DJ Olojo's Money Story

Episode 82 May 17, 2024 00:28:43
DJ Olojo's Money Story
New Money New Problems Podcast
DJ Olojo's Money Story

May 17 2024 | 00:28:43

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Hosted By

Brenton Harrison

Show Notes

Tune in for the My Money Story of DJ Olojo, real estate investor and author of The Foreclosure Fix!

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: In this episode, we tell the money story of a professional who started his life in corporate America and decided to leave and begin a journey to help over 1 million people navigate the process of foreclosure. Stay tuned for the money story of DJ Aloja. Let's get started. [00:00:17] Speaker B: Let's get some money from new money new problems. It's the new Money New Problems podcast, a show for successful professionals searching for the tools they need to navigate financial opportunities and obstacles they've never seen. Negotiating compensation, purchasing your first investment property. Helping your family with money. The highs and lows of entrepreneurship. New money brings new problems that require new solutions. Join us as we work through them together. I'm Brenton Harrison, and this is the new Money New Problems podcast. [00:00:55] Speaker A: All right. Hello. This is Brenton Harrison of New Money new problems and your host for the new Money New Problems podcast. I'm excited today to tell the money story of someone who I connected with very recently, but we were supposed to connect. Uh, you all have heard on this podcast Courtney Hale's voice. You've heard Issacade's voice. And I have another friend, Donnie Bedney, whose opinion I trust. And all three of them kept telling me about their friend DJ, that I needed to meet. And it just so happened, um, when Courtney and Isaac told me I'd already been with DJ through Donnie. So all these people trying to get us to connect, we were finally to do so at FinCon. He has a very unique story that I want to make sure we feature. So, DJ, thank you for being a guest on the new Money new Problems podcast, man. [00:01:43] Speaker C: Thank you so much for having me, uh, to talk with your listeners today. [00:01:46] Speaker A: Absolutely. So let's jump into why we were connected in the first place. So, after the break, we'll talk about what you do now. But when we first had a conversation, I said, this is a Detroit number. I have a lot of family in the area. Uh, so you're a Detroit kid, right? [00:02:03] Speaker C: Man. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. On the east side of Detroit, uh, between chalmers and on a street called flaming ability. [00:02:11] Speaker A: Man, you know, there's something. My dad's side is from the midwest, Detroit, milwaukee. My mom's side is from Memphis. And there is something about Detroit and Memphis where there's a pride there, where it's like, don't say nothing about my city. But it's also don't say nothing about my side of town. It's like, nobody from Detroit is going to say that from Detroit without telling you. Exactly which part of Detroit, where does that come from? [00:02:36] Speaker C: Hey, man, I think it's just growing up in the city, like, everybody knew east side versus west side. And then, you know, you had Eminem, m m come out, talk about eight mile, then all these random people talking about 8 miles. So it's just one of those things where if you grew up in a d, uh, you know, kind of what it is, would not change it for anything. [00:02:52] Speaker A: Well, tell me a bit about that childhood. What was life like growing up there? [00:02:57] Speaker C: So, as you can probably tell by my name, uh, DJ alojo. That's not my government name. Uh, my government name is Ayadeji. Uh, Alojo. And so my parents are nigerian. I'm first generation american. And growing up in that household was phenomenal. Um, we grew up in a middle class household, but because my parents were first generation, they were stuck between that gap of doing what's best for their kids and their family as they grew their wealth and their life, but then also making sure that they sent money back home or helped other people, um, have the same opportunities they were afforded. And so growing up between the ages of maybe six or seven, all the way to when I graduated from high school, left the home, we had anywhere between four to ten additional people living in our house at any time. And my immediate family is just six people. I got, uh, two sisters, one brother, and my two parents. And so our house had anywhere from ten to at some point, you know, ten people in our house at one time. And we're talking about, uh, you know, three bed sometimes. [00:04:04] Speaker A: We. We had some friends of mine, the four jurors on, we also had Isaac on, and the four jurors. And Isaac and I are both. They're both ghanaian, and they tell a similar story. You know, hey, we're trying to get new school clothes, and we're trying to look fresh and do all this stuff, and all this money is going back to Ghana. Uh, and for them, it was a little frustrating at time. Was it ever frustrating for you? And did you. Was there a point, if it was frustrating, where you started to see why they were doing it? [00:04:34] Speaker C: It wasn't frustrating at the time because that's all I knew. Right. And so for me, I just looked at it as, like, I'm the youngest, too, so that probably helped. Um, I looked at it as, like, every day I woke up, it was a new adventure. Like, I had somebody to play with. We can go play ball, we can go up