VA Loans, Humidity is the WORST, and Building Product
and happy Saturday. Hope this week has been good to you.
This week on the podcast I released an episode with JD Modrak. JD is a director at Kasa, a venture backed RE company, and is an expert on VA loans. He talks through:
VA loan limits/restrictions and what’s actually possible to buy
Why every person with VA loan entitlement should be using it to the fullest extent
Things to look for in a RE agent, particularly if you’re new to an area
Current status of short term rentals and why they may not be as great as you think
“Make Something Wonderful” by Steve Jobs, just published by the Steve Jobs Archive. The book contains a collection of photographs, emails, speeches, and interviews from the Apple co-founder and it’s free to download! Haven’t started reading it yet, but browsed and it looks fantastic.
Focusing on ‘Big Wins’ in personal finance by Ramit Sethi. A great explanation of why 3$ coffees aren’t that big a deal and you should be optimizing for salary increases, lower house/car payments, and other large finance items that move the needle.
Interest chart that’s been making the rounds on social on life expectancy in America. Would also love to see a humidity overlay on top of this - HUMIDITY LOWERS LIFE EXPECTANCY.
A new Twitter algorithim. If you’re a high volume Twitter user like myself, there’s some interesting tidbits about how to use the platform more effectively.
1 Idea on New Ideas
The last few weeks I put out that I’m putting together a veteran ceo/founder/exec peer group. Honestly, it was hard to do that.
Over the past year or so, since setting a goal of trying to incubate my own personal business, I’ve put out lots of these offers. In fact, rewinding the clock another year, I can name 6 or 7 failed projects I’ve tried to launch. A personal finance newsletter, a military command directory, a podcasting book, and others. All ideas I get excited about and believe I can execute on, but with one critical problem. The market doesn’t want it.
The idea for the peer group came to me from Christian Ruf, a new friend, who said “Why don’t you use your networking skills to put together a group of business owners who meets monthly.” He then said something that stood out and I hadn’t heard before:
“I’d pay for this today.”
Every prior idea I’ve had probably could have worked on a long enough time horizon. The beginning would be very hard because it would be a problem of not only building the product/service but ALSO finding the customers for it.
Him saying this was immediately different. I already had a customer, all I had to do was think about building the product. Much easier problem to tackle.
Over the last two weeks I’ve been touching base with everyone who signed up. There’s a charge for the group to cover programming and it’s not trivial, but not a barrier too high. Nobody I talked to even flinched over it. Another sign there’s a need.
I’m super stoked about this and ready to execute on it. I’m even happier about this somewhat of a lightbulb moment of connecting the need for a product. I’ve spent too much of my time thinking about what I’m capable of building and what I want to do rather than finding something people will actually pay for.
The takeaway: If you’re in a similar position as me (trying to find something to build for people) or currently operate a business looking to add additional products/services, stop and LISTEN. The capabilities will sort themselves out - find what your existing friends, network, or customers needs.
This is easier said than done. Christian was very forward about this, but often your friends may not be entrepreneurial. They’ll say things like I wish this existed, not go start this and let me pay you for it.
I’ve been slowly but surely working through the back catalog of episodes, getting them uploaded to Youtube. I hope to lean into the video aspect of podcasting and add another element of engagement and entertainment.
While I believe in the power of audio, an experience about a week ago really opened my eyes to how powerful video could be for the subjects I like to talk about. I had a gentleman on who served in the late 80’s as an aviator and a translator for an admiral and the Paraguayan president. This was a tumultuous time for South America and tension was running high.
He shared some pictures translating for this admiral and has pictures with the Paraguayan general who staged a coup and overthrew the president. He was able to share a history lesson and how his personal experience overlayed it. At the end, all I could think of was “I need more video support.” More to come on that.
In the meantime, if you find yourself more video inclined, here’s a past episode with Josh Duntz that went live this week. Look at that thumbnail!? I have a great video editor who is killing it and working hard on those.
I’m exploring Youtube’s monetization policy as a way to monetize the podcast with ads. Youtube requires 1000 subscribers and 4,0000 hours of watch time to enable monetization. I think thats achievable and hope as the podcast continues to grow, can continue working towards that.
Thanks for reading. If you’re new here, subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.