The 24-Week Challenge: Week 1 – Putting A Game Plan In Place

So, how do real estate investors build real wealth and freedom without access to millions of dollars in capital? Zack Childress is going to tell us how over 24 weeks… starting with this episode.

Putting a game plan in place (ep 1) covers budget and time management. We’ll start with using time-blocking, which we’ll talk about in detail, before diving into budget.

Why are we emphasizing time management in the very 1st episode of the 24-Week Challenge? Because it’s SO important.

Some of you have full-time jobs and families, and you want to add real estate investing to the mix. Just remember: “You can’t control time, but you can control what you do with your time.”

And, in regard to your budget, you can get started in this business with no money if you’re willing to stay on the phone looking for deals… it is possible. Or, if you have a small amount of money, you can get a few marketing streams set up.

Once you make your first few deals, your business will be paying for the all-important marketing and systems.

In future episodes, you’ll learn about contracts, marketing to sellers, finding buyers, branding yourself, private lenders, financial analysis, negotiating deals, using social media, sandwich lease options, wholesaling, financial analysis… whoa, quite a list!

Ready to grow your knowledge and skill set? Let’s get to it…

Watch and learn:

Listen and enjoy:

What’s inside:

  • How small wins add up to big successes in this business
  • Why nailing down the time component is crucial
  • How to time blocking effectively
  • Learn additional ways to boost learning/success

Mentioned in this episode:


Download episode transcript in PDF format here…

Hey, it’s Zack Childress here. Welcome back to another one of our real estate investing talk shows and Happy New Year and all that good stuff because we’re starting the year off right with you here. Hey listen, if you’re driving down the road and you’re listening to me on podcast or the blog talk or Youtube, wherever you’re listening to me at, you need to understand that I want to be more engaged with you so you need to get to my Facebook live page. How do you get there? Well, you just need to go to Be part of our Facebook family…. join us over there. Talk to me, ask me questions, be part of what we do behind the scenes when we’re not talking on the radio or the podcast.

We have a massive 24 week schedule built out for you this year. I told you I had something special for you coming out this year, especially for all my Facebook family that’s with me all the time. I literally am going to be breaking down for the next 24 weeks a piece of the business for 24 weeks and all you need to do is take the action every single week and you, my friend, will have grown a business and see that’s the important part of understanding real estate. Because it’s small wins equal big successes.

Now I get where some of you are. “Well Zack, I just don’t understand all this and I don’t really know. I can watch it, but I can’t talk to you directly.”

Well that’s true, but that’s why you need to at least engage, learn, be part of it. And then talk about, how do you get more help? How do you get more support? You’d come out to one of my live events, you’re talking to one of my student advisors. Let us help consult you and figure out what’s the best system, program, software or mentoring that’s going to work best for you. From there, we can then guide you down a path of success. So, my goal for the next 24 weeks is to help you get an understanding of what this business is going to take and what you need to be thinking about to grow this business this year.

So, over the next 24 weeks, if you do what I tell you to do, then that means you will be in a position to get a good understanding of this business and honestly you will also get a good understanding of why you need more help. Because just hearing it isn’t enough.

You have to implement it and the only way to implement successfully is to have an implementation partner known as a mentor or a consultant that can engage with you and see where you’re going in your business. And that my friends is the key to success – is having somebody on your team at all times. And so that’s the big part of it. I encourage you, if you listen to me on podcast or if you’re listening to me on the blog talk, you need to get to my event. Call the office, just ask them about the event. That number is (707) 247-4248.

Also, if you’re just catching me on the podcast or didn’t know really who we are, what we do. My name is Zack Childress. I am a real real estate investor and a real real estate coach. I’m active in this business. I do this to share with you guys to build your business up, to help you get more enlightened about what you need to be doing in this real estate game. One of the easiest ways to get information from me and the cheapest way to get information from me is on my Facebook live shows. It is literally free. You come, you’ll be part of it, you’ll learn with us, you grow with us, but also you need to get your hands on my book. It’s called My First Deal Playbook. You can get that book at Amazon. You just search for the title, My First Deal Playbook and that’ll give you a great starting point in this model, so I encourage you all to participate in that.

