Episode 74: Cardiologist turned entrepreneur and investor
In today’s show, Pancham interviews Vikram Raya – a doctor, investor, entrepreneur, coach, speaker, and a philanthropist. An all-rounder that makes it look so easy!
Vikram is devoted to sharing his wisdom to others in terms of health, wealth, and success. He co-founded and is the Principal of Viking Capitals Investments, a multi-family investment company and is the founder of Vitology Institute, a dynamic wellness center. With his passion and commitment, He was recognized as Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business.
In this episode, Vikram shared different principles that he used in achieving his own version of freedom. He will also share his personal stories that could motivate you to take the next big step in investing.
If you want to know more how to go beyond in order to gain 5 Freedom, this episode is for you!
Tune in to this show and enjoy!
- 0:30 – Pancham introduces Vikram to the show
- 3:47 – Vikram shares his entrepreneurial career
- 10:52 – All about Vitology and how it optimizes health
- 15:40 – Guide on his principle of 5 Freedoms
- 17:32 – His struggles of transitioning to real estate investing
- 24:09 – How his morning routine helped with his success
- 34:42 – Taking the Leap Round
- 34:42 – The first time he invested outside Wall Street
- 35:11 – His fears in investing outside Wall Street
- 37:14 – One investment that did not go as expected
- 38:39 – One piece of advice to aspiring investors
- 39:41 – Vikram’s contact information
3 Key Points:
- Importance of reading books to gain insights and wisdom
- Achieving 5 Freedoms to be able to live limitless
- Making the most of the morning routine to be productive
Get in Touch:
- Email – email@example.com
- Free E-book: The Limitless MD Protocol by Vikram Raya – https://www.vikramraya.com/home
- Viking Capital Website – http://vikingcapllc.com/
- Vitology Institute Website – https://vinstitute.com/
- The Gold Collar Investor Club – https://thegoldcollarinvestor.com/club/
His Morning Toolkit:
- Athletic Greens – https://athleticgreens.com/products/ultimate-daily-greens-powder/us
- Muse Headband – https://choosemuse.com/shop/
- Insight Timer App – https://insighttimer.com/
- Ziva Meditation – https://zivameditation.com/
- Beachbody On Demand – https://www.beachbodyondemand.com/
- Intelligent Change Productivity Tools – https://www.intelligentchange.com/
- Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom by Robert T. Kiyosaki – https://www.amazon.com/Rich-Dads-CASHFLOW-Quadrant-Financial/dp/1612680054
- Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time by Michael Masterson – https://www.amazon.com/Ready-Fire-Aim-Hardcover-9780470182024/dp/B01GMK68AC/
- The 5AM Club: Own your Morning. Elevate your Life by Robin Sharma – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1443456624/
- The Miracle Morning Book Series by Hal Elrod – https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B01ILUVCF2
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy – https://www.amazon.com/Eat-That-Frog-Twenty-one-Procrastinating/dp/0792754840
Welcome to The Gold Collar Investor Podcast with your host, Pancham Gupta. This podcast is dedicated to helping high-paid professionals to break out of Wall Street investments and create multiple income streams. Here is your host, Pancham Gupta.
Hi, this is Joe Fairless. If you wanna diversify out of Wall Street investments, then listen to The Gold Collar Investor Podcast.
Hey, this is Mauricio Rauld, founder and CEO of Premier Law Group and if you are serious about investing in real estate, listen to The Gold Collar Investor podcast with Pancham Gupta.
Pancham: Welcome to The Gold Collar Investor podcast. This is your host,
Pancham. Really appreciate you for tuning in today. Let’s get into today’s
show. When I was an intern at Lehman Brothers, I was making less than
$5,000 per month in New York City. Making $100,000 like my mentors and
bosses seemed like a lot of money. Since starting on my entrepreneurial and
professional investing journey, I have had $100,000 months on multiple
occasions, but making $5 million in one year still sounds like a lot of money to
me. I have had the good fortune of being able to break through these kinds of
mental barriers multiple times in my life to get to the next level. Hopefully,
someday soon, I will look back on these days when making over $5 million in
a single year will seem like a lot of money. Does that seem realistic? It does to
me. Why? Because we create our own boundaries. They don’t really exist.