the street. And so from a lifestyle perspective, it was not frustrating at all. But where I did see it play out was in my parents relationship. You know, I remember one time my parents were arguing about money, and my parents have very different money styles, if that makes sense. And they were arguing about money, and it was like late at night or something like that. And I remember vividly as a child, I went into their room and I yelled. I was like, shut up. I'm trying to sleep, man. You know, three days later, when I woke up from the concussion and coma, I don't think that, you know, when I woke up, uh, I realized early, uh, that they were so passionate because they were trying to do the best things for our family. And each of them had a different way of trying to achieve that goal, but they both had the same mission and passion. And so it taught me at an early age that you need to be passionate about kind of where you're taking your family, the goals you have, and the way in which you plan to achieve, but it's needed. [00:05:58] Speaker A: So you go to Tennessee State. What was your major? [00:06:04] Speaker C: I was, uh, e business and supply chain management major. So it was in the college of. [00:06:09] Speaker A: Business, and that's your major. Tell me a bit about what that led to post TSU. How did you start your career? [00:06:18] Speaker C: So, while I was at TSU, through the stuff I was doing with the honors program, and through the stuff I was doing through, um, the leadership development program I was in with Doctor Latham, I got an opportunity to get connected with Thurgood Marshall College Fund. And as part of Thurgood Marshall College Fund, one of the big sponsors for the Thurgood Marshall College fund was a company called Gallup. And Gallup was actively recruiting, uh, talented individuals. Um, but to get into Gallup is very difficult. Um, they're, uh, good consultancy. They, um, do a lot of great stuff. If you think about the Gallup poll, same company. And it's just very, very difficult to get into the organization because they have a strength approach and a model, and they have a lot of selection instruments. And so, long story short, through my work with Thurgood Marshall, uh, college funding, I was able to get an opportunity to go work for Gallup, uh, post undergrad. And I started off in their healthcare practice as a consultant and had a phenomenal career there. And it was just one of the best decisions I ever made. [00:07:27] Speaker A: Okay, so, had a phenomenal career there. That's not what you do currently. So first tell our listeners what you do currently. And I want to build to how you got there. [00:07:39] Speaker C: So, currently, what I do day to day, I am, um, all things residential, real estate. Buy it sell it, renovate it, hold it, do everything with it. But as part of that, one of my main missions is to help a million homeowners successfully navigate foreclosure. Um, we deal with folks who are in all type of distress situations. You know, think about it. Death, disease, divorce, and some of those situations you cannot change or I cannot change. But the foreclosure situation is one that I've seen through my experiences that you can rebound from, that you can avoid, and that you can successfully navigate to get the best possible outcome. And so a lot of what I do today, in addition to the basic fundamental blocking and tackling of real estate, is helping their foreclosure situation. [00:08:31] Speaker A: The reason that I waited to say what you did is I wanted people to see the progression of, uh, you were making good money, right? Like, I know the Gallup doesn't pay a poor amount, right? So you were making good money. You have the ability to easily just say, I'm building either for myself and my immediate family, you know, the next generation of wealth. And you decided to pivot and not just focus on yours, but also help others. So what started at Gallup that eventually led to you leaving, starting your own thing? [00:09:09] Speaker C: There are two fundamental things that happened that eventually led me to leaving. And first, I have to go all the way back to childhood. And in childhood, I remember when my parents used to give us money to put into the offering plate at church. And, you know, when you give a child money to put into offering plate, there's not really an emotional connection with that, because basically, it's going from your pocket to their pocket to their hand to the offering plate. But one of the things that my parents instilled in me and my siblings was the act of giving the money. But it was the act of telling us that, hey, being a giver, in any sense of the term, m is the best way never ever to be broke or never ever to feel like you are broke. And what they meant by that is that in order to give, you must always first feel like you have enough. And so that's. That's. That's where that giving spot. So if you can give when you broke, that means you have enough for yourself because you're used to giving. And it only. It only gets better as you get more. So that mentality was ingrained in me early and still sits with me today. The other part about it at Gallup, one of the things they talk about at Gallup are your strengths. And, um, if you haven't taken the strength finder assessment it's a great assessment to take to kind of identify what some of your strengths are. But one of the things they used to always preach to us is about how do you do something where you can become the best in the world at