Sept. 30, 2022

Faith In Yourself with Joe Sutton


About the Author: 
         Joseph A. Sutton is a published author, with more than 30 years of banking and real-estate experience. He started his first business in 2003 as a mortgage lender in South Florida and, within ten years, was also running his own asset management company. Life was good until the sub-prime mortgage crisis & real estate crash that started in 2006 and was followed by the banking collapse. His devastating transformation from successful businessman to debtor in the $$Millions was fast, furious and nearly fatal. Today, he is semi-retired in Hollywood, Florida and running his third business venture out of his home office, while managing his remaining portfolio of rental real estate.

https://www.thezerosumgamebook.com

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Transcript

Josh Wilson
 Good day, fellows. Welcome. Uncensored advice for men. 


 Joe Sutton
 Men. 


 Josh Wilson
 My name is Josh, and on today's show, we're going to have a conversation with Joe, who has quite a story about making it to the top and falling down the valley, maybe even falling into a cave. Joe. Welcome to show. 


 Joe Sutton
 Hey, thank you very much. Great to be here. Yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 Now, you have climbed the ladder, the mountain of success, but you also been pushed off the side of it and hit rock bottom. Why don't you kind of give us an idea about who you are and tell us your story. 


 Joe Sutton
 Man story was it was a slow and steady story as I progressed up the hill of mortgage banking, it took me about 16 or 17 years to build this business from being a little mortgage broker to actually closing and funding my own loans. Most of them I sold, made a ton of dough, made a ton of money. I decided that I was going to take all this money I had, that I had earned over all these years and I'm going to lend it to people. I always lending it to people. Hard money kind of stuff, street money. I would verify income lend at 60% of the value on their homes, save them from whatever they were or whatever plot they had, and then they would refinance me out and pay me off. I deployed the money down the road. I had a ton of dough invested and I said, wow, I got a better idea. 


 Joe Sutton
 Let me take these loans that I have spread out rross Miami and Broward and South Florida and I'm going to get a loan against them. Isn't that fun? So I super leveraged. I took my portfolio of loans, about million and a half to $2 million cash that I earned all by myself. No family, nothing, just all grip and grind for so many years. I leveraged it to 10 million. So 2 million was my own. 10 million belonged to banks. In 2008 came and big fat margin calls and down went, big time lending. Joe ended up fighting for his life and nobody paid. If you think about it, everyone and their mother was basically telling you, don't pay your mortgage and don't pay your mortgage. And so they didn't pay. I was left to pay my debts and I wasn't getting anything in. So I fought it out. 


 Joe Sutton
 I took a different perspective than most people did and I ended ups taking back the homes and renovating them and then cash flowing. That was the only way I could see my way through this absolute nightmare. A nightmare. Each house had its own little story. Each repossession had its own little storyon and its little kick to it. In the end, I was negative 3 million, more when the market hit bottom and relatively little income. And it was really just grit. 16 hours a week, I mean, 16 hours a day working. I was consulting on the side for banks who were also facing the same problems, people not paying them. I was actually foreclosing and repossessing for banks. It was really just a lot of grit and grind and it was just the stories are just unbelievable. I mean, here all borrower stories of how they were mistreated, but I have to tell you, with the homes I've seen, when we repossess them, you wouldn't believe your eyes. 


 Joe Sutton
 You wouldn't believe it. 


 Josh Wilson
 Team Chat, a very crazy time that was in 2006 ish I built 40 something spec homes. We built a bunch of duplexes and triplexes, but the spec homes with the groups that we work on really collapsed, and, man, was that a tough time. I know a lot of guys in the industry, guys and gals in the industry who got wiped out, right? 


 Joe Sutton
 Oh, yeah. A ton of people. I mean, there are banks that I was doing business with that one day they were in business, and the next day the FBI sees them over and they basically said, we're calling your loan. We don't care what you have to say about it. So my credit was pulled. Now I'm left with they took my clout of my equity with it, and he took my live of credit. Thankfully, I had different types of credit lines around. I mean, I had three different credit lines with three different banks. That way I didn't have everything concentrated, but it was pretty nasty. It was pretty nasty, yeah. 