Bryce Richard once said if you must doubt something, doubt your limits. I
actually have a canvass with this quote right here in my office. Recognizing
that is critically important if you want to continue to develop not only financially
but as a person. My biggest fear in life is not growing anymore, not becoming
a better person compared to what I was yesterday. It’s an easy trap to fall
into, isn’t it? Let’s say you are like and one day you decided you wanted to
become a computer engineer. You were on a mission. You went to college,
you worked hard and got good grades and test scores, then you studied your
butt off for years and finally became the person you aspired to be. But 5 years
into your dream, you start wondering to yourself, “Is this it?” It seemed so
much more exciting and glamorous as a dream than it does in reality. Now, it
seems like a job. Suddenly, that thrill of being an engineer has worn off and
you didn’t really think of anything past that point in your life. Even worse, now
you have created a world for yourself that is highly dependent on your high
salary and you feel like you don’t have any options anymore. You are
shackled to the golden handcuffs. Others can’t understand why, you, with
your fancy titles, your fancy house, and your Mercedes, don’t seem
particularly happy, but I understand your discomfort and discontent. You see, I
believe that there are really two states of being: Growth or death. If you’re not
growing as a person, if you’re not constantly learning and developing as a
human being, you’re pretty much already dead in the figurative sense. To me,
that is the worst that could happen. How do you prevent that happening to
you? Well, my guest on The Gold Collar Investor Podcast today has been
through many such growth stages in his life, as recent as this pandemic
where he had to pivot completely and shut down one part of his business. So,
if you want to learn what you can do to live a healthy, wealthy, and fulfilled life,
make sure to tune in today with my show with Dr. Vikram Raya.
Dr. Vikram Raya is committed to the idea of helping elevate those around him,
whether that is in health optimization, wealth creation, or success
acceleration. Vikram started his entrepreneurial career forming a medical
staffing company, R & R Care, in 2008 while he was just a cardiology fellow
which he successfully sold in 2011. Then he started his career practicing
primarily as an invasive cardiologist. In 2012, he started a real estate
investment firm acquiring numerous single-family and commercial assets
across Georgia. In 2015, he co-founded and is the principal of Viking Capital
Investments, a multifamily investment company that acquired $320 million
worth of asset under management and controls over 3,000 units nationwide
and created $25 million equity for its investors. In 2017, he founded Vitology
Institute, a dynamic wellness center. The goal was to disrupt healthcare by
reversing chronic disease with the use of advanced biomarkers, technology,
and personalized medicine. Most recently, due to the intense need for
leadership during the recent pandemic, Vikram launched Limitless MD, an
exponential coaching program for doctors and other high achievers so they
can achieve freedom and become extraordinary.
I am super excited about my guest today. I’ve been really looking forward to
this show. We have a doctor, investor, entrepreneur, coach, speaker,
philanthropist, you name it, with us today. Welcome, Dr. Vikram Raya.
Vikram: Pancham, how are you, man? Good to hear your voice.
Pancham: I’m doing absolutely great and I’ve been looking forward to this
show because I know that people are going to have an awesome wisdom
from you and looking forward to hear all of that on this show, so, welcome.
Vikram: Yeah. Congratulations on the podcast. Congratulations on all your
projects. Just super excited to be here. I know your investors and your
listeners always expect the best out of you and the best out of the guest and
I’m here to perform.
Pancham: Yeah, absolutely. So, it’s always like every time I connect with you,
I talk to you, we met at many, many conferences, I learn something and that’s
what I’m looking to do here today as well. So, I wanna get right into it and let’s
start with, are you ready to fire up my listeners break out of Wall Street
Vikram: Absolutely, yes. Wall Street is a strong place to invest but that
shouldn’t be the only place to invest. Me and you both believe in the term
diversification and now is the time to implement that because whatever high-
octane fuel that the stock market is drinking right now, it may not always last,
and so having a plethora of investments that are gonna create passive
income, tax benefits, wealth for your family, and allow you to then liberate
yourself from your nine-to-five, to do what you want, it is the key.
Pancham: Absolutely, creating a lifestyle around what they do rather than the
opposite. So, tell our listeners, Vikram, about your background and more
importantly the person behind that background.
Vikram: I would say it all started when I was a kid. I was in sixth grade and
my parents thought, oh my God, this guy is not gonna do well in life.
Traditional Indian parents, they’re very strict. They expected a lot out of me
and I was not performing and, in fact, in sixth grade, I got into such trouble
that I was suspended from school for hitting a kid on the head with a trumpet.
And so they thought, okay, this guy, forget being a doctor, I hope he’s — even
a janitor, you know? I don’t know what’s gonna happen to this guy. But
something clicked and around middle school, like, alright, I need to start
performing and starting to achieve what I wanna achieve and then that led to
eventually getting into medical school and being a doctor and I was like, oh
my God, I did it. This is it. I’m set for life, but that’s not the case. I was doing
my fellowship in Milwaukee in cardiology and the reason why I chose
cardiology was because I had six people in my family, Pancham, that died of
heart attacks and so I knew that this was something I needed to study so let’s
do it. I started learning this but what I saw was the doctors who were my
mentors, they’re working like dogs, 80 hours a week, you know, not seeing
their families, themselves getting health issues, and then my brother who is
an investment banker, the same thing I’m seeing on his side, people working
God insane hours and all — basically trading dollars for hours and that’s when
obviously the book that has probably influenced a generation of people, Cash
Flow Quadrant, really sort of hit my mindset, my psyche. I’m like, oh my God.
The people on the left side of the quadrant work the hardest, they make the
least amount of money and they control only 10 percent of the wealth, while
the people on the right side of the quadrant, the business owners, the
investors, they control 90 percent of money, they get to take vacations and
they get to tell us what to do, you know, the workers, the employees, so I’m
like, I want to get on the right side, right? And so even though I was a
cardiologist and I was studying cardiology, I was like, hey, how do I eventually
get over there? And so got back to DC, my wife and I, we decided to settle
down, start our family, and I always had this thing of, hey, what can I do?
