Season 1,

87: How to Lose Money by Pursuing Too Many Opportunities with Sunny Burns

October 25, 2017

Sunny Burns is 27 and a full-time engineer working for the DoD. He is happily married with two kids. Sunny and his wife bought their first investment property in 2015 off the MLS, a Quadplex, 20 min from NYC, this allowed his family to live for free and allowed his wife the freedom to retire from her teaching job and stay home with their child.

They bought it for $430,000 – less than two years later it appraised for $630,000. They then used a cash-out refi and HELOC on that first property to buy a second investment property, a Triplex – also 20 min from NYC. Together the two properties appraise for $1m, and will gross over $100k in annual rents. Other than real estate, Sunny also sells pacifiers on Amazon Prime and writes a blog.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[6:45] Aside from working as an engineer for the Department of Defense, after leaving the hospital when his son was born, Sunny saw an opportunity for selling pacifiers that could only be found at the hospital so he set up an Amazon store.

[11:00] According to his parents, his first word was ‘money’, as a kid he bought candy in bulk and sold it by piece. With a full scholarship, guaranteed employment and extra cash, Sunny started to think what else he could do and that’s when he started listening to real estate podcasts.

[13:30] Making use of a first time house owners program, Sunny and his wife bought their first property.

[15:06] Living free and making money from rent gave Sunny more time to think about what else he could do.

[16:40] Starting a podcast, starting a blog, raising kids, more Amazon ideas. No time for all of those ideas and kept bouncing from thing to thing.

[18:00] Didn’t have any systems for what he was doing and having too much on his plate led to having nothing completed.

[21:20] There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. Always being busy lead to constant stress because you’re not getting anywhere.

[23:40] Taking some time to determine what worked in his life that produces the best results, Sunny went on to prioritize to focus on the one thing that fills his needs.

[26:10] It may not be fun to say no at the beginning but it’s better to seeing things in completion. There needs to be free brain-space to become more productive.

[30:55] Failing Forward Segment

  • Why did this failure experience happen to you? – “You do this certain ventures and then that venture leads to more opportunities and every single opportunity I’m sure if you carry them out fully would lead to something great and awesome but you can’t do everything.”
  • What is the single most important lesson you learned from this? – “Keep doing what works and you just have to say no in life and stay on track, stay in your lane, do what’s working and enjoy what’s working.”
  • How do you protect yourself from failing in this way again? “I read Gary Keller’s book because I knew I need to start changing something. In the book the one statement about asking yourself this question: What’s the one thing you can do such that by doing everything else would be easier or unnecessary?
  • Who do you turn to when you need help? – “I’m always talking with my wife, keeping each other in check. Turn to podcasts and audiobooks.”
  • What advice would you give to someone in a similar position? – “Once you get inspiration for that first entrepreneurial venture or whatever it may be, you want to do this thing and you start building it, continue to build it. Keep focusing on that one thing that you feel is your passion, is your dream and get it done. Don’t look at those shiny objects.”

[37:31] Connect with Sunny through his blog about investing in your family, about creating passive income streams to create free time to spend with family

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