So, what is this going to look like? Well, over the next 24 weeks I’m going to carry you and let me just pull up my blueprint here to give you an idea. We’re going to be working on everything from the game plan and time management to budgeting, to getting ready for the business, the system setups, the setting up your business, the branding yourself, what contract to use and what they’re for, the for-profit centers, finding the right investments, marketing to sellers, determining the market you want to be in, negotiating the deals, research and analyzing properties, making offers, finding buyers, closing deals, finding private lenders, finding property locators, working with virtual assistants, setting up a mass offer system, setting up a business system structure, the power of social media, voice blasting marketing, financial analysis of real estate, coho selling, wholesaling lease options, traditional wholesaling, sandwich lease options, fix and flip strategies.

That’s the stuff we’re going to be covering. And that, my friend, is why you want to stay with me for the next 24 weeks, because you are going to be getting a piece every single week as we grow this model. So, get ready, get engaged and be on your game.

So, today’s topic is putting a game plan in place. So, what does that really mean? Well, when we talk about putting a game plan in place, it really has everything to do with what do I need to understand to get my business off the ground and running? Well, there’s two key factors. What are they? Budget and time management. What are they, Jill?

Budget and time management. Here’s why. Because for you to understand the direction in which you’re going to go in real estate, you need to understand a few factors. Number one, what kind of budget am I working with? Number two, what type of time do I have in my life? So, it’s time resources and financial resources, right? And So, we’re gonna first talk about time and then we’re going to talk about budget, okay? So, to talk about time, we have to think about what do I have access to or do not have access to in my life when it comes to time management, okay? So, let me be very clear with you. You are all in sales, okay? So, when I say that you need to understand that your time management needs to be blocked around how do I produce leads and how do I produce deals? Understanding my time association, right? That’s what you have to be thinking about.

And I say that because if you’re the type of person that has all the time in the world, then you have a great position to build yourself a work hour position, meaning like you get up in the morning, you handle your daily stuff, the kids to school, the coffee, the breakfast, whatever it is. Maybe take a shower. Hopefully you do or not, maybe did the night before and prepare yourself for the day, okay. And then block your time’s out. Now, write this down and it’s called time blocking. Time blocking is very important. Time blocking is what allows you to not get off track, get flustered, get confused or jump back and forth, back and forth, and never get anything done. See time blocking is very valuable in any type of time management.

The key is how much time do you have? You have to determine that. And, and I’m going to give you an exercise. One of the things that you have to do, is I want you to spend the next three days and I want you to take a sheet of paper out and I want you to write down what you’re doing every 15 to 30 minutes. Just write in a journal, 15 to 30 minutes, right? And then journal did that for three days. And the reason I want you to do that because I want you to go back and look at it. I mean, from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, so if you’re sitting on the couch at 6:00 and you’re watching TV till 10:00 at night, that’s a four hour window that you’re wasting. You’re wasting four-hour windows, okay? So, you need to get real clear and real aware of what type of time you do have.

See, a lot of people will say they don’t have the time to grow this business, but the reality is they probably have more time than most people. And so you’ve got to get real clear on your desire and your hunger for this company that you’re about to create. And I say that because of this, because there is a process and there is a design path that you need to go down and it starts with understanding how much time can you commit to this business? How much time can you dig out of your day to day activities to dedicate to this business? It’s just the way it works. You can’t assume that you’re just going to go out and you’re going to start a brand-new business on top of the life that you’re already living when you already fill up 24 hours of your day right now, from everything – from getting up, getting ready, procrastination, work to grocery shopping to karate and baseball and basketball and cheerleading and all the stuff that we do as parents or non-parents.

You’re already filling up 24 hours of your day, so we have to start to mitigate that and determine, I’m in a new adventure now. Listen, what am I willing to sacrifice so that I can add more time for this new venture? That’s what you got to ask yourself. What are you willing to sacrifice?