What else can I do? They’re like, hey, you’re a cardiologist. What else do you
need to do? Can’t you just sit there and relax? But, you know, as we know, all
our — you know, your investors and your listeners, I mean, we all are
probably making a reasonable amount of money in income but, again, we
work very hard for it and the moment we stop working, it turns off like a spigot.
I wanted to figure out a way where I’d never want the faucet to turn off, I want
it to overflow, and so I started going to real estate investment meetings on the
side at night time secretly. Like, you know how like, some men, like they
secretly have mistress? My mistress was REIA, you know? I was like going to
visit the REIA, learning and playing cash flow, the game cash flow, learning
about passive income and then I started with my dad. In 2012, we started
investing in single-family homes and we built up a portfolio of about 30 homes
and then I’m like, oh, wow, this is pretty good but then what’s the next step?
And that’s when I heard this speaker named Dave Lindahl. He had flown
down to do a one-day conference on multifamily and I was like, wow, my mind
just got blown. You know, all the while, I’m practicing full-time cardiology. I’m
literally working like, you know, five days a week. I’m on call every two or
three weekends. I just have like one kid and another kid on the way so things
are so busy at home but then this is sort of a side hustle I’m doing and that’s
funnily what I recommend for your listeners, guys. If any of you are interested
in, you know, expanding what you are, where you wanna go, your income,
your levels, keep your day job. Work very hard at it. Be the best at it, but then
use your nights and weekends for a higher value, you know? Pancham and I
both know a great coach, Trevor McGregor, and, you know, he says there’s
four levels of productivity, right? There’s what we call brown time, that’s the
bottom base of the pyramid. That’s your crap time. That’s your Netflix, that’s
watching sports, that’s like, you know, drinking with your buddies, and then
there’s the one level up that’s dark green. That’s where you’re doing things
that are gonna set you up for income, you know? Sort of the income-
generating activities. And then there’s the high-income activities. These are
the things that actually give you income right away and that are gonna start
creating your wealth, so that’s what I call the light green, and then there’s
finally the gold. Gold is like time spent with your family, time spent meditating,
time spent like thinking on your health, thinking about where you wanna go.
So bottom line is I stopped using all my brown time and I converted the brown
time to the green times and I started learning about, you know, all the stuff
and then I knew that the next step was multifamily. So, in 2015, I started the
company called Viking Capital with a buddy of mine and we formed Viking
Capital and the goal was to buy these multifamily assets and then we learned
about syndications which is a fancy way, guys, just of raising capital, from
friends and family or from other investors, and so then, I was like, alright, so
I’m starting to do this and we started doing joint ventures initially and then
once we felt comfortable, like, okay, let’s go all in. Boom. Now we started
doing deals. We went from like, you know, 100-unit deals to 200-unit to, you
know, closer to 300-unit deals, and then, you know, we built up a portfolio and
so now fast forward, I don’t know, what has it been? Like 5 years? We have
done about 3,000 units, we’ve transacted upon with $300 million, raised
probably $45 to $50 million of private equity. We have almost a thousand
investors on our list and, you know, we’re in a strong place and then, again,
here’s a moral to the story. When your side hustle becomes bigger than your
main hustle or your main job, it’s time to reconsider and I know Pancham did
that too like he felt this was the time to get Mesos Capital to go to the next
level and, you know, he did the bold move, guys, and what is the bold move?
The boldest move you can make is to say, you know, I’m ready to go. I’m out.
You drop the mic and you leave your nine-to-five, your safety job, and you go
for your dreams. Pancham, how good did that feel when you did that?
Pancham: It was amazing. It was also my big, hairy, audacious goal, so it
was, you know, terrifying at the same time but I’m glad I did it. I know exactly
what you’re talking about. You mentioned so many great things over there.
Kind of, you know, as you were talking, I was thinking, oh, yeah, I read that
book, oh, yeah, I had exactly the same thoughts, oh, yeah, like I also got into
the syndication business and before that, you know, trading like going to
these REIA meetings or listening to podcasts or educating, all of that, like
sounds very, very similar to what you just said and, yeah, it’s amazing feeling
when you get to spend time the way you want and really, you know, create a
lifestyle that you want and always dreamed of. So, thank you for sharing your
background there, Vikram, and you also, you know, have started on like
another, you’re not like just done with one company, I thought, you know,
you’re done now, like you’re done, the syndication, there’s the 3,000 units,
$40 million of private equity, and $300 million worth of total assets, you would,
you know, just grow that. No, no, no, you want to, you know, create an impact
towards the gold part of the productivity pyramid which is the health and you
want to make people who are really stressed out in their lives, especially now
with the pandemic and all that, so you created a wellness company, right? Tell
us about that.