 Josh Wilson
 So the day before, s*** went downhill. The day before, you're making tons of money, you're leveraging what was going through your mind? What kind of lifestyle were you living? Live? Talk about Joe. 


 Joe Sutton
 The day before the fall, oh, my goodness, this guy blowing my grass off here. What I was thinking was, I'm sorry about that. What I was thinking was I actually got ahead of the curve. I actually had seen in live 2007, I said, this is getting a little scary. This is where values now, where you can rent a house, the same house that you're paying your mortgage on, you can rent one for live 50% less. So I'm like, this is getting scary. I started selling some of my loans, actually, before the crash actually hit, and I actually recovered some of my money. The day that Lehman collapsed, Berkshiren collapsed, american Home Mortgage Countrywide, all of this companies collapsed. It was lights out. I was thinking, I am totally screwed. I was paying probably I was probably earning about $100,000 a month, and my expenses are probably about 40,000 a month. 


 Joe Sutton
 And then I went from to nothing. No income and still having to pay $40,000 a month. I curled up in a corner for the first day, I have to admit it. I curled up in the corner and said, what am I going to do with this? What in the world is there even a possibility NW recovery from this? And the answer really was doubtful. I just basically I don't want to say panic attack, but depression doesn't really nail it, right? It was more of shock. Now I have a family, I got a house, I got a car, I got all these things I can't pay for. It was hard. I won't even say it was hard. It was people were killing themselves, literally killing themselves during this time. I just don't I can't say I didn't think of it, but I got us some meds, and I just battled through it. 


 Joe Sutton
 It was a good decade. I shouldn't say good decade. It was at least ten years to recover. At least ten years. 


 Josh Wilson
 I get it, man. Yeah, I absolutely get it. When I was in that situation, and I hit rock bottom financially, I was getting letters on the door. I saw a few vehicles getting towed off on the back of a tow truck, and I felt, for me live when all this was going on, I couldn't pay my bills no matter how hard I tried. I'm a hard worker. I'll work around the clock, but I was having a hard time paying my bills. I felt absolutely worthless here. I was I thought I was the smartest guy in the world. What about you, man? 


 Joe Sutton
 Yeah, some people have read the book that we just published, and some people were like, what? I felt like a home weight was lifted off of me because I thought I was the only guy who couldn't pay his bills. I'm like I felt like I was in foreclosure. You see the cars coming because the banks would hire inspectors to go inspect the homes. I'm watching the cars stop, take pictures of my house, and then go off and go collectors. My daily routine would be to walk outside, and I want my kids to know everything. I go outside and handle with the bill collector, right? 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. 


 Joe Sutton
 They all said, we can't help you. Can't help you. So I said, you know what? I ain't paying you now. Come to me. I'm coming to you and saying, I want to work with you. I want to pay you every penny. I need your help. Just anything you can do, and I'll do my best to pay you. They all said, no, you know what? I'm going to pay you. You come to me next. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. When dealing with build collectors, on our end, were trying so hard. I was trying so hard to be proactive, and some of them were great, right? They're like, yeah, do what you can. Send us a dollar if you can. Send us a dollar next month. And then some were just, live ferocious. We are going to come after you. We're going to sue you. We're going to do that. I'm like, Dude, my hands are tied. I'm trying. I got to eat. Right? 


 Joe Sutton
 Right. Well, what ended up happening was that really between all my debts, mortgages, and lines of credit I had with banks and credit cards, because I leveraged everything when I was investing. I mean, you're paying a credit card 3%, you're collecting 10%. You're like, this is great. What ended up happening was not quite I don't want to say I'm baked. I was very humble. I learned that lesson. It's a very incredible lesson to learn is humility. When you owe the money, you have to pay back the money. If you can't pay back the money, you've got to be humble. I was very humble, but they didn't want to take it. Like with you, they didn't want to take it. They want all their money. And I said, you know what? You will come back to me in the end. I paid them all off at $0.22 on the dollar. 


