We’re Mike, Caroline & Nico.  We’re an ordinary family living extraordinary lives. To be fair, we used to be an ordinary family living ordinary lives, but that all changed when we started learning about investing. In particular, investing in real estate…

We were young and newly married. I had been a serial entrepreneur and serial failure more times than I could count. Neither of us ever had a “real” job before we got married. Now I had somehow passed all the physical, written and mental tests to become a firefighter. The doors kept opening and I kept walking through. As a kid, I never thought about becoming a firefighter, it wasn’t my dream and honestly I didn’t know much about it. I just knew they worked 10 days a month and got their insurance covered by the county.

Don’t get me wrong, I was super excited and grateful to have the job, but I never identified as a firefighter. I was an artist by trade, focusing on landscape photography. The days off from the station gave me the time to perfect my craft and the down time at the station gave me time to learn and grow. Within a couple years I had written my first coffee table book and tasted a bit of passive income. I was hooked. I started studying new ways to earn income passively and started consuming content like crazy.

Enter “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” Like many others before me, this book opened up my mind to a whole new world of possibilities and thinking. It also introduced me to the power of real estate. I NEEDED more. I listened to every episode of Bigger Pockets. I started attending local real estate meetups. I networked on social media platforms with everyone I could reach. I was creating a network.

Caroline read the book at about the same time and she got it too. While her days were spent studying hula and working as a hostess at the Four Seasons, we would spend our time off together, exchanging notes and diving in to how we could get in on the real estate action.

Years back, my senior firefighter had taken to real estate and started earning money off of short term rentals locally here on Maui. I became a sponge. He was a gracious mentor, sharing all his data with me and in turn I would share it with Caroline. We learned about different asset classes, different ways to invest in real estate and different ways to structure a business. But we knew if we were going to succeed we had to jump in.

Our goal was to get out of the W2 world as quickly as possible.

I started looking at real estate asset classes on a scale of passivity. Meaning at one end of the spectrum were syndications and REITs, assets that were essentially mailbox money. I loved that idea, but the returns were not going to get us out of the W2 very quickly. We needed to be more active. At the far other end of the spectrum was Wholesaling, Flipping and Short Term Rentals. Areas where we could make good money, but also would have to put in a lot of time to make it successful.

Of those, Short Term Rentals (STRs) was the only asset class that interested either of us. Reason being with the other two asset classes you’re selling the assets. We wanted to hold the assets for the long term. So there it was, Short Term Rentals it would be.

Fast forward 7 years and we went from high stress and a negative net worth to having properties in four states, retiring from the W2 world, having passive income that exceeds our expenses and having a net worth of over $4 million. Today I’ve journaled, meditated, done yoga, saw my son off to school, and had a leisurely breakfast before sitting down here to type on my computer at 9am on a Wednesday. My life is pretty good. Caroline is here too. We looked at a $5 million dollar property this morning as a house for us. We’re still probably a few years away from being able to afford that without giving up our stress free lifestyle, but it’s not that far off. We can see the roadmap of how to get there.

And that’s what we want to show you…

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