Vikram: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Pancham, for bringing that up. So, you
know, even though I’m a doctor who started flirting in real estate and business
and entrepreneur, my heart is still — I wanna just take people and just up-
level them and help them and that seems to be a common theme and you’ll
understand how I tie it all together with my third company that I’ll share with
you in a second, but the second company was really the Vitology Institute. It
was a passion of mine. Once I saw how medicine was being practiced in this
country, it was time for disruption. Pancham is trying to disrupt how people
achieve wealth in this country. He’s trying to teach people, hey, look, you can
make money through ATMs, you can make money through mobile home
parks, you can make money through passive investments, start-ups, hedge
funds, all different ways, so just like that, I wanted to disrupt healthcare. I’m
tired of the way medicine is practiced, like it’s a pill for an ill, it’s, you know,
just bandaging your symptoms and I wanted to go to the root cause, I wanted
to modernize it, I wanted to use technology, I wanna use psychology and
limiting beliefs, methodologies. I wanted to use advanced biomarkers and I
wanted to create a team approach to where, you know, our goal is not to treat
disease, it was to reverse disease and accelerate into wellness and optimal
vitality, and so this clinic was created in DC in Tysons. It was amazing.
Created in 2017 and we just sort of grew and it’s been sort of a passion
project of mine but ultimately very profitable too and I’ve helped, you know,
hundreds and hundreds of folks with my team all over the country now and
now, with COVID, what happened was, you know, it’s not all rosy, Pancham.
You know, people think, oh, my God, Vikram, everything seems to happen
when you say it happens. No, I’m not telling you the blood, sweat, and tears
that went into all of this, right? There are times when I wanted to quit the real
estate company. There are times when I wanted to quit cardiology. There are
times when I wanted to quit this wellness practice, but I didn’t because, you
know, your dreams change, Pancham, but your destiny does not, and my
destiny is how do I literally help people in three different categories. How do I
help people in their health, in their wealth, and in their mindset of success?
And so what happened was when COVID hit, I got punched in the mouth.
See, there’s a quote by Mike Tyson. He says, “Everyone has a plan until you
get punched,” right? And so I got punched hard, and we were in the middle of
a syndication in downtown DC, $20 million project, A-class building, and
literally COVID hit and we’re like, normally this takes us 4 to 5 weeks to raise
the capital, literally we’re like struggling. At the same time, my clinic was on
the verge of closing down because I couldn’t see patients physically and then
I was interviewed on a podcast by one of my friends, Peter Kim, he’s trying to
get some motivation for doctors who are like struggling all over the country
and all over the world, and so I was one of the top 50 doctors that he
interviewed saying, hey, look, give some advice to people out there, and so
on top of these two things, my interview went viral and now people are asking
me to coach them. I’m like, I don’t even have a freaking coaching program,
what are you calling me about? You know, I don’t do that. So, this is where I
was at during COVID and so we sort of put up our big boy pants, you know,
stopped being a wuss and saying, you know what, if you want the big
rewards, you have to take risks and you have to work hard and resilience is
the key and so what we decided to do was we sort of expanded our investor
base, we started doing more and more marketing. We found new information,
we renegotiated with the owner, got actually a discount on the deal, and so all
of this happened and then we were able to pull off that deal and so now that
was our thirteenth acquisition. All the while, I converted my clinic from a
physical clinic, now, we’re actually closing up our physical doors this month
and it’s gonna become a completely virtual clinic, and in fact, I have more
clients now and in fact I have tried to turn clients away. And so it’s amazing,
right, with ingenuity and with purpose and a mission what you can do, and
then finally, I’ve created systems and automation and delegation so I’ve
actually freed up more time and now I’ve actually created a third company
called Limitless MD and this is to help any high achiever or successful
physician or any kind of person who’s already successful, what they wanna to
do to become limitless and achieve what I call the five freedoms, and I’d like
to share them with our listeners, Pancham.
Pancham: Absolutely. Go ahead.
Vikram: So, guys, everyone knows achieving wealth is important but I say
that’s only 20 percent of the equation. If you wanna be truly limitless, truly live
this legendary, epic life, live like a titan, then you need to achieve what I called
five freedoms. Freedom number 1, we’ve talked about already, financial
freedom. Yes, that’s important. What about the rest of them? Number 2 is I
would say time freedom. When you want, how you want, on your terms. You
can basically decide to work, no matter. Freedom number 3, that is location
freedom. That means you can live anywhere in the world and still operate all
your businesses no problems. Number 4 is freedom from disease or ill health,
which also can be rephrased as freedom to have ultimate vitality, right? And
the fifth freedom is this: freedom from stress or actually have a bulletproof
mindset. So if you have these five freedoms, you’re basically living the best
life ever, and I would say even billionaires don’t have all these five freedoms
so it’s not just about the money, right? And so if you have these, I say you’re
gonna live your best and most legendary life.