Because you have to give up something. You have to. You have to give up something and sometimes that can be sleep. That’s what I gave up because I was working a full time job, going to school at night and trying to start a business. I had to give up sleep. Not that I didn’t sleep, but I pushed myself into a hole to where I was only sleeping four to five hours a night. Now, do I regret that? No, because have built many companies and I love where my life is right now, but it has definitely affected me in the long run because now I don’t sleep very well. But I’m not saying you go sacrifice sleep. I’m just telling you what I did, but my point is I want to let you know that you have time.

So, you’ve really got to dig in this week and start to truly understand, what kind of time can I dedicate. And here’s what I mean by this. Now listen to me when I tell you this, I don’t mean this is the time I’m going to write down that I’m going to use this business, but that time is going to kind of be like a, “what if – I might go do this, might go do that”? No. If you’ve got to be at work from nine to five, do you call your boss up and say, “Hey, look, you know I had some things come up, I don’t think I’m coming in today.” No, you don’t do that, right? Because you won’t have a job very long.

So, you need to treat the time blocking that you’re going to give to yourself for this business, the same respect, the same attention and the same understanding that this is the time I’m blocking for my business, which is for me, which is for my future, which is for my success, which is for my dreams, purpose, and passion in life. Say that real fast: dreams, purpose, passionate in life. Dreams, purpose, passion in life. Dreams, purpose, passion in life, right? That’s what we’re doing it for. So, commit to it, stay focused to it and dedicate to it. That’s the first thing you got to nail down. If you don’t nail down time, you’ll never do this business, point blank. I don’t know how …I can’t say that any simpler. All the other stuff will come, but it will not come if you do not nail down the time.

You have to put the time together to get educated. You got to put the time together to study. You’ve got to put the time together to execute what you’re studying. You got to put the time together to make outbound calls and receive inbound calls. You’ve got to put the time together to make sure you research. You got to put the time in. So, first thing we’re going to start off with is time management. Understand it. Where are you at? Write it down in the next three days. Figure out where you can create time.

I have something special for you guys, and if you’re just joining me and you’re just watching right now, you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. My name is Zack Childress. I am your real real estate coach. I am a real real estate investor and I am coming to you live from the family of REI Success Academy where we help you create a path to success by filtering out the murky water so that you can see clearly. So, that is what we do here. We help you gain the success that you deserve and need to get where you want to be.

So, for the next 24 weeks, I have a challenge for you. This is my challenge. Just a 24 week challenge. Can you stay committed for 24 weeks? If you can stay committed for 24 weeks, I’ll change your world. Okay? But let me explain something. You’re still gonna figure out something along this journey that you’re going to need more help. And that’s what I’m here for. Okay? So, listen, if you’re just listening, you just tuned in in, you need to be on my Facebook. If you’re listening to me on podcasts, Youtube, whatever those other ones are. The blog talk radio. You need to be on my Facebook page. You need to engage with us. You need to ask me questions. Talk to me. You can go to Join us over there.

So, here’s what we’re doing. We’re moving into part two. So, this went on the first week of the 24-week challenge. I like that 24 week challenge. We need to start labeling our topics as 24 week challenge. So, we’re on week one of the 24-week challenge, then we’ll be on week two of the 24-week challenge. We’ve talked about time, time, allotment, time management, time blocking.

So, here’s what I want to work with you: on budget. Why is that important? Because if you know that you already have the time or you think you do, or if you think you don’t, if you do the exercise I gave you, you’ll find that you do have the time for this business. So, the next thing you’ve got to understand is what type of budget are you working with? Now, listen, how do we understand budget – income coming in, expenses going out. Whatever’s left is called discretionary income. That discretionary income is now called your budget. Okay? Some of you are like, “Zack, I can’t rub two pennies together to make a dime,” or “I can’t rub two diamonds together to make a penny,” right? Or however the saying goes, I can’t sell dirt if I had to. Here’s the point. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you have a dollar. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 10,000. It doesn’t matter if you got $100,000.