it, right? When you think about LeBron James and Michael Jordan on the basketball court, you think about some of the best players to ever play the game. When you think about, you know, yourself and what you do for folks, um, you think about one of the best people to ever do it. And so I had an epiphany at Gallup is that although I was very good at what I did, I was never, ever going to be the best consultant in the world. I was a good consultant, but I wasn't going to be the best. And what I saw in the real estate path I decided to take is that I felt like I had an opportunity to be the best in the world at, ah, one thing. And so I decided to take that opportunity. [00:11:20] Speaker D: This is the new Money New Problems podcast, a show for successful professionals searching for the tools they need to navigate financial opportunities and obstacles they've never seen. We'll be right back. [00:11:38] Speaker B: Are you wondering what new money problems you might be overlooking in your financial life? If so, we've got great news. We've crafted the new money new problems gap finder to identify potential weaknesses in your finances in areas ranging from budgeting, investments, insurance, and even the threat your extended family's finances could pose to your household. Please head to newmoneynewproblems.com gapfinder to complete it today. Again, that's newmoneynewproblems.com gapfinder. To take the assessment. [00:12:17] Speaker D: You'Re listening to the new Money New Problems podcast. Subscribe now at new moneynewproblems.com. Welcome back. [00:12:28] Speaker A: Welcome back. Before the break, we were telling you a little bit, or DJ was telling you a little bit, about his journey from the east side of Detroit to Tennessee state to Gallup, and then making the decision, uh, to launch out on his own. So, DJ, you had gotten to the point where you realized that there was an opportunity that awaited you in real estate. What was that next step in seizing that opportunity? [00:12:52] Speaker C: So there was a couple things I did. One, I continued to work at Gallup for a significant amount of time because I love the people I work with. It was a great opportunity. And this was like a pet project that I worked on on the weekends and the evenings. And when I wasn't doing my full time job because I wanted a proof of concept, I wanted to say, hey, if I'm going to step out and do this, I want it to work. And so I just built it in the background. It became what I was obsessed about when I was not working. And by doing that, it gave me the opportunity to make mistakes, not to have to, uh, put all my eggs in one basket. And it allowed me to perfect a system that could eventually scale once I had the time to do it. And that's what I did for a long time. And as a consultant, as you know, you travel a lot, so I was on boats, planes, and trains every week, going around the country working with healthcare clients, and we were about to have my first child, or our first child, I should say. And that timing lined up perfect with me saying, I don't want to be the dad who misses all those first child things, or even second child things. And so I said, now is my opportunity. And what we decided to do is we decided to live off one person's income because my wife was working full time at the time and I was working full time. And so we said, hey, we're going to start living off my wife's income to help us. And then that way, once I decided to go full time, even if I didn't make any money or it failed, I would give myself a year to figure it out before I started to repivot. And that's what we did, and it worked out. [00:14:30] Speaker A: So you had acquired properties prior to quitting? [00:14:34] Speaker C: We acquired properties, but we weren't holding any properties at that time. We had mastered the process of buying a property, renovating it, and then selling it in order to generate income. [00:14:46] Speaker A: There is, there's so many things that I want to unpack there, but I gotta attack a few of them. The first is, I hate when people recommend that people just like, like leap without looking right. Like, you got to sacrifice everything. You got to put yourself out there with no safety net like b's, uh, you know, like, it is much easier to launch and sustain something when you have some reserves. The second thing is, it is completely okay to use your w two job to supplement something that you plan to do and build up to the point where it's easier to leave. The third thing, and we've had this conversation with friends of ours who wanted to jump into entrepreneurship. You built yourself to the point where, and thankfully, you didn't have to, but you had built your career to the point where, let's say that it didn't work out, you could have jumped right back into your career, right? There's something to be said for putting yourself in a situation where you can take the leap and not sacrifice. Oh, if this doesn't work out, I have nothing to go back to. [00:15:49] Speaker C: I just. [00:15:49] Speaker A: I love the way that you do that. But the last thing, and this is what I would like you to touch on even further, people have no idea how hard it is to get financing when you don't have a w two job. Can you talk about how having a salary, either for yourself and your wife or just your wife, made it a little easier to have some entree into real estate? [00:16:15] Speaker C: It made all the difference. So there's a couple things and a couple pieces of the story that I probably didn't fully