Pancham: Yeah. Where can I sign up, Vikram? No, this is great. I think you
hit on so many things over there in your story and thank you for sharing and,
you know, being vulnerable a little bit on your COVID story. It’s a great
reminder that everyone has challenges, it’s how you actually face those and
go about, you know, taking them over and are you going to shut down or are
you going to persevere and really innovate and get over it and come out even
bigger and better, right? That’s what you did and super proud of you on that
and congratulations on coming out of this thing actually even better. So, my
question actually, I wanna go back to your transition. So do you practice
cardiology now or you’re completely out of it?
Vikram: I do in a smaller way but basically, you know, people still consult with
me one on one as needed, but —
Pancham: Okay, so when you want it.
Vikram: I sort of do that to keep my skills fresh. Yeah, it’s — it doesn’t take a
large portion of my time.
Pancham: Got it. So let’s talk about that transition, like, you know,
cardiologist earning very well, right, and then you have this real estate
company, like was there negativity around you for not letting you go and make
that jump and also in your own head, were you struggling to make that jump?
Like tell us about that, the transition.
Vikram: Yeah, you know, people say you need to start with like single-family
first investing and then do the multifamily. That’s not necessarily true but it’s
easier because our own mindsets are limiting what we can do. So, you know,
the quote that comes to me is, you know, as we go to our limits, our limits
expand, and so in my life, what I’ve done is I’ve constantly gone to my limits
and then I keep expanding, you know, and is it uncomfortable? Yes. Is it
painful? Yes. Does my family and my wife always love what I’m doing? No,
but they always respect it and overall it helps the family, you know, and
everyone around me so it’s the mindset to have if you wanna keep growing
and keep doing bigger things and it’s not necessarily bigger in terms of money
or fame or success, it’s, you know, how many charities do you wanna help
this year? Do you really wanna — why don’t you take off Fridays every Friday
for the next year and be there with your children actually instead of just, you
know, sort of doing FaceTime with your children, right? It doesn’t matter what
your goals and projects are, you have to sort of forge that version of life that
you want then start navigating toward that. So back to your question of, hey,
you know, how did these transitions happen? It was with the education,
mentorship, knowledge, and then a ton of massive action. Now, was all of my
action perfect? Like every action resulted into some kind of leveling up of my
success? No. I’ll give you an example. I wanted to get investors, Pancham,
and so — but not necessarily — initially, I wanted to use my own income. I
thought, hey, I’m a cardiologist, why can’t I just sign on these deals and loans
and, again, especially the single-family homes and then, you know, knock ’em
down but my wife made a rule to me. She goes, “You’re not allowed to use a
single cardiology dollar to do your real estate.” I’m like, crap. So I like sat back
on my chair and I’m like, how am I gonna do this? So then, you know, just like
most people out there who don’t necessarily have, you know, a six-figure
salary and they end up doing real estate, how do they do it? So I had to learn
about creative investing, I had to learn about, you know, finding hard money, I
had to learn about all these things, and one of the stories that comes to mind
is I was on a website looking for accredited investors, you know, a list and this
list, oh, yeah, yeah, type in your e-mail and your thing, I’m like, okay, great, I’ll
do that, and then there’s like, oh, yeah, congratulations, you’ve been selected
to have a thousand current investors that you just reach out to them, just wire
the money tomorrow. I’m like, okay, great, and they’re like, okay, one problem
is you just have to send a Western Union check for $500 to this non-descript
address and the person you’re gonna send it to, his name is a Mr. Green. I’m
like, Mr. Green? Okay. It sounded like an, I don’t know if anyone plays Clue
but it’s like one of those fictional caricatures that you have to listen to. So,
anyway, I actually did this. I sent a Western Union check —
Pancham: Oh my God. Seriously —
Vikram: — for $500 for this accredited investor list and I got the list and I
started calling it and they’re all, yeah, just send another check to this — dude,
this is a scam. Yeah. You would think at this level of the game, I would have
more sophistication and knowledge, but, you know, that was obviously a
mistake but I learned a ton, you know, and my wife said, “Don’t ask friends
and family to invest with you.” But, you know, I love her so much but what she
was trying to do was protect me and that’s what happens. People around you
guys, when you’re trying to go after these — I think Pancham said it best, big,
hairy, audacious goals, you know, sort of these gigantic moon shots, right?
Things that Elon Musk goes after, right? We’re going after these things. The
people closest to you are the ones who are gonna hold you back. It is for two
reasons. One, they’re holding you back because they’re scared. They don’t
want you to fail. Number two, they’re gonna hold you back because if you
succeed and you go that high, they’re gonna be “left behind.” Both of those
reasons are, you know, not logical but those are the fears obviously people
have. So, I would say, you know, there are certain things you compromise on,
certain things you don’t compromise on, so, you know, I compromise if my
wife wants me to do certain things, of course, but these kind of goals, I’m like,
look, I really wanna do this, you know? Let me try. What’s the worst thing in
the world? I’m gonna be a cardiologist. That was my backup, so not everyone
has that kind of backup but you all have a “backup” but you gotta act like
there’s no backup if you really wanna go after these things. So, anyway, that’s
how I went for them and then just, you know, I’m coaching a couple of clients
right now, right? Pancham, the problem a lot of people have is they know the
goal maybe ten steps down the road but they don’t know the —
Pancham: The path.
