Q1 2019 Results & Q2 2019 Targets

In my year end post Reflect and Soar Higher in 2019 post, I committed to posting the results of my Q1 2019 Goals. As our focus in the W2 Capitalist Mastermind is based off Brian Moran’s book The 12 Week Year, I practice what I preach in my own personal quarterly goals. This system works. One thing I continue to say over and over is that we are not striving for perfection, we’re striving for progress. If we’re hitting perfection, then simply put, we’re not pushing ourselves hard enough. Here is how I did on my Q1 2019 goals:

Q1 2019 Goals


  • 4,500 Facebook Group Members: accomplished by end of February. This goal was WAY too easy to obtain and as you’ll see below I’ve increased this target substantially for Q2.
  • Launch Alexa Skill for Real Estate Investing for the W2 Employee: this was also accomplished by end of January and I’m certainly stepping it up this quarter by launching a podcast. Now I’ve put producing content for the Alexa Skill on hold as I also went to Podcast school and launched our W2 Capitalist Podcast in March.


  • 30 Active Students in the W2 Capitalist Mastermind Group: I fell short here. Primarily because we grew so fast in December I doubled the price of joining in January to slow growth as I had to get a handle on it. I did not want to let the current members down and had to do something to slow growth. This is a GREAT PROBLEM TO HAVE and I’m glad I have it. As I write this post I came up short of my goal by 8 students.

Enough of the past, let’s look to what’s ahead. Here are my goals for the next 12 weeks:

Q2 2019 Targets

That’s it! More of the same from last quarter but I’m excited about these targets and ready to get after it! EARN. INVEST. REPEAT.

Reflect and Soar Higher in 2019

Reflection on 2018 Goals

From the Time to Reflect, Time to Set 2018 Goals and Begin Pursuit post (man, I still love that photo and memory of taking it), I listed out my 2018 goals. Here is how I did with those: 


  • Increase Annual Passive Income by $2,000 month¬†(July 2018)¬†
  • Graduate Cardone University (August 2018)
    • I have a lot of respect for what Grant’s built, read almost¬†everyone of his books, and become motivated almost every time I’m consuming his materials. However, as mentioned on The Millennial Real Estate Investor Podcast, I find Grant’s energy to be exhausting at times, which is why I have great respect for this man. Looking forward to learning and growing more through Grant’s teachings, very soon.¬†
  • Knock the Dust off the Grey Matter (December 2018)
    • One thing I learned from this goal and now echo in my mastermind group, the¬†W2 Capitalist, is to be VERY specific and VERY objective in goal setting. I did not do that for this goal but I’m still marking it as accomplished. Here’s why. In 2017 I read 12 books and listened to many, many, MANY hours of podcasts. This year, I’ve read 24 books and listened to many, many, MANY hours of podcasts. Dust has been knocked off!


  • Increase Social Media Following: 1k Blog Subscribers, 10K IG Followers, & 1k FB Likes
    • I new this was going to be a lofty goal but I went with it anyway and learned A TON when it comes to social media. Although I didn’t grab the # of followers, Likes and Hearts I wanted, this goal did push me to launch the Real Estate Investing for the W2 Employee Facebook group. Created in March, officially launched in June, we now have over 3500 members and the amount of engagements and more importantly the VALUE of the discussions that are happening there is simply AMAZING! I am humbled and with this momentum, my primary focus for 2019 is growing this group.¬†

Goals for 2019 (or the next 12 Weeks)

One of the best things I adopted this year (in Q3) was the concepts of Brian Moran’s book The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do In 12 Months. I’m not going to deep dive into the book’s contents during this post but I will say it has been the most productive tool discovered this year (grab a copy if you want a positive change in your life). So going forward, I will post 4 goal setting posts per year and if one thing became apparent to me this year, it is the value of implementing the entire cash flow quadrant as presented by Robert Kiyosaki. With 2 of my 4 cash flow quadrants producing well (W2 and investments) and the looming, expected down turn of the real estate market, the next 12 weeks I’ll be focused on injecting fuel into our movement, currently known as Real Estate Investing for the W2 Employee.¬†

Goals for Q1 2019 (Due March 31, 2019)

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Why I Took Advice From a Carny Worker

I posted this video on our social media channels a while back but I want to share more of the back story and I how relate it to real estate investing. Here we go…

We (my wife, son and daughter) are at the local community carnival fund raiser earlier this year. We made our rounds, played a few games, rode some rides and then as we are headed to the exit we walked by the ol’ sledgehammer game (aka high striker, strength tester, strongman game, etc). Something I’ve always wanted to do but never have as I try to avoid potential, self inflicted embarrassing situations.