What matters is, is that you create the right strategy to deploy in your business based on your resources. That’s what matters. Not what you have or you don’t have. It’s how do you work with what you have or you don’t have. So, budgeting is a realm of all kinds of things and that’s the financial need for your business. That’s the financial processes that you got to go through. Do I have money? Do I not have money? Have I already put money to the side for my real estate business? Because here’s why. If you’re going to start a business, is it better to have resources to start with? Of course it is, right? Because those resources need to go into your education. You need to invest in yourself and you need to start investing in your business.

You can’t not invest in your business if you have no idea what you’re doing, so you have to invest in yourself to be able to invest in your business. We talked about this last week when we said, this is the year for you to invest in yourself. Okay? This is you. Stop worrying about what other people think about you. Stop worrying about if you’re not doing enough for others and start worrying about you. Start worrying about are you helping yourself? Are you investing in you, are you growing? Build yourself to the best you can be and then you can help others be the best they can be. That’s the truth right there. Boom.

What’s the thing about that? Huh? Boom. Alright, so here’s the deal. What type of resources do you have? Number one, do I have resources? I need to take whatever resources I have, I need to take a portion of that, put it to the side because I need to invest in me. Okay? I need to make me better. I need to make me stronger. I need to make me more intelligent so that I can get the right education to grow my business, right? I need to take some more of that and I needed to deploy it into my business, right? That’s my initial startup funds, right? I need to get that going. Okay?

Now if you say, well, “Zach, I don’t have any money.” Well, that’s okay too. You just need to go create it, right? You need to go out and start finding the money. You’d be surprised that you actually have money that you don’t realize you have money because I know everybody’s got a credit card. What did you say? Yeah, but my credit cards. $50,000 and I got $4,000 on it. Okay, well call your credit card company up and get your DTI lower.

Call him up and say, “look, I need you to raise my limits by raising your limits”. You help your credit score and you decrease your DTI, which makes you a better borrow, which makes you a better credit score worthy person. It’s all good. It’s all good to do that. It’s an exercise you should all do. I do it all the time. Why? Because I want to keep my DTI low. I want to keep my credit availability high so that I become a better borrower, so that I have a stronger credit score. It’s something you all need to be doing. Every one of you, you’d be surprised at what you can get. I’ve had students come in and go from five to 25,000 by one phone call. One phone call, right?

So, now you just did what, now you’ve just created your startup funds. Now you just created your money that you need. And some people go, “yeah, but I don’t like using my credit cards.” Okay, well then what are you gonna use?

I use borrowed money all the time. Hey, let me tell you right now, there is nothing greater in the world using somebody else’s money to make me money and the number one thing that’s going to make me money more than anything is investing in me and my ability to do more. Investing in me to get more education, to grow my business, to get smarter at what I do, to be able to process things faster, to be able to learn more strategies, to be able to have more confidence, to be able to go to the next level because I’ll never get there staying where I’m at.

So, you need to work on that. You need to get the money in life. You need to find the financial resources that you need to get started. Okay, so let’s, let’s have a real serious talk. I had somebody hit me on Facebook the other day about this. They said, “Hey Zack, I saw your video. Are you real?”

No, I’m a freaking robot. What do you mean, am I real? I didn’t even understand that. Like am I real? Maybe he meant am I real as in, am really a real estate investor. Well, yes, I got deals out there right now going. I got apartments, I got houses, commercial buildings, single families. I own rentals. I own all kinds of stuff. I got notes. I’m private investing. I’m a hard money lender on some things. I got rehabs on the market. Just sold one the other day for about 160,000. Well, $155,000. $5,000, I had to give back because the taxes that I’ll get back, but they. California just holds it that way. Yeah, that was a deal in another state that I did. It’s out there. You just got to get involved, but his big question to me was, as he said, “Zack, shoot me straight. How much money will it really take to get this business off the ground and running?”

Well, I wish I had that guy’s name. I’m going to shoot him straight and I’m going to shoot all of you straight. It literally takes zero money. Zero money. Now you might be laughing and being like, ah, yeah, that’s bs. No, no, no, no, it’s not. It’s not, because if you’re going to go with this with zero money as in, and I don’t mean investing in your education because you always need to be doing that. That takes money, but if you don’t have that and you’re wanting to get started, you can do it with zero money, but let me prewarn you. That means you cannot set up any systems because you can’t carry the monthly fee. You can’t do any paid marketing. You with me on this? You get all these other systems set up. You have to do it the old school way. This was one of my one liners. You got to fall in love with the phone. That’s it. You got to literally sit on that phone all day every day of the week.