Vikram: — what steps to take to get there and so they never take the first
step and so the analysis paralysis keeps kicking in, so what I just suggest is
ready, fire, aim. That’s also very good — that’s a good book recommendation,
by the way, Ready, Fire, Aim. So, take that first — just realize that it’s all
gonna unfold eventually and you just have to keep taking action and action is
the best cure-all against fear.
Pancham: Absolutely. So many golden nuggets there, right? Ready, Fire,
Aim, definitely will put that in the show notes and you said something that they
know what they want and they know ten steps ahead but they don’t know
where to take the first step or how to take the first step. It’s the fear, like a lot
of times, and it’s the fear of uncertainty, right? And there is this quote, I don’t
remember it exactly, but it says something like this: Fear has created more
failures than the actual failures ever will. So, you know, if you just go out and
try and I always say this that it’s like you’re driving on a foggy day and you’re
driving 10 feet, you will see another 10 feet once you’re, you know, ahead of
— but you have to drive that 10 feet to see the following 10 feet. You cannot
really see that unless you take that move and make that move. So, yeah,
absolutely. Thank you for sharing that and, you know, I wanna switch gears
real quick and talk about this — I have added this question very recently and
this is my last question actually before we move on to the next section of the
show and the question is this: Do you have a morning or evening or some
kind of a daily routine? If so, what is it and tell us if you think that actually
attributes or attributed to your success?
Vikram: Yeah, absolutely, and just a quote to tie up the last section. This
quote is what motivates me quite a bit, guys. It’s this, and you guys have
heard it. It’s, you know, a coward dies a thousand deaths. A hero dies only
once, you know? And so, be a hero. So what is a morning routine, what are
the morning rituals? First of all, there’s a couple of books on the subject so,
again, I know your listeners are probably very well read and they probably
listen to a lot of this stuff but some of my favorites are — one is 5 AM Club by
Robin Sharma. Number 2 is obviously Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Both are
solid books. Both should be foundational in your library of success, but what’s
truly driven me well in life is that I’m not phenomenally skilled, I’m
phenomenally willed, right? People are probably smarter than me, they can
probably, you know, they have better schools, better pedigree, maybe they’ve,
you know, more richer parents, whatever they have, but I’m willing to sort of
out-suffer people and so I can outlast things and so I think that’s one of my
key indicators to success, but how do you cultivate that? People say that but
how do you cultivate that? It’s cultivated in the morning, and so I think
Pancham is already alluding to that, that’s why he’s asked us this question,
but the key the mentors I look up to, the titans, the tycoons, sort of the
influencers of life that I sort of prescribe to, they all have a morning routine,
and so you need to get up earlier than you need to than your requirements
are so you can have space. You need sort of what we call white space. That
white space allows you to have creativity, cultivate and sort of keep alive the
dreams and visions you have, and keep forging ahead. Also self-reflection
and analysis. Fueling your body, your mind, and then, you know, your
physical prowess, you know, and eventually leading to the sort of the
three/four S’s, right? Your state, story, strategy, and finally the standards,
right? Those standards you live by. So, I’ll get to the four S’s in a second, let
me go back to the morning routine. So I get up at 4:45 every morning. Doing
this for almost like, I don’t know, 8 years? Now, sometimes, do I sleep in?
Yeah. If I need to sleep in, I will, but I usually have more energy when I don’t
sleep in and if I stay with my routine. I get up in the morning, obviously do the
sort of the bathroom stuff and then I go down and I have my green juice, so I
highly recommend something called Athletic Greens, recommended by Tim
Ferriss, Peter Diamandis, all these guys, but I’ve been taking this for as long
as 4 to 5 years now. I literally rarely ever get sick. I’m ready to go, full of
energy, in the morning. I’m ready to crush my workout, crush my day, and it’s
very helpful. It has — if you had to choose one supplement, it’s sort of a super
supplement, so definitely recommend that, so I have that. I have maybe
another glass of water in the morning so I’m sort of hydrated up, then on my
way down, I do my meditation, right? So I’ve been meditating since 2015, one
of the biggest game changers of my life. In Silicon Valley, they say meditation
is the new caffeine, so you wanna definitely have meditation as part of your
routine. If you’re not sure how to get started, I’ll give you five simple ways.
Either a Muse headband, which is an EEG — it reads your brain biofeedback
and it’s sort of a device they developed. If you want a scientific way to
meditate, that’s one way. Number two would be some app and there are a
couple apps out there. Obviously Calm, Headspace, and another one called
Insight Timer. A third way is a mantra meditation. There’s a company called
Ziva Meditation which I’ve done that’s very powerful or Transcendental
Meditation is also another one, TM, right? That’s all based on mantra. Or you
can do mindfulness meditation which is like breath work and there’s a lot of
work out there on that. Tara Brach is a good one but there’s a lot of ones out
there, and that’s just basically hyperaware of your surroundings and your five
senses and your breath and basically keeping present in the moment and sort
of giving your body a rest from the constant cycling. A lot of you guys are in
tech, right? So if you never stop your RAM memory, you never do a cache,
you know, cleanse or a browser reset, then you’re done, right? So this is
exactly what you’re doing for your brain.