Test your strength

The carny worker with a microphone was doing an awesome job provoking extremely large, potential contestants to “step right up.” By that I mean, I’m 6’2″ 220 lbs on a light day, but the medium-sized carny worker was picking on guys MUCH MUCH larger than me and it was obvious they visited a gym or steroid bank recently.¬†The carny worker targeted this group of extremely large men (i.e. not me) by yelling:

“C’mon Muscles! Show us what you got! This shouldn’t be anything for a guy like you who just walked out of the gym!”

One by one these guys gave in, stepped up and gave it their best. Swing after swing, but none of them rang the bell, barely even came close; hitting 1200-1300 range of a 1600 scale. THEY didn’t ring the bell?! This did nothing in the category of boosting my confidence that I would even come close to reaching my goal.

If they couldn’t ring the bell, how could I? ¬†Inspired by one of¬†Ryan Michler’s¬†recent blog post where he discussed how courage yields action and action yields confidence, regardless of my nerves, I was going to try it, tonight.

When the massive muscle group finally gave up, the loud mouthed carny worker turns to me with his microphone, “what about you Columbia, how about you take a shot?” which was a reference to the jacket I had on. No reference to my muscles (ha ha), just a reference to the jacket I had on…ha!

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As the carny worker is walking me over to the sledgehammer, before I could ask for tips and tricks, with a whisper and a wink, he tells me, “hit it flat.” I wish this would have subsided my nerves a bit more but it didn’t. My first swing I actually missed the landing pad!¬†¬†Thankfully, the camera wasn’t rolling yet.¬†My second swing hit 1500! A better score than any of the previous muscle groups’ attempts. My last swing, swinging a little harder and a little more flat…DING!¬†

The cheer from my wife and the look on my son’s face made it all worth it…amazing, but the point of me telling you this is (and reminding myself when I read this later down the road), the purpose of this blog post is to remind you (and me) that the best results come from following the advice of the most qualified.

Here’s what I mean by that. I don’t seek financial advice from someone who has been bankrupt multiple times, just like I don’t seek marital advice from someone who has been divorced multiple times. Look, everybody should receive a second chance but when there is a multiple in front of those scenarios, I stay away. And one can argue the multiple failed attempts can show me what NOT to do. ¬†And while I agree, I could just as easily learn what TO do from someone who has been highly successful and stay away from the negativity. Make sense?

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I took advice from the carny worker because he was the most qualified at the game. I saw what the muscled up guys did and how they tried to accomplish their goal. From their massive size and throwing around their overpowering strength, I knew I couldn’t match it and if I wanted to accomplish my goal, I had to take on a different strategy – one that was provided by the most qualified individual, the subject matter expert if you will.

The same goes for real estate investing. I find people who have already reached a goal I’m trying to obtain and I engage (notice I didn’t say I find people who have failed multiple times and asked them what not to do). While this may be important, it’ll come out in a more positive manner by discussing with accomplished and successful folks.

When it comes to real estate investing, I found myself telling newbies all the time:

  1. FIND your WHY, your purpose for wanting to invest in real estate
  2. SET Goals that support your WHY/Purpose
  3. CREATE investing criteria that support your goals.

Now I want to add a 4th step to that:

ENGAGE with others that hold similar investing criteria and similar goals that have had more success or the same success that you want one day on the specific goal you are trying to reach.

Read their books, consume their blog, listen to their podcast, post/reply in their closed facebook groups, take them to lunch, buy them a drink…engage. I’m partial to a hamburger and a beer if anyone is curios ūüôā

Bottom line: Find you an experienced, qualified carny worker and engage with them!

My swings #2 and #3:



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Time to Reflect, Time to Set 2018 Goals and Begin Pursuit

I love this time of year. Time to reflect and time to focus on setting goals for the New Year. I took the above photo at my parents’ over Christmas. Don’t recall ever experiencing a sunset quite like this growing up there but then again I probably wasn’t looking as a teenager. Wish the camera did it justice; “That’s beautiful Clark.”