 Josh Wilson
 Humbled, right, is tough for a guy who one day is a deal maker. Name up on this, right? Money coming in. I just threw my pen over there, right? But it's so live, crazy. You get humbled or life happens. I think humility is a response, right? 


 Joe Sutton
 Live. 


 Josh Wilson
 You have to respond to the situation with humility, because some people were just like, Whatever. How did you learn the lesson of humility? As I tried to go figure out where my pen is. I Ian Hill, hear you. 


 Joe Sutton
 Well. Humility comes in a lot of different flavors. Part of that humility is not just when you owe someone money, but also when you negotiate. Get to a negotiation and you've got one guy who's so hard headed, he's like, what? No. You're like, well and you're trying to be flexible with the guy and say, look me in the middle. The humility is being able to get to the middle and say, okay, if it works for you, it works for me. No one's trying to outdo the other. That's what it takes to negotiate a great deal is humility on both sides, because business is business when both parts are happy. If one guy is not happy, business will never succeed. The humility really came with the negotiation of a lot of credit lines. I had actually helped in getting people to move out without tearing the s*** out of a house. 


 Joe Sutton
 We were way ahead of the curve, offering cash for keys. Remember that? Cash for keys? That term came around 2010. S***, I was offering cash for keys in 2007. Just give you a grand, get out of the house. I didn't care. It takes three years to get someone out of a house in Florida. Three years of no cash flow is death. I mean, you may have just go to one of the car dealerships here because there's no way you're going to survive it. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. One of the tactics we saw in real estate investing is, hey, I know you're going through a hard time. We'll pay for the moving truck. You're going to put in your name. We'll get there. We'll even pay some people to help you load it. Now they have all their stuff in the thing. But what a freaking weird time, man. I mean, I got burnt. A lot of people got burnt. Let me ask this, though, Joe, on humility, that's a learned response. How has that served you? Ten years label, here we are, 2022. What you picked up there in terms of humility, learning, that how's that served you for the next 1012 years. 


 Joe Sutton
 The humility to go in front of a stage, an audience full of college kids and teach them that the humility, there's no room for ego and business. They're just business. That's what got me into trouble. I mean, I was slow and steady. I made a ton of no, and I didn't have to do anything during the bus. I had plenty of cash, I had property. The minute that I turned ego loose on my business is when it just evaporated. The humility part of it, even with I have reacquired my wealth, I'm always still so very thankful and humble, because the reality is I shouldn't have been here. The reality, the universe somehow kept me alive, and now it's a notion of paying it forward. I can't think of a better way of paying it forward than to a generation that really has never, ever had a trauma like you and I had. 


 Joe Sutton
 I don't think we ever see that kind of trauma again. But it's paying it forward. And that is my goal. That is my calling, and that's what I fully intend to do. 


 Josh Wilson
 When you say calling, what do you mean by that? 


 Joe Sutton
 I have a lot of experience in everything, in real estate and mortgages and borrowing and creditors and roofs and pipes that go into the house. I got so much experience that I own so many homes and that I think that people need to understand, what does it take to own a home? Right? What does it take to buy a home? What does it take to start a business? The grit involved to show up for work every day, the grit to pay everyone that you owe, the grit to see through a business that may be failing, may not be failing. No. I accepted the whole notion that it's okay to fail. Everyone is so afraid of it. If you can learn from the failure, which I did, I learned from the failure, and I ended up coming forward and excelling, and yes, the humility of being able to accept failure and the humility of understanding that I do need to do something with my knowledge. 


 Joe Sutton
 That's why I'm talking to you. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. Interesting, man. You mention a calling is like something are we talking about live? Someone called you up on the phone and like, hey, Joe, I got a mission for you. Is it a mission? Is it a purpose? Or when you say calling, you feel like using the past failures to now learn from them, but then also teach to them what made that progression for you. Why do you this? They give a crap, right? You made your money, you made it back, and you said, you're fine, you don't need to take a note. Why do you now want to teach? What's in it for you? 


