From Pro Skateboarder to Multimillionaire Real Estate Investor ft. Mikey Taylor

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Thye Mikey Taylor Interview

How do the skills learned in pro skating translate to entrepreneurship? For Mikey Taylor, a career spent doing darkslides and noseblunts was a masterclass is managing fear, building a brand and finding purpose. And today, Mikey is leveraging what he learned to invest in real estate—and help other athletes and entrepreneurs achieve financial freedom in the process. 

Mikey is the President and Managing Principal at Commune Capital, a private equity real estate investment fund built around the idea that financial freedom isn’t a dream, but a tangible life worth pursuing. He has 20 years of professional skateboarding experience, holding sponsorship contracts with DC Shoes, GoPro Cameras and Alien Workshop and cofounding SOVRN, a skateboard and apparel company out of Los Angeles. Mikey was also the cofounder of Saint Archer Brewing Company, a multimillion-dollar craft beer operation acquired by MillerCoors in 2015. 

On this episode of Founders Club, Mikey joins Oliver to discuss his evolution from pro skater to entrepreneur and explain how pushing through fear has served him in both ventures. He shares his good fortune in being introduced to Randy Sanada, describing how he learned to invest in himself—and other lucrative asset classes like multifamily and self-storage. Listen in for Mikey’s insight around building a brand, responding to criticism, and creating a community through Commune Capital.

Here is how the interview breaks down:

[0:38] What drew Mikey to skating

  • Opportunity to compete against himself
  • Changed way of seeing world (e.g.: handrails, cement walls)

[3:00] How Mikey learned to push through fear

  • Trick brain into allowing body to try things
  • Learn what hold you back + monitor fear

[10:32] Mikey’s insight around building a brand

  • Know WHO building brand for
  • Consistent + welcoming = TRUST

[17:08] Mikey’s introduction to investing

  • Parents encouraged to meet with Randy Sanada
  • Taught to live below means, deploy capital in opportunities

[23:12] Mikey’s first investments

  • HIMSELF (becoming better skater to increase income)
  • Stock market, storage units

[28:06] Mikey’s experience with Saint Archer

  • Built around action sports community
  • Challenge to navigate massive growth

[38:40] How Mikey dealt with the end of his skating career

  • Loss of identity, lowest point despite success
  • Realized purpose necessary to push forward

[47:55] Mikey’s vision for Commune Capital

  • Start with idea to help skaters learn investing
  • Expand to include other sports and entrepreneurs

[50:37] Mikey’s take on the criticism re: gentrification

  • Realized error in communicating mission
  • Critics see through lens of their experience
  • Deep value-add projects improve communities

[58:54] The projects Commune Capital is pursuing now

  • Multifamily properties and storage units
  • Accredited investors (eventually add Reg A offering)

[1:02:12] Mikey’s advice on finding deals

  • Build relationships with brokers, developers
  • Get educated + be persistent to get first deal

[1:07:21] The benefit of investing with Commune Capital

  • Part of community, return beyond money
  • Preferred return for every investor

[1:14:23] What’s brought Mikey the most joy

  • Giving brewery investors’ money back
  • Putting others first = most rewarding

[1:18:11] Mikey advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Self-aware of strengths + weaknesses
  • Don’t be limited by what others think

Listen Here:

Key Takeaway:

How do the skills learned in pro skating translate to entrepreneurship? Today, Mikey Taylor joins Oliver to explain what skating taught him about managing fear, building a brand and finding purpose—and how he is leveraging that knowledge to invest in real estate and help other athletes and entrepreneurs achieve financial freedom in the process

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Full Transcript Below:

Oliver Graf: Welcome to another episode of founders club. Today I’m out here in Newport Beach getting ready to sit down with pro skater, Mikey Taylor to talk about his incredible journey of starting and eventually selling Saint Archer brewery to Miller for an estimated $50 million.

Mikey Taylor: I struggled with at an early age worrying about what other people were going to think of me and it limited what I was going out to do because I would allow their opinion to ultimately rule my life. Most likely you’re going to be dealing with your parents or friends that are going to tell you you’re crazy. You have to just recognize that they care about you, but they don’t rule you and you need to just go out and get past it and move forward and ultimately lead.

Oliver Graf: All of the exciting things he’s doing right now with his real estate fund Commune Capital in redeveloping projects in the multifamily space.