highlight, but when I was starting the real estate journey, I didn't start by myself. I actually had a business partner who had already done a couple deals. So, like, I was using his playbook and we were working together, right. And so it was a situation where I was working with somebody along the way. And so it was like, I was only in the game 50% of it, and he was 50%. And so, like, we had to double coverage of, like, okay, we both mess it up, then we both have some support, right? And so that was huge there. And his expertise mixed with my expertise helped us, you know, allowed, uh, us to do different things. But then the other part about it is that the w two was so significant, because when I started in real estate, this was during the time when the real estate market had crashed. And so it wasn't the real estate market that we know today where everybody wants to be in real estate. And you have bigger pockets, you have YouTube, you have all these things where you can get all this information. It was kind of no man's land. And people were just trying to figure out, um, what to do. People were licking their wounds who had lost a lot of money. And houses that you see now that are million dollar houses could have probably been sold for like, 250 or 300. And so it wasn't the panacea that everybody, uh, envisions now. It was much more scary. And banks didn't want to lend to you unless you had income. And so for a long time, my w two, along with my wife's w two, was the thing that allowed us to get loans, the thing that allowed us banks to finance us. In addition to that, I remember one of the houses that we purchased after I went solo, um, was only in my wife's name because I didn't have any income. I had a lot of debt, um, not consumer debt, but real estate debt related to the business. And it just made sense to put in her name because she didn't have a lot of debt and she had a w two. And so they were able to do the loan with no problem. And so those things are so helpful as you think about stepping out there into the unknown. The other part that people don't talk about is not just the financings of it, but it's the ability to be able to breathe. One thing that you have to know is when you start your own business or you do something where the income is not a steady income stream, it's an inconsistent income stream, and you don't know when and if you're going to get paid. You do not have the ability to make mistakes and you are forced to make bad decisions if the income comes in later than you expect, whether it be selling something of value too soon, which I've done numerous, uh, times, or not having the ability to ride a storm or be grounded in a storm and let it pass through. And so that's so important that you have to have a foundation where you either have a huge reserve or you have continuous income. When you start anything entrepreneurial, uh, there's. [00:19:21] Speaker A: A, there's a concept that, uh, the person who mentored me calls, uh, this, you know, the tuition into the school of experience. You are, ah, you're paying, right? This is not a benefit. This cost you something either financially, mentally, stress, like, this was a mistake or something that happened to you, but it had to happen to you. It needed to happen to you for you to get the experience you needed to move forward. What's an example of some tuition that you paid into the school of experience. [00:19:53] Speaker C: When you started a lot of sleepless nights. But I think the thing was, was delayed gratification. I think that was the tuition. Because when I left, and I look at some of my colleagues and some of my colleagues have gone on to do phenomenal things. Um, I took a lot of steps back, and when I say not back, steps to the side in order to take a huge step forward. And that was delayed gratification with the cars we drove, with the way we invested, with the vacations we took and stuff like that. But it allowed me to put myself in a position where now it's a lot easier to say if I want to upgrade, I have the ability or luxury to. The other thing, uh, when you talk about tuition was I missed out on so many different opportunities that could have taken me to a new level financially because I didn't spend enough time educating myself and getting better at my craft, because I was so focused on the day to day. And so it was the duality of, like, yes, the day to day has to get done, but not understanding the higher game that's being played in the real estate world made me miss out on opportunities, because, again, I sold assets too early. I missed out on good opportunities that would have paid off great dividends. And as I look back, I'm not mad or sorry about those things, but hindsight's always 2020. And I just see where those experiences now have shaped me, where I look at the market very differently, taking that. [00:21:41] Speaker A: Experience and then deciding to pay it forward, not pay it forward. This is what I love about, uh, you and what you're doing. There are tons of people out there telling people how to get rich in real estate. There's nothing wrong with that. You are building a future for yourself in real estate, and you're going telling people how to save themselves from foreclosure, which is a completely different set of circumstances. Why? [00:22:07] Speaker C: The level I'm at now, it's very hard to see people day to day, those who have worked their whole lives, and be in a situation where they've miscalculated how much they're going to need in retirement, or