 Joe Sutton
 I was asked one time I had another speaking engagement. I was asked, do you believe in luck in business? Now there's two other guys sitting next to me, right, and they, oh, profusely. No, there's no such thing as luck in business. There's no such thing as anything. It's just basically it's what you make of it and how you make of it, blah, blah. I kind of stay silent. They looked at me for kind of answer, and I said, Well, I like to think of luck as breadcrumbs. I said, because I'm not really certain at one point that I started seeing little breadcrumbs, talked about I'm just saying the hypothetical breadcrumbs that basically showed me a way out of this mess. It just showed me live. I don't want to say that divine spirit, this is not a religious show, but I just think that there was a hand that guided me. 


 Joe Sutton
 I can't really explain any better than that. I think that in return, I want to pay back the universe, because the universe took care of me. Yeah, it really did. 


 Josh Wilson
 I'm spending a lot of time studying religion. I'm studying live. There's a book by Mickey Singer. The Art of the Surrender Experiment. I'm reading a book about God and Him being in us, and he guides us. I'm spending time to figure out what this is so I could be, I guess, more open to how to get out of my own message, but also maybe how to stay out of messes in that journey of listening to that invisible hand or whatever that direction. What advice do you have for us guys on how to pay attention to that? Identify that, listen to it. 


 Joe Sutton
 Never doubt yourself. It's really amazing that everyone always has so much faith in us, but we never have faith in ourselves. For whatever reason, we always panic, right? Like, in the middle of the month, oh, man, we got to pay our bills at the beginning of the month. How are we going to do it? How are we going to do it? But we never have faith in ourselves. The reality is, you got to know deep down that you're going to be able to pull it off in the beginning of the month comes and take care of everything you have to take care of. I think that people just have to have confidence in themselves to know when an opportunity knocks on the door and their gut tells them whether it's a good one or a bad one. Opportunity is everywhere. Look, I'll give you an example. 


 Joe Sutton
 My kid had a broken ipod. True story. Here's one right here. See, that's an ipod. Well, not that type of ipod, but I found a broken ipod in my son's broad. I went completely ballistic. Do you know how much this cost? This is back in 2010. So I took it. I busted it even more, but I watched another YouTube show, and I fixed it. I ended up costing me $30 to fix it, and I sold it on ebay. I do 300 of those a month. Just like that, I pay more selling ipod than I did in banking. I got a whole handful of them right here. There's my little tools here in my ipod, my batteries I get from China. Now I do live a few hundred a month. I had to shrink it now that I've actually now launched the new business of teaching people through my book. 


 Joe Sutton
 Yes, for years and years, while the market was recovering and I was waiting for real estate to come back, I was tinkering with that junk, and they pay all the bills, and I ended up morphing it into a different type of repair business. People send me stuff from all over the country, and I repair their stuff. I don't leave my house. People say, what opportunities do you have? If I can convert this into a money making business, anyone can do anything. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. Wow. Faith in yourself, right? You found a problem, a broken situation. You're like, Freaking kid, you just broke this. 2010 ipods were hot, and it's expensive, but you turn it into a business opportunity, right? You saw something, I was broken. You fix it. You made money. Connect ipod number two. You're like, Wait a second. I just made some money here, and the world is falling apart, and I'm making money. Hey, thanks, kid, for breaking that. Right now I have a bad business, right? 


 Joe Sutton
 That's right. With the Coronavirus, business is booming, and even now we're in the grips of a recession, right? Booming. I can't keep the stuff on the shelf. It just sells bob every day. This is just an opportunity that presented itself. Another opportunity presented itself. A bank was getting hammered every day, losing about $200,000 in the courthouse steps every day. They were taking property in 2008, nine. They came to me and said, we're watching you. They lent me some money, so we're watching you. How you're managing your portfolio, and we're going to all lose our jobs and stop taking these losses. So I saw that, here's an opportunity. You got to recognize those opportunities when they comment you. I seized on that opportunity, and I ended up convincing the bank to instead of selling these properties and taking $100,000 hit, I said, Why don't we renovate them and we'll hold them for two or three years? 


