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72: Don’t Swing Hammers

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This vlog, Danny talks about the beginnings of his house flipping business, and the learning curves it took to get the hang of it. Don’t forget, all of the vlog episodes (and more) are available on the FlippingJunkie YouTube channel at

Learning what to do to run your business the right way takes time, but mostly trial and error. There is a huge difference between running your business and working in your business, and what it takes to be the pilot instead of the crew.

So here’s a story. When Danny first started rehabbing houses, he showed up to his first demo site the day before to get it prepped. He went and personally started taking nails out of the walls so that the sheetrock could be laid properly, thinking he was doing a great job and showing that he has what it takes to be an investor.

And then his mentor showed up, mad. He started telling Danny that it’s not his job to be taking nails out of the wall. Not because he was somehow better, but because he was supposed to be running the business and not working in it.

The takeaway is that as an investor it’s not your job to swing hammers. It’s your job to work on your business, not IN your business – that’s what it means to be a Flip Pilot!


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Welcome to the Flipping Junkie Podcast, the podcast for flip pilots everywhere. Flip pirates are the house flippers that work more on our business instead of in our business by keeping 30,000 ft view. You’re now part of this small group of house flippers that consider themselves flip pilots that strive to build a way for financial freedom and time freedom so that we can spend more time doing what we love with who we love. In this podcast, I give you a glimpse of the daily life of a flip pilot so let’s get started.

Hey everybody, welcome back to the Flipping Junkie Podcast and video log. I’m in a parked car. I’m not driving this time. I guess people are concerned for my safety, worried about me driving and recording videos that I might get an accident or something. But I’m waiting for my dad, I’m going to meet him for breakfast and talk shop and everything. He’s a house flipper too. I learned a lot about what I know from him, so it’s really cool to meet up and talk about what we’re doing in our businesses and get ideas and stuff like that.

But I wanted to expand a little bit more on two episodes ago. I think it was Episode 70. I was asking if you are a flip pilot and what that means is, I consider myself to be a flip pilot in that I’ve learned to realize that I need to have a 30,000 ft view at all times at my flipping business so that I can tweak the systems and put people in place to help with their business, so that I’m not wearing all the hats. I’m not wearing the marketing hat, I’m not wearing the rehab hat, selling hat and having to do all those things and juggle all those things. I was thinking more about how cool that is and I love aviation so obviously I had to call it a flip pilot. It’s you’re having this 30,000 ft view of your business and it made me think about in the past what are the mistakes that I made and then I see other people making when they’re not flip pilots. And so, one of those things was I remember the story of our very first rehabs. I was hiring subs to rehab. It was actually a burned house, so it was like a tough project. I had these subs and I had them scheduled and I was learning how to do all this. I had no idea about construction and how the stuff worked and I was just like winging it and hoping I didn’t make any huge mistakes. I remember we were doing demo and then had framing done and then I had the sheet rocker scheduled and these guys are really busy and really good at what they do and so they wanted to make sure the job was ready. Well the evening before they were going to be there to start hanging the drywall, I realized that all the nails were still on this whole house. It’s like a 3500 square foot of house or something like that and all the nails, like the sheet rock was ripped off the walls, but the studs still had all the nails from the sheet rock in them. So I needed to get all of those out and all the contractors’ numbers that I had they were all busy and couldn’t do that in such short notice. So I was thinking I was doing an awesome thing and I was out there and I was pulling all the nails out with a hammer by myself and my mentor actually showed up at the house and I thought he was going to pat me on the back and say, “You’re doing what it takes. You’re out here pulling these nails out of the studs.” And instead, he kind of lit into me. He got angry with me and said, “What are you doing?” At first I was thinking, “Why is he saying this?” I mean, it’s not like it’s going to take me 24 hours to do this. It’s not that big of a deal, but the thing was it’s like the idea behind it. The idea that I felt like my time was worth pulling those nails out and your thinking needs to be what is your time worth and then what are you doing and if you’re doing those things can you find somebody to do it for cheaper than what your time is worth? And so, that was the idea behind that. That was the principle I was supposed to learn. That’s why he got so angry with me about it. So the lesson is always kind of focus on not doing all that busy work, not doing the things that you don’t feel is that big of a deal, but you should be out focused on making offers, to do marketing, get leads, to be in front of sellers and making offers and getting more deals not pulling nails out of studs at a house. And so, even if you have excuses and you think, “Well, I didn’t have anybody to do it.” Well, you should work harder and spend the time finding somebody so next time you do have somebody for pull nails out of studs.

If you didn’t listen to the other podcast episode, I think it was 70, be sure to go listen to it about being a flip pilot because I think it’s a huge thing and I think it’s a sort of an epiphany that I’ve had and I really want expand on this because I really hope that all you guys out there can answer that question of whether you are or not a flip pilot and that you can answer in the affirmative and maybe not that you’re there right now, but that you’re pointing your plane in that direction heading towards it, so that you can have true freedom in your life and your business that you set out to have when you started flipping houses. Be sure to go back and listen to the episode. This one is really short. My dad’s pulled up, so we’re going to have breakfast and talk to you guys next time.


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