2018 Goals

The last couple of years I have accomplished my REI goals early. Maybe the process I follow is just that good or maybe I’m not shooting high enough. This year I’ve decided to test that theory and shoot for some lofty goals. They are:

  1. Increase Annual Passive Rental Income by $2,000/month
  2. Increase Social Media Following: 10k IG Followers, 1k FB Likes, 1k Blog Subscribershelp me reach my goal! Follow, Like, Subscribe!
  3. Graduate Cardone University
  4. Knock The Dust Off The Gray Matter

REI Strategies. Lessons Learned. How-Tos. No Spam…Learn More.¬†

A sneak peek into the process I follow, with my goals set, I now create a 2018 Playbook of drills and tactics to help accomplish them. This process takes a while as I really dive in but typically yields 3-4 pages of waterfall steps, with each step gaining granularity in detail toward a daily or weekly activity to help accomplish my goals. This year I started this process in November and used most of December to fine tune the super simple spreadsheet I create for tracking (keeping myself accountable) those daily activities. Call it batting practice or daily workouts but I’ve followed this process the last couple years and I’m extremely happy with the results. I may write a more detailed post on the process I follow soon (still refining), but for now, email me [ jay@helmsREI.com] to learn more.

Last item on the 2018 list is expand the knowledge base. Knock the dust off the gray matter. Following the lead of the most successful CEOs who read 60+ books/year, I’ve identified 8 Must Reads for 2018. I’ll consume an additional 50+ hours of real estate related podcasts over the coming year, but these books keep popping up on my radar.

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 4.00.05 PM

8 Must Read in 2018

Ok, there’s 9 in this screenshot but Grant Cardone’s Millionaire Booklet isn’t new and is one I’ll listen to 3-4 times throughout the year. Such a simple, quick & easy read. And if the below looks like a screenshot from iBooks, it is! I hardly have time to sit down and turn a page but I make the most of the windshield time the day job brings me.

2017 Year End Review

2017 Goals (accomplished all by September 2017):

Most Popular Blog:

Most Engaged Instagram (photo credit: Mrs. HelmsREI):

And, I wrote an impromptu Christmas poem during the first trek of our Christmas vacation:


Happy New Year!


2016 Results & 2017 Focus

Starting this year I thought reaching $1,000/month in cash flow was out of reach, thought I was shooting high, but early mornings, late nights, and a great team made our goal a reality before I knew it.


real estate investing pensacola fl

Put me in Coach! We started 2016 with only one unit and set out with a goal to increase our cash flow to $1,000/month. ¬†We didn’t have a specific number of units in mind, just $1,000/month in positive cash flow. ¬†If we’re following our rule of $200/unit after all expenses, then we needed 4 more units. By May, we closed on our 4th unit of the year allowing us to do just that. I initially thought $1,000/month in cash flow was out of reach, thought I was shooting high. I’m consumed by my day job and couldn’t imagine how we could get there, but early mornings, late nights, and a great team made our goal a reality before I knew it.¬†What now?¬†

The next several months we spent getting those properties in shape and our last acquisition of the 2016 year was a Tax Deed purchase¬†in August. This tax deed property and inherited tenant situation started out strong, but sad to say we eventually had to evict him and currently going through stabilizing that property. Nonetheless, from one to now six units in our portfolio…wow!

REI Strategies. Lessons Learned. How-Tos. No Spam…Learn More.¬†

The Pensacola Market is hot and has been hot for a while. Many local and regional experts that I’ve talked to are expecting a down turn in the next 12-36 months.

There is also some solid supporting evidence that a local down turn is imminent:

  • volume of sales in Pensacola – at & above 2005 levels (see graph below)
  • Price of properties
  • # of new RE Agents
  • Amount of new construction for both SFR & MFR in Escambia & Santa Rosa counties
  • Veteran REIs (regionally & nationally) starting to offload assets
  • Two small MFRs hit the Pensacola MLS last month, both were under contract in 2 days of being listed
real estate investing pensacola fl
Above graph provided by Emerald Coast Realty

It could just be the paranoid side of me, but I have a hard time seeing how this will last much longer in Pensacola. However, as I mentioned in How We Use Our Tripod of Adopted Investing Criteria, we are focused on Cash Flow and not so much on appreciation / price. That said, with the predicting market turn we’re going to be more patient and focus on learning more about midsize multi-family properties (15-20 unit apartment buildings).

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 4.00.05 PM

2017 Focus:

  • Building Relationships / Expanding Circle of Influence
  • Stockpile Cash / Reduce Expenses
  • Increase Credit Lines
  • Build Knowledge Base of 15-40 Unit Apartment Buildings
  • Patience for great deals

When we first started thinking about seriously investing in real estate (2011) I found BiggerPockets.com¬†[great site, join it, connect with me]. One of the first articles I read, published by BiggerPocket’s VP of Business Development Brandon Turner was¬†How to Make a Million Dollars from Real Estate. This article¬†laid out a 7-year plan to make a millions dollars in REI. That story stuck with me then as much as it does now. Starting 2017 we are effectively starting year two, in which the article suggest to not do any acquistions. Lining up with Pensacola’s expect downturn I’m fine with sitting on the sidelines…as long as I can be patient.

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