 Joe Sutton
 You'll hold them for two or three years, and then we'll dump them. Every argument can FDI doesn't allow blah, blah, blah. I said, well, then form a company. Have your parent bank fund it'll. Take all that money that they funded. By all your bad loans. Now the FAIC won't say anything to you, right? And then we'll just manage those place. And we did, and we made millions. The bank was thrilled, and what ended up happening was two or three years later, some of the bigger banks did the same thing. They were getting crushed by the regulator. They said, what, we're going to take these houses and we're going to rent them, we're going to fix them and just hold them until the market gets better. And that's what I did. Your opportunities, I can't tell you, show people how to look for opportunities. Opportunities will always show up. 


 Joe Sutton
 I can't explain to you why I know that, but opportunities always show up. If you have your eyes open, if you're willing to allow your humility and you're willing to allow both sides to each make money together, you're going to do well. 


 Josh Wilson
 Yeah. This is a great lesson in this. For opportunities to show up, a lot of times humility has to start, right? Ego tends to push opportunity away. I remember a time right after we had our massive financial collapse, right? I was having a conversation with a guy I knew, and he sold this construction company for $100 million, right? Live this guy was successful. He was pretty big. After he's like, Josh, what are you up to? I was like, Man, I just went bankrupt and all these things. I'm telling him, I'm like, but I'm thankful for what I learned throughout. He goes, Now, Josh, you're a different dude. I would have never done business with the old Josh. He goes, you and I could do business now. Welcome to club. And I was just like, oh, man. Up to that point, man, I thought the confidence, the gusto, all that stuff, it was actually hurting me. 


 Joe Sutton
 It will. People don't want that. They want to know that you're willing to be valuable. It's better for negotiation. 


 Josh Wilson
 So true, man. As you're building now, you said you built back your wealth. What's different in the way you look at money today versus 2006 or whenever? Live. How's Joe? How do you look at money and success differently? 


 Joe Sutton
 In 2006 and seven, money defined me, and now money is just something to pay the bills, enjoy travel. When I can travel, I don't travel that much because I work. I love working. I definitely don't look to money as the root of my being. It's no longer where it was so important to me before. Now it's just meaningless. I'm going to say that it basically is a tool for whatever I need to do to grow my businesses, but I don't ever live ever anymore. Ever. 


 Josh Wilson
 How do you not freak out, right? For someone, maybe a college kid, you have a heart for serving younger adults and who are stepping out into the world, maybe haven't made the major life crashes yet that you've gone through? How do you prepare someone to deal with life challenges, massive failures? How do you prepare people for that? 


 Joe Sutton
 Don't panic at the thought of failure. Don't ever panic at the thought of failure. If failure is upon you, then you need to think with clarity and be determined because we're all going to fail. Everyone does. We fail in business, we fail in school, we fail in relationships. It's what we do once we see the failure, it's how we handle that. I didn't panic at the thought of failure. I had said, I'll admit to you though, I did curl up in that ball for maybe a day or two. I basically set out my worst case scenarios and I settled on whatever the best, worst and middle. I said, this is my worst case. This is what I'm going to stick to. If it happens. I always tell kids, don't worry about panicking. Don't worry about failing. Just don't panic. When you're looking at even school, you have a big test, right? 


 Joe Sutton
 You're going to panic over it, you're going to do your best. That's the one thing I've taught, is just with all the stories that I have from the foreclosure era, I advise just look forward, don't look backwards. The decisions you make today, you can't change them in the future. That's what really creates a lot of August in people, is the regret. You just can't have it. 


 Josh Wilson
 Copy that. During this interview, I love talking to people who have failed and who are willing to talk about it. Why do you feel like you're so willing to talk about, like, do you ever get embarrassed? Do you ever get fearful about what people might this about this? How do you approach that? 