You guys just call, call, call, call, call everybody in your market, all the markets around you, other markets across the country. You got to get busy dialing the phone, looking for deals, finding buyers in the market and putting deals together. That’s what you have to do. So, if you want to do this with no money, is there a way? Yes, there is a way, we prove it in our two day immersions. We show it all the time in our two day immersion. But is there a better way? Of course there is. You could literally start the whole business for about $500 a month. Let’s just talk about this.

If you had $500 a month and you said this is my budget, then you’re off to a good running, which means with $500 a month, you could take a portion of that, put it into direct mail. You can take a portion of that and run ads in the newspaper, take a portion of that, put bandit signs out in the marketplace, take a portion of that, and do a paid lead service where you pay for leads. Take a portion of that and start setting up some web marketing. You understand, I’m taking $500 and I’m chopping it up and using pieces to get multiple marketing streams running.

Then we can start worrying about the other stuff, but here’s the thing. They have to have a website to get started. Now you don’t. Do you have to have a CRM system to get started? No, you don’t. Do you have to have a call center? No, you don’t. Do you have to have all these things? No, you don’t. Are they good? Yes. Do they cost money? Yes. To get your system foundation setup, if you got websites, you got a CRM system with auto- responders in it, and some basic needs like a call center, you’re going to need to spend somewhere around 200 to $250 a month, and that’s for ground based systems. Call center websites, autoresponders, landing pages, things like that. That’s about $250 a month, meaning ongoing payments every single month. If you want to then say, well, what’s a good marketing strategy?

If you can start with $500 a month, that’s a great marketing strategy right there. If you came to me and said, “Zack, I got about a thousand dollars of spend per month to grow this business.” Then I’m going to say, man, you’re in a great position. Let’s rock and roll, but I’ll tell you, even if you’ve got $5,000 a month to spend, I’ll tell you, just like I tell everyone of my coaching students, we’re not going to spend $5,000 a month. We’re not.

Here’s why – we only need a little bit of it to get started. From there, we need a little bit more to test some marketing, but the reality is, you should not be spending $5,000 of your own money on the business for very long. You should not, because here’s why. If you can get enough marketing out there in month two and three and start producing deals, you start selling those contracts as a wholesaler or whatever the case may be, you’re now producing income into the business. Now the business takes over the marketing expense. You with me?

So, when people say, well, how much? It’s not about how much. It’s about how long, right? It’s about how long. If I’ve got a thousand dollars to spend per month, I’m only going to really spend that for the next two to three months, but because then the business is going to be producing the business, it’s going to be putting deals

together and I’m going to use that money from the business to deploy into the marketing systems and marketing material and services.

So, when we talk about budget, remember you got to get real clear. Where are you going to get it at? I don’t care if you’ve got to beg, borrow, or loan from someone else. You need to get it, because the first thing you need to do is invest in you. That’s the first thing. This whole year you understand, 2018 is about you. It’s about investing in you. It’s about making you stronger, making you a better investor, making you a stronger individual by getting your level of skill set and your level of knowledge at the level it needs to be, and that’s only going to come from you investing in you. Everything else we can build off of, because here’s why. If you have the right education, you have the right knowledge and the right support, anything’s possible. But you have to get in the mindset that this is your year to grow you, okay?

So, hey, for all my podcasters, my radio listeners, my Youtube and all that that’s listening out there. This is Zack Childress, I am your real estate coach and I will see you on another call.

You’ve been listening to the Real Estate Investing Talk Show. I’m Zack Childress and I’m on a mission to create 10,000 real estate bosses over the next year. Will you be one of them? Head over to my website,, and register for my free web class where you’ll discover how to escape from the nine to five grind and become your own boss in real estate. See you there.