Myself and NONE of my companies invest in the stock markets. We do all kinds of high interest savings accounts and other banking service but we have stayed out of the stocks for almost a decade now. I will not risk being able to maintain my employees payroll, insurance payments, or anything else we need capital for by putting it all in the stock market. Too risky for me.
My business model is very simple. All of my companies are built on holacracy infrastructures. From there we do manage them at the upper level but it’s a community based decision-making process until things need a 1 final vote, that final vote is mine. Soon it will be Lindsay’s with my input. We let people set the schedule they need as long as they are in the office for their scheduled meetings or to work their scheduled hours per shift. Some people split time and work from home. I’m fine with that. As long as their 8 hour per day requirement is met. At first no one understood how it worked. Almost 10 years in, we have it running very smoothly.
What I do is buy a building for very cheap. It’s usually in a bad area, in bad condition, and has sat for years if not decades. We only buy the ones we can fix up. Knocking it down is a last resort. We fix up the buildings and being to sell lease space inside. Those leases last minimum 1 year. This guarantees me a certain amount of income from that building. With all of the final cost of the building, permits, renovations, etc it can take me up to 3 years to start actually making a profit from the leases inside of the building. This is why not very many people MOVE OUT of my leases. I don’t raise the payment. I do once someone does leave, but whatever we quoted you at Year 1, you are still paying Year 9 and that is both rare and loyal. I’m not in this business to make money to feed my family. My inheritance, trust fund, and other incomes take care of that. I’m in this to fill up my buildings. I want each building to be at 100% occupancy at all times. Why? That ensures residual income on a monthly basis that I can then depend on and do other investments on.
I usually go into a city and buy 10 buildings at once. We don’t announce our arrival in a way anyone else would counteract our buying spree. We swoop in, tour, then sign the agreements within a few hours. That’s when our building and planning division flies in and figures out what we can do to fix things up. We hire local contractors, work with local people and give back jobs to areas of the city that need them badly. The community loves us and then what do we do? We offer moderately cheap lease space for brand new business adventures or even existing ones that want a fresh start in a nice, cleaned up building. My leasees are extremely loyal to me. They have actually stuck up for me on several occasions. I do this because I don’t want to build an empire for myself. I want to give back as much as I’ve been given. I try very hard to understand the needs of our clients and do all we can to help, not hurt them. It’s very refreshing for them to KNOW that at the end of the year, the payment doesn’t go up. Now, you can argue how do I make money off of them? I make money because they stay in their spot for years. We are able to continue to collect money on a building I’ve already been paid back on. In full. That money goes into the next set of buildings and so on.
How many building so I currently own? 313 according to today’s figures. With the average lease space going for $3500, do the math. And most of my buildings on average have at least, lets call it, 50 spaces. The $54,000,000 I made last year just in lease payments is not all profit. Remember we are still paying for Year 1, 2, and 3 of a certain set of buildings. The $54,000,000 on paper is actually $45,000,000 in actual profit that we added to the $110,000,000 we made from all of my construction, malls, and gas stations I own. Then our casino investments that Lindsay got us into a few years ago. We only made $4,000,000 from those last year but it’s going to go up. We are buying into more casinos. And add that with our Mexico energy investments which join my US energy investments and we’re talking about another $250,000,000. Last year was a great year for SJC and I play to take the profits, share with the employees and finally do one giant retreat. A weekend in Hawaii at my family compound. We are going to host that in September of this year. All employees and their families. It’s going to be 3 months of planning the entire thing. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it. I just get to show up and toast the parties Lol
Money has not changed me. I donate, volunteer, and continue to help the communities we work in. My company is a community based investment firm. We do as much as we can and live a responsible corporate existence. I’m proud of what I started. It was just an idea when I left Nebraska. Seeing it today, 10 years, later. I really made something of myself. I can’t thank everyone enough. Well I can in Hawaii. I’m so happy to be apart of a team. Without all of my employees I would be working construction still and miserable. I thank God every single day for my career. It keeps me busy and I leave what I do. Even if I’m just the “Figure head” now.
I shared all of this because in the fall we are going on a massive hiring frenzy. I need 400 new employees for the next big thing in SJC. They can be from anywhere you have a computer connection that can handle video streaming for meetings. I can’t open up about that yet but it is the brainchild of Lindsay who thinks she can revolutionize the way we market and create ideas. I’m excited because she’s excited. We have the funding and it’s time to try to really see what my partnership with her can do.
I hope everyone had a great day. Today was perfect weather here in the great, beautiful city of Chicago. I picked up my wife from work, took her and the boys out for pizza and we just got back from Grant park. We took the stroller and then let the boys walk around for a while. I looked at them tonight and thought that’s the next generation of SJC. Those 2 amazing boys are going to take things into the next 50 years. I have done all I can to set them up for success. I pray it’s enough.
God loves ya’ll and I love you too!