Are you getting in the way of your company growing, scaling, and becoming all it can be? Maybe it’s time to hand over the reins and step away.
In today’s episode, host Roland Frasier sits down with Cody Bjugan, Founder of VestRight, a company that transforms lives through real estate. Specifically, they teach people how to put together raw land deals in the real estate space. Cody recently handed the company over to a CEO and stepped into a founder/visionary role.
Listen in as he shares his entrepreneurial journey, mistakes he made along the way, and the challenges of handing over your business so it can continue to grow.
An Early Start to the Entrepreneurial Journey
When Cody was 12 years old, he loved to collect sports cards. He grew up in the small town of Damascus, Oregon with its solitary streetlight, and he’d go to the flea market on the weekends. He’d set up a booth and buy, sell, and trade sports cards.
Cody’s grandfather was a homebuilder and land developer. He passed away when Cody was 15, but Cody still pulls inspiration from his life and accomplishments. His father had the spirit but didn’t have the mindset to be successful as an entrepreneur. He got injured and never got back to self-employment after that. Cody says he programmed himself not to give up like his father had done when he was met with failure.
When Cody turned 15, he bought his first car for $800. Throughout high school, he bought and sold cars, put lipstick on them, and turned them. He had plans to go to college, but his girlfriend got pregnant, and he got married two months after high school instead. He entered the workforce in the floor and counter industry in the union to get health benefits to pay for his unborn child.
His coworkers told him he was so lucky to be starting at 19, because he could retire when he was 40. But all he could think was, “I’m miserable. Why would I want to be miserable for my most prime 20 years?” As soon as he got health insurance, and the baby was born, he bailed, and got a job in a private business in the same industry.
Unfortunately, he says, he failed his family, hobbies, health, and spirit by becoming a workaholic. He took this company that was doing $70k a month and turned it into a business doing $1M a month. He was making really good money in his early 20s, but it came at a high cost.
He had gotten to know a lot of homebuilders and land developers as clients. One thing led to another, he networked, and in 2002, he faced his fears and jumped off the cliff into the land development space. It’s been a journey, he says. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy.
The Importance of Mentorship
Cody made a phone call recently. He reached out to the guy who gave him that first job after he left the union and thanked him. He says, looking back, that man was his first mentor.
He admits that he never put much value in mentorship until three years ago. He would always say he was an introvert and wouldn’t put himself out there. He would fly under the radar, hide under rocks. It was just an excuse, he says. He didn’t want to be uncomfortable.
He has joined a few masterminds where he seeks mentorship from groups of individuals. “I’ve grown more in the last three years than I did the previous 18 years of my career,” he says. “I’ve allowed people to speak into my life and help me see things in a different way.” He says he went into these relationships with two important perspectives:
- If I don’t go in there being real and transparent and vulnerable, these guys won’t get to know the real me and be able to touch me like they could.
- I’m here to also give and pour into their lives.
He says he’s still growing in that second area. He’s always had a giving heart when it comes to money, but giving of himself and his time has been a huge process for him.
He recently hired an executive coach to help him through his newest transition, and he’s really excited about that.
Handing Over the Reins of the Company
This year Cody stepped into the visionary/founder box of his company. He brought in a CEO, and it made him realize he has a lot to work through. He’s always believed in empowerment and letting people do their own thing, but it was a lot harder when it came to handing over his baby.
In 2020, he had an aha moment that his identity was his company and his company’s identity was him. Yes, he had made a lot of money. But at the end of the day, he had a vision of what he wanted his company to be, and he had to humble himself and realize that he was actually the reason the company wasn’t getting there.
“In order for the company to scale across the country and do the things we wanted to do based on my unique business model,” he says, “I had to get out of the way.”
To find his CEO, he hired a headhunter, interviewed tons of people, and established an intense 8-step process to put the candidates through. It ended up taking seven months, and the CEO started in January 2021. Now Cody is the only one who’s virtual/remote in the company. They’re all in Dallas, TX and he’s in Scottsdale, AZ. They don’t want him in the office, because he’d disrupt the environment. His business has grown more this year than at any other time.
Before hiring a CEO and stepping back, Cory had been the hub of his business, the center. Everything fed off of him. He was in the hub for 20 years, and it hasn’t been an easy transition, but he’s committed to staying in his new box and doing what’s right for the business.
Off-Market Acquisition in the Land Development Space
Speaking of the business, what is it exactly that VestRight does? In a nutshell, they acquire land, create lots, and flip it to developers for significant profits—and teach other people how to do the same. Cody says that what they teach works for any asset class.
He only does off-market deals. He says that any deals that go on market have already been passed on by guys like him because there’s something wrong with them or they’re too expensive. Off-market acquisition is where it’s at, because most people in this space are doing on-market deals, and they’re not in control of their own deal flow.
VestRight teaches how to find these deals, what to look for, how to be in control of your own destiny. They also teach the entitlement process, how to exit the deals once they’re approved. The entitlement process, or zoning, entitles you to use it for a certain purpose. You increase the value by getting a higher and better use and flipping it to someone else.
“We’re in the value add business.” Cody says. If you’d like more information on flipping land, check out the links below.
- Email Cody for info on courses: email@example.com
- VestRight website
- FREE 7-figure Raw Land Payday Playbook
- The Ready to Lead podcast
- DigitalMarketer Podcast
- Perpetual Traffic podcast
- Get a free proposal from Conversion Fanatics
- Get 3% cash back on your ad spend with AdCard
- Get Roland’s book, Zero Down, FREE
Roland’s EPIC Challenge.
You may have heard about Roland’s EPIC challenge, which he moved online when the Pandemic hit. It focuses on Ethical Profits In Times of Crisis and dives into no-money out-of-pocket business acquisition strategies. If you’re interested in finding out more about this strategy, click here.
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