? What’s fun for you?

Steven Butala:                   There’s no replacement for hard work. I always set the financial bar for us, and then we hit it, then I more it again. It’s just how it’s going to be and how it is. It’s like I don’t know if we work harder. Do we work harder now than we used to?

Jill DeWit:                            Yes.

Steven Butala:                   I know that we work more hours and we work harder, but I have like zero stress about it.

Jill DeWit:                            Oh, I hadn’t thought about that way, but you know what? You might have a point there. Now I have a team that I don’t have to do this stuff. I just kind of oversee, so I’m not necessarily working harder. It is easier for me to go have fun. I can call in … I can play hooky on Tuesday, everything is still going to get done.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah, yeah. Actually, it’ll get done better.

Jill DeWit:                            Probably better and faster than if we’re there messing with them and changing it. That’s true. You got to have fun. I love that you talked about the live event. You said to me a little before the show, “How many people came here to not only celebrate what they’re doing, learn more from us, but, gosh, just to get away and have some fun?”

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            That was what I wanted. And, bring your wives, bring your partners, whatever.

Steven Butala:                   Bring your kids. Sure.

Jill DeWit:                            Leave them in the hotel room, say, “I’ll meet you for dinner. We’ll be over here.” That’s perfect.

Steven Butala:                   It’s a full-blown tax situation, a good, positive tax situation for you, if not anything else.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, and you know what? I’m positive that everyone from the first event knows exactly how we roll, how much fun we really do like to have, where we like to go after hours, and how we whoop it up in a good, safe way. But, we like to go have some fun, too. We’re going out having fun. We’re not like, “No way. Going to go home and study.” Heck no. Do that later. Do that on the airplane home.

Steven Butala:                   Career-wise, do you remember when you made a shift from actually working to actually having fun at your job? Was there a moment where you’re like, “You know what? This doesn’t suck anymore”?

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah. You know when it was? It was on my lunchtime and really when I was done for the day. Work was work.

Steven Butala:                   No, I mean in your career. Like, when you left your job you didn’t like, or when you transferred into … Probably it wasn’t the very beginning of real estate, but whenever … I don’t know. Is there some moment when you were just like …

Jill DeWit:                            Like a career when I moved to a different career or different position, that I really loved it?

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            Well, I’m different, because I’m hell-bent-

Steven Butala:                   Oh, you’re always happy.

Jill DeWit:                            I know. That’s it. I’m hell-bent on trying to have fun no matter what I’m doing. But, it has come back to bite me. I’ve been in situations where I was kind of like, “Chill out here. We’re supposed to be working.” I’m like, “Come on. We got to enjoy it a little bit.” But, I’ve usually had bosses that understood me right away and knew that I’m going to have some fun, but trust me, I’m working very hard, and I deserve it.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            They never questioned it. I would make the workplace enjoyable. But, on the big picture, it really wasn’t until … and, it’s so funny, because some people see it as the opposite. Man, I felt so freed up when I finally left the last job, and I didn’t have to think about a boss. I could just do my own thing.

Steven Butala:                   Yeah.

Jill DeWit:                            The flip side is the responsibility, what I took on, what we have is our own responsibility, which some people panic about. For them [inaudible 00:14:50] think that’s no fun, because they’re like, “I’m responsible for the lives of all these people and putting food on all their tables.” That’s doesn’t bother me at all.

Steven Butala:                   I love that.

Jill DeWit:                            I love that.

Steven Butala:                   I want that responsibility.

Jill DeWit:                            I’m so happy. I’ll work harder.

Steven Butala:                   I seek that out. So will I.

Jill DeWit:                            Yeah, I’ll work harder. It’s fine.

Steven Butala:                   I mean, there’s a limit to it. For whatever reason, I was thinking about this, I’m really comfortable with … I don’t know … 2,000 square foot office -ish, with five to 10 people working there, with a ton of overseas help. Then that’s where my Zen is.

Jill DeWit:                            Right.

Steven Butala:                   From there, do more deals, own more companies. Jill and I own four or five companies. And, keep the tentacles spreading out, but that nucleus of core management people stays the same. It’s always been like that. I’ve never wanted to have a-

Jill DeWit:                            Factory.

Steven Butala:                   … manufacturing companies with 2,500 employees. People ask me sometimes, they’re like, “Well, how many people do work …” Because, it’s a trophy for them, for some reason. Usually older people say, “How many people do you have working for you?”

Jill DeWit:                            I know.

Steven Butala:                   Well, I have about eight or 10 people working for me, and then we’ve got these … “Oh, okay. Well, you’re still young. You’re still trying. I understand.”

Jill DeWit:                            By design.

Steven Butala:                   Since when is having more employees a trophy? It’s not. It’s a pain in the ass is what it is. You just need to have the right crew.

Jill DeWit:                            The right people.

Steven Butala:                   The right small crew, and make them and allow them to flourish with other labor sources, outsourcing and everything else. Why older people don’t get it, because the internet allows you to do that. How’s that are a rant?

Jill DeWit:                            That was awesome.

Steven Butala:                   That was a kind of a ranty.

Jill DeWit:                            That was awesome.

Steven Butala:                   Well, you’ve done it again. You’ve spent another 15 minutes or so listening to The Land Academy Show. Join us next time where we cover another interesting real estate acquisition topic.

Jill DeWit:                            And, answer your questions posted on our online community at It’s free.

Steven Butala:                   You’re not alone in your real estate ambition.

Jill DeWit:                            That went longer than I thought it would. I thought, “What are we going to have to talk about?” You stated the topic, I’m like, “Well, all right, that will take us three minutes.”

Steven Butala:                   You’re cracking me up, because no one that I have ever met is more qualified about having fun, no matter what you’re doing. Jill can have a party in her head while she’s driving down the street.

Jill DeWit:                            I do that, that’s true. Share the fun by hitting the Subscribe button to stay up-to-date on our podcast or if you are new to our channel. Like us and comment and what you’d like to see in future shows. If you’re listening on iTunes, please rate us there. We are Steve and Jill.

Steven Butala:                   We are Steve and Jill. Information …

Jill DeWit:                            … and inspiration …

Steven Butala:                   … to buy undervalued property.

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