they had a life event happen to them, and now they are in a position where they have to sell their home and have to rebuild their lives, but they don't have as much life left as they've already lived. And in my work, I see those people every week, and it's hard to look at them all the time and say, hey, I'm sorry, but this is just your reality. And so after having that conversation thousands of thousands of times in my career, I said, how do you help these people in a different way? How do you let them know the best way to proceed, the best way to maximize maybe the last bit of equity they have in their house, or think about their situation in a different way when you don't have hours and hours and hours to spend with them. And my best thought was put in the book and tell them on a podcast. That was the best advice I had. And so that's all I'm trying to do. I'm just trying to help folks and share their story of what things you can do when you face a, uh, challenging financial situation that you never expected to be in. And for me, it's what fills my cup. It's what gets me up every day, what gets me motivated. I'm still a deal junkie. I still love transacting in the real estate world, but what really gets me excited is helping a, uh, single mom who her home is her most valuable asset. And now she's in a situation where she may have to sell the house, giving her strategies and tips where either she can sell it and maximize her return so she has enough of a nest egg to build again, or helping her stay in her house and navigate the choppy waters and build for a future. [00:24:11] Speaker A: I don't think it's a large leap to connect the dots between growing up in a household where your family cared enough to let ten extra people in your house. Um, that, you know, it might have something to do with your desire to reach back and help others. Um, that leads me into questions we ask of all our guests. There are things that we bring with us from childhood, financially, that benefit us. They work well in our pursuits, whatever they may be, professionally, personally. What is something about money from your childhood that you bring with you today? You may have already answered it that, you know, serves you well. [00:24:53] Speaker C: There are two things, I think. One is the ability to be generous at any income level. Um, the other thing is the ability to work hard. [00:25:04] Speaker A: Those are good things to have. There's a flip side of this coin. There's something that we saw that maybe we misinterpreted. Maybe we interpreted it exactly the way it happened, but it's something that now it works against us financially. Maybe we know it exists, but it's just something that has to be overcome. And when you look at your next generation, you say, I would love to leave that on the shelf and not pass it on. [00:25:29] Speaker B: What is that for you, man? [00:25:33] Speaker C: You know, I feel like. I feel like my wife is looking at me, asking me like, hey, what's my biggest problem? Right? I can tell you what it is, right? But I think that the thing that I would not like my kids to get, that I do sometimes, is I can be a little rigid in my approach to planning, and I don't like to change sometimes. And what I mean by that is that once I'm on board with the plan, I'm full steam ahead. And I'm full steam ahead to the plan. It's executed. But sometimes you need the ability to say, hey, this plan is not working, or we need to modify or adjust or change the plan. And I think sometimes in my career and in me and my wife's ability to grow our wealth together, I have been committed to a plan. And I probably should have adjusted course quicker. And so I hope they. Their ability to course correct is quicker than mine and better than mine. [00:26:36] Speaker A: I'm really glad my wife isn't listening on this recording because when she heard rigid, I'm sure she would have been. [00:26:41] Speaker C: Looking at me like. [00:26:45] Speaker A: That is me as well saying, you know, it's a zero sum game. You either did it or you did not. And I will say she doesn't appreciate it when I say, say that to say the least. Well, DJ, it has been a pleasure having you on the podcast, but before we go, I need to make sure that people know how to reach you and listen to see and read your content. So tell us about the platforms where we can find you. [00:27:06] Speaker C: Uh, I'm um. All things the foreclosure fix the foreclosure fix on YouTube. It's theforeclosurefix.com and my new book called the Foreclosure Fix. Twelve proven steps to beat the bank, escape foreclosure, and turn your property into a profitable asset is out now. So please check us out at the foreclosurefix.com dot. It's on Amazon and everywhere else you get your great books. So definitely check it out if you know someone facing foreclosure or anybody in a challenging financial situation. [00:27:37] Speaker A: We appreciate you being on the podcast. If you are listening, we are going to make sure that we link to all of these things, and we're also going to link to the strength Finder assessment that he referenced earlier before the breakdown. DJ, thank you so much. We appreciate you being a guest on the new Money New Problems podcast from. [00:27:58] Speaker B: New money new problems. This was the new Money New Problems podcast, a show for successful professionals searching for the tools they need to navigate financial opportunities and obstacles they've never seen.

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