 Joe Sutton
 I couldn't care less what people think about it. Actually, I have no problem. The book is pretty clear. It basically tells you, yes. My super ego lending moronic Joe basically tore up my life. I was depressed, I was anxious, I was suicidal, no question about it. I got help from a psychiatrist. Psychiatrist put me on Mexico. My psychiatrist made me get a hobby, which were those iPads. That was really the hobby part of it. He made me journal everything. That's how the book was actually developed. It really wasn't supposed to be a book. It's just my 400 page journal that I wrote so that I don't jump off a roof. All of this. I tell everyone the same thing. I have no fear of telling anyone. That period drove me mad. And now I'm better. I'm on meds. Ian Hill never get off of the meds because I can't. 


 Joe Sutton
 That's my reality and that's the reality I'm going to live with. So you know what? I don't care what anyone thinks. Cool. 


 Josh Wilson
 Super cool job. What questions should I ask you in this interview? That I screwed up and did not ask you. 


 Joe Sutton
 My favorite foreclosure story. 


 Josh Wilson
 Give us your favorite story. 


 Joe Sutton
 I'm going to give my favorite foreclosure story. This woman was Susie. Susie was a biker chick. Her husband left her and threw the wedding ring at her. On Christmas Eve, she called me and said that she can no longer pay her mortgage and that her husband has left her and she's going to be homeless. I said, well, let's see if we can work this out. I modified her loan, reduced the payment but Ruthie didn't. I'm sorry. Susie didn't work. Susie one day was a little short on her payment. She's trying she's a little short on her payment. She says, well, we can go back in your office if you want. And I said, no way, Suzy. I am not allowing you to blow me for the remainder of the payment. Just come up with a whole payment, and that is the only thing I'm going to accept from you. 


 Joe Sutton
 The woman really worked as hard as she could, but she just couldn't do it. But she couldn't make the payment. She tried her best. I offered her to rent her property. She can deed me her property and I would rent it back to her. She stayed as long as she wanted. I didn't want to throw her out. I don't want to do any of that. I want to inspect the house to make sure I wasn't getting some death trap. Oh, my God. You cannot imagine this. It was the most horrific. I know you've probably seen some real crack in your life, but there are people in each of the bedrooms. I think she's turning tricks in this house. Mind you, I'm inspecting it to allow her to stay because I want to make sure I'm not going to be renting it to anything that's going to create a problem for me. 


 Joe Sutton
 She's walking, and my feet are sticking to the group. That's how gross it was. Vermin there were rats, roaches. I'm knocking on a door and someone said, Screw off. I'm like who's there? That's my daughter with someone. I go to the next bedroom and knock on the door. That's her son with someone. I go all the way to the bedroom back bedroom where Suzy resides. And I look at the sheets. Josh I couldn't let her stay. I had to foreclose on her because I could not allow her to stay. I couldn't rent flofr this house. I mean, can you imagine being the new owner and renting her the house back? I couldn't imagine it. So I ended up foreclosing on her. Four months later, she was in the front yard sleeping in a tent with a portable air conditioner because the power was turned off, the water was turned off, everything was turned off. 


 Joe Sutton
 She couldn't stick she couldn't stand in the house because it stunk so bad. She was out in the front yard with a tent. That's what she looked like when I took the final possession of the house, a tent in the front yard. It was the most pathetic thing I ever saw in my life in the low part of my life. 


 Josh Wilson
 Why is that your favorite story? 


 Joe Sutton
 Because it tells me it's someone that really tried, even though she has such ridiculous, but really, like, horrible ways to get money to pay me. But she tried. She tried. She wasn't like everyone else and said, what? I'm not going to pay you. I'm going to hire a lawyer. He's going to charge me $500 a month, and he's going to jerk you around flofr the next three years. I'm not going to make any payments at all. The woman tried. Now, she didn't succeed, and she wasn't smart about cleaning up her house. I inspected it, I let her stay, but she still tried. I really felt bad for her. My wife came with me. When we give her $1,000 to leave and at least get her started. I mean, my wife is crying in the front yard. Susie was crying in the front yard. Susie's daughter was crying in the bray one's crying in the front yard. 


 Joe Sutton
 I'm p***** because I got to deal with this monumental mess, one of many foreclosures that I had to deal with. It was just at the end, as the foreclosure situation loosened up, I had lost my compassion, and I'm thrilled today that I actually had it back. 