Pancham: Wow. Told you guys, like I always learn something new, right?
When you talk to this guy, yeah, so I actually wanna talk, a follow-up question
now. This is more like my selfish talk because I wanna learn about this.
Athletic Greens, is it like a product that you can just buy off the shelf and just
ship to you and you just put it in the refrigerator and you just open a bottle in
the morning and you just drink it?
Vikram: Yes. It’s a powder they sell on Amazon. You can also buy it directly
from the website, so, yeah. It’s one of the essentials of my toolkit, you know?
Something like that in the morning, some kind of greens powder really is a
clean way to alchemize your body, bio hacks you, gets you — you know,
reduces your free radicals, your antioxidants, and then it boosts up your
antioxidants, and then really gives you the energy to perform. Again, super
hydration. I recommend at least 3 liters of water a day. Again, by flushing out
your toxins, sort of keeping you hydrated, you’re gonna feel less fatigued
during the day, got more energy and less hunger, so it’s also a good weight
management strategy, and you’re drinking your water right then.
Pancham: Yeah, thank you for reminding me.
Vikram: And then workout, guys. So, if you’re not doing something pretty
physical, at least in the morning, you’re sort of shortcutting yourself, so I
recommend if you have zero time, then you should do a 7-minute workout,
one of those quick fit workouts. If you have about 20 minutes, I recommend
something called the X3 Bar. This is a home fitness device that’s amazing.
Look it up. Otherwise, if you have little more time, there’s — Beachbody on
Demand is a great, strong workout. They have like a hundred different
workout programs and if you can afford it and if you have the time or if you
wanna make the time, a personal trainer is what’s gonna level you up from
average Joe to becoming Superman, okay? So, you know, whatever you’re
doing among the ranges, whether a few minutes a day all the way to training
with a professional trainer, there’s a spectrum that are giving you a lot of
options. And then some kind of planning for the day of the week. So, I
recommend by Intelligent Change something called the Productivity Planner.
So this really sort of frames out, you know, the book, The ONE Thing, by Gary
Keller which I’m sure a lot of people are recommended. That book says, hey,
if you could only do one thing today, what’s the one thing that’s gonna have
the most impact and make everything in your life easier and better? And so
literally you gotta just do that one thing first and then your subsequent tasks
come after. It only allows you to have five tasks in a day. So if you have so
many tasks, you’re not gonna get anything done or you’re gonna do sort of
half-ass all of them. So, what we’re suggesting is keep the three main
priorities there that literally will move the needle in your life the most, whether
that’s your career, your finances, your family, you know, your wealth,
whatever you’re trying to move the needle on, go tackle that first then you’re
gonna make a tremendous amount of progress. And another book to discuss
that sort of emphasizes that is something called, by Brian Tracy, called Eat
That Frog. Again, phenomenal book, all teaching you the same concept, guys.
It’s really saying tackle your biggest, ugliest, dirtiest, scariest thing first and
then the rest of your day is gonna be a cakewalk, and you’ll make progress.
Pancham: Thank you for sharing so much of wisdom there. That Eat That
Frog book, you won’t believe today, it’s — on LinkedIn, I posted that for
someone on some, I don’t remember who but it’s a great book, a big, big fan
of Brian Tracy. You mentioned some productivity planner, right? What was
that? Which one?
Vikram: Yeah. It’s by a company called Intelligent Change. They make two
products that I use. One is called The Five Minute Journal which is sort of a
gratitude kinda journal. I don’t necessarily like doing that but it forces me to
get into the habit of creating this kind of gratitude in the morning and at night
and it sort of, you know, what’s wrong is always available in your life, guys,
but so is what’s right, and so what we wanna do is always try to sort of
celebrate the wins and so what this does is it forces you to celebrate the wins.
This company called Intelligent Change creates these two products. One is
called the Five Minute Journal and the second is called the Productivity
Planner and it’s based on, you know, the highest, the best techniques out
there so both are really good to sort of incorporate into your routine.
Pancham: Great. Thank you for sharing that. Let’s move on to the next
section of the show after this message.
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Pancham: So, Vikram, I ask these four questions to every guest. I call this
round Taking the Leap Round and my first question for you is when was the
first time you invested outside of Wall Street?
Vikram: It was in 2012 when we bought out first $26,000 home as an
investment property in Atlanta, you know? And, again, a beat-up three-
bedroom, two-bath, 1970s built, and we were scared to buy it, right? But we
did it and then we ended up selling it three years later for $80,000.
Pancham: Thank you for sharing that. Second question. What fears did you
have to overcome when you first invested in that $26,000 single-family home?
Vikram: Pancham, I’m gonna be honest. It’s what fears I still have. So, look,
have I made mistakes? Yes. I’ve invested in a hemp farm, okay, guys? So, it
didn’t turn out as well as I thought it would. I bought a condo in Milwaukee
when I was still a cardiology fellow, thinking, you know, I bought it in 2011
thinking, hey, look, I’m at the peak of the market, I’m ready — I mean, it’s
already on the way down so I’m buying it still at a steal but ended up losing
money on it, so, you know, these small, little losses have allowed me to gain
millions and millions and millions of dollars of success. So, be okay with
making small mistakes and losses, because, otherwise, it’s gonna paralyze
you and so I have, right now, the fear is, hey, we’re trying to take on a $40
million deal in Atlanta right now and the fear is, hey, is that too big, right? The
fear is, hey, I’m starting to coach clients all over the world now, I’m like, hey,
what do I know to teach these guys, you know? They’re already successful.
The fear is, hey, you know, my kids, they’re starting school and, you know, am
I really giving them — we have, you know, they’re doing their virtual school,
am I really being the best dad I am or is it — am I just showing up and sort of
check out a few boxes and then going do my own work? So, I have all these
inherent fears and the goal is, with the meditation, I recognize what they are. I
challenge them, and then I proceed to — if they’re legitimate, then I try to
work on them so I make them my strengths, and if they’re not legitimate, I
banish them and move on.
Pancham: Nice. Nice. You mentioned a few fears that I still have today
myself and it’s the self-awareness, that’s what you’re talking about, right?
After doing the meditation, you get and then you just say, you know what, I
know that, you know, you recognize it and then you just move on and, you
know, crush that fear. So, alright, can you share with us, my third question,
can you share with us one investment that did not go as expected? You
mentioned a few already but which one takes the trophy?
Vikram: You know, like, again, as a professional real estate investor, I’ve
never lost a single penny in real estate which is cool. It’s only been, you know,
when I was a novice, this goes back to the sound bite from Robert Kiyosaki.
So Robert Kiyosaki, as you guys know, says it’s not the investment that’s
risky, it’s the investor. So, once I got my knowledge, once I got coaching,
once I read the books, once I got professionally trained in a subject, I treated
real estate like cardiology. I treated real estate just like any other science, and
once I did that, it’s called asymmetric risk-reward, so for nine times out of ten,
I’m gonna win in real estate and the one time I lose, I lose 10 cents versus
losing, you know, a dollar. So that’s what you want. You wanna play a game
where it’s unfair advantage to you and so Pancham and I, we play this game
with real estate. So, have we lost money? You know, within professional real
estate, I have not lost a single penny. As I mentioned, that home in Milwaukee
was sort of before I knew what I was doing. I was like, everyone says a home
is an investment. It is if it’s producing cash flow, right? In this case, it wasn’t,
so, yeah. But that was my one sort of loss in real estate.
Pancham: Got it, got it. So, my last question is what is one piece of advice
you would give to people who are thinking of investing in Main Street and
moving from Wall Street?
Vikram: Act now, be decisive. I would say level up your education so you
become not only sophisticated and accredited but a knowledgeable investor,
and then be careful who you invest with, right? Everyone is sort of allowed to
make mistakes but it’s the character of the person you invest with that’s
gonna determine, you know, long-term success, and so I would say make
sure the people you work with, you know them, you trust them, you
understand their investment thesis, you understand their ethics, and then
invest — and if you have success, keep on reinvesting but then obviously
don’t invest all with one person or one type of asset class. Obviously diversify.
Pancham: Great, great. Thank you. You know, we get that advice all the time,
like bank on the jockey, not the horse —
Vikram: Yeah, beautiful. I like that analogy.
Pancham: Great. So thank you for sharing all your wisdom here today,
Vikram. How can listeners reach you if they wanna connect with you and
invest with you?
Vikram: Yeah, absolutely. Again, I have an e-mail courtesy of Pancham that
I’ve been given, so if you wanna get ahold of anything we have, I’d love to
share all that with you. I do have an e-book I’ve created called The Limitless
MD Protocol. This will help anybody achieve the five freedoms, get
unparalleled wealth, and live limitless so that’s a free e-book. It’s some of my
best information out there and so if you wanna get that, you could e-mail us at
firstname.lastname@example.org. And also, I’m gonna include my e-
book, link to my website, if you wanna book a strategy call with me, a free
strategy call. Again, all of that’s available to you. My real estate website is
called Viking Capital and the website for that is vikingcapllc.com. Okay.
Pancham: Great. Thank you for sharing all of that and, listeners, I hope you
have got — like I have two pages of notes here and I hope you took notes
here. If not, definitely go back and listen to it again. You wanna implement
some of the strategies that Dr. Raya here has shared with us. Thank you,
Vikram, for your time.
Vikram: Thank you, Pancham. Awesome. Thank you.
Thank you for listening to The Gold Collar Investor Podcast. If you love what you’ve heard and you want more of Pancham Gupta, visit us at www.thegoldcollarinvestor.com and follow us on Facebook at The Gold Collar Investor. The information on this podcast are opinions. As always, please consult your own financial team before investing.