 Josh Wilson
 How did you regain your compassion? I work with a lot of guys who have seen the worst of people, fire and police and medics. I came from that world where we would get called into really rough situations and you'd see the worst of people. It'll take a toll on compassion. How do you regain you said, I'm glad that I got my compassion back. What did that look like? 


 Joe Sutton
 I'll tell you exactly where that came from. It was one of my borrowers owed me a couple of hundred thousand dollars on a house, and he couldn't pay. Instead of ducking me, he didn't work for me. I said, look, he was a handyman, so I need you to go to this house repair. I need you to go to this house repair. It the poor guy died. Cancer, age 49. Felt terrible for him. Terrible, terrible. He did everything he could do to pay me back. His wife picked up the payment. She ended up making payments on time, and then she suffered a stroke and she couldn't pay. I said to her, I offered the same deal I offered to Susie. Actually, no, let me correct myself. She wanted to give me the deed. She said that, I'm going to give you the deed because you've been so nice to me and my husband when he was live and he would want you to have this house. 


 Joe Sutton
 I can no longer afford it. I said, here's what I want to do, and here's where the compassion sneaks back in. I mean, really, where you least expect it. I said, you stay here as long as you want. The rent payment is going to be 50% less than what the surrounding area is. You give me the house, which by the way, was a shivole. It was worse than Susie's house, but I didn't care. You can stay as long as you want. She called me in the following month and said, medicare stopped paying XYZ. Let's reduce the rent again. My husband's death benefit expired. We'll reduce the rent again until the point where I was actually losing money on it, but I didn't care. I was not going to take that woman out of that house, and she could have stayed there for free as far as I was concerned. 


 Josh Wilson
 Interesting San Josh for guys in the audience who want to connect to you, learn your story and maybe get some advice from you. What's a good place to connect with you? 


 Joe Sutton
 I'm on LinkedIn. They can even email me at jsutton one, two, three, seven at gmail. Com and I answer all my emails. Any questions or any sort of advice? Actually, I've had a couple of psychiatrists take my book and basically give it to some of their customers because they say they're patient. They say, what, you need to read the book, because this is a guy who came from near death to where he is now, fighting for his live, and it's a good read. 


 Josh Wilson
 And what's the name of the book? 


 Joe Sutton
 The zero sum game. 


 Josh Wilson
 Explain the title. 


 Joe Sutton
 Okay. The second and last chapter goes through a what if scenario. You go through the whole book of foreclosures and stories. It's actually kind of comical and it's a very fast read. The second last chapter is, what if I didn't over leverage? What if I didn't pull an extra credit line? What if I just sat with the money I had started with, totally invested, and didn't do a thing? After doing calculation after calculation, I ended up exactly the same place, whether I had done nothing and enjoyed ten years of my life or hyper leveraged and then had to fix everything. Because when you screw something up, you got to fix it. It took me ten years to fix it, and I ended ups exactly in the same place I would have landed financially if I had done absolutely nothing but slow and steady. That's why we call the zero sum game slow and steady always wins the race. 


 Joe Sutton
 I'm sure you've heard that a million and a half times. Well, I've said it a million and a half times and now I'm a believer because that's exactly what happened. 


 Josh Wilson
 Awesome, Joe. 


 Joe Sutton
 Thanks. 


 Josh Wilson
 For coming on the show and sharing your story with us. Fellow guys out in the audience, as always, reach out to our guests, say thanks, especially if they say something that connects with you. If you have a piece of advice that you'd like to share and share your story here on the show.

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Joseph A. Sutton

About the Author:
Joseph A. Sutton is a published author, with more than 30 years of banking and real-estate experience. He started his first business in 2003 as a mortgage lender in South Florida and, within ten years, was also running his own asset management company. Life was good until the sub-prime mortgage crisis & real estate crash that started in 2006 and was followed by the banking collapse. His devastating transformation from successful businessman to debtor in the $$Millions was fast, furious and nearly fatal. Today, he is semi-retired in Hollywood, Florida and running his third business venture out of his home office, while managing his remaining portfolio of rental real estate.