Mikey Taylor: You’ve been hounding me every single week for 14 months. I’m going to give you a shot and then you better close.

Oliver Graf: You better close from that shot.

Mikey Taylor: The thing that is amazing is when you do close, you’re going to get a followup deal right away and another deal and another deal and then it just starts coming at you full force.

Oliver Graf: If you like it, give us a thumbs up, subscribe and we’ll see on the inside. Let’s get started.

Well first of all man, I’m really excited to be sitting here with you. We’re at the Helmsman Ale House in Newport Beach having a couple beers.

Mikey Taylor: Cheers.

Oliver Graf: Mikey is enjoying the center line IPA and I’m having a Newport blonde. Been a long time fan and just of not only like the skateboarding journey that you went on, but just seeing you evolve into like an entrepreneur doing what you did with Saint Archer, doing what you’re doing now with Commune, being in the real estate development space, I was really kind of like kicking around where to start.

I was like man, our audience is super real estate, but he’s got such a good story, where do we begin? I want to start with the skateboarding stuff just because I feel like that really laid a foundation for you and kind of built your name and curious what initially was it that drew you to skateboarding because it was… It’s kind of an outsider-

Mikey Taylor: Yes.

Oliver Graf: Sports especially growing up in the nineties like we did and I remember taking my skateboard to school, I’d get hassled by the jokes and it was like not cool at all.

Mikey Taylor: That’s right.

Oliver Graf: What was it that drew you to that initially?

Mikey Taylor: My original draw was actually like super random. There was a cool kid or a person who I thought was cool that got a skateboard and I ultimately just wanted to fit in. I got one also. That was my first draw. What I experienced from it was prior to skating, I always did like team sports and it was always my team against the other person. Skateboarding was the first thing where it felt very like me against myself. I loved the idea that I was only competing with me. That was kind of the first draw to. It really changed my perspective of what the world looked like, what the world looked like in front of me where prior to skateboarding, I would look at a set of… Cheese, I’m really stumbling on my words, a set of stairs as something to walk down or a hand rail to hold as you walk down the stairs. Once skateboarding came into my world, it was like Holy crap, people jump on those.

Then it was cement walls became, how could I skate it? And it was kind of this idea that the world was a little bit different than I thought it was. It all was inspired by a skateboarding.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, I know you used to terrorize handrails back in the day.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: I think what always fascinated me about that it’s because I’ve always loved skateboarding but I’ve never gone there taking it to that level. What is it that allows you to push through the fear of going down 20 stair handrail?

Mikey Taylor: It’s a lot of work actually. I think that’s probably the biggest misconception about skateboarders is that we just are fearless. I was terrified to do my first hand rail. It was possibly the scariest thing I had ever done. It was just you start learning almost like hacks that allow your body to do what your brain doesn’t want it to do. In the beginning, the process that I used to have to go through was just sheer exhaustion. It was like, okay, I would roll up to the rail a hundred times until I was so upset that I couldn’t stop my body anymore from going. Then all of a sudden, I would just try it. Then after time, the amount of tries it took me to roll up, end up getting smaller and smaller but dude, it was just like trying to find ways to trick your brain that it’s going to be okay but it’s something that the fear never goes away. You just get better like monitoring it.

Oliver Graf: Yeah which I think is like a really important takeaway for business too, because a lot of times you’re scared to make that next move, you’re scared to take out that loan, you’re scared to take action on something, you’re scared to put yourself out there. What is it that you would recommend as far as just pushing through that kind of thing?

Mikey Taylor: What happened to me, it’s funny. Everything that I… Everything that has helped me succeed now has come from skateboarding. I think the biggest driving factor was dealing with fear. After a while, you just kind of learn what holds you back. I know for me it’s every time I’m about to make a decision that’s somewhat impactful, I tried to convince myself out of it. It happens without doubt. If I’m starting a new company, I get to a year end where it’s about to be go time and I always try to convince myself out of doing it. I think it’s my body’s way of trying to protect myself. Once you realize that your body actually doesn’t want what’s best for you a lot of times. Have you ever heard the kind of analogy that if you’re comfortable, you can’t grow but your body always wants you to be comfortable. It’s like a…

Oliver Graf: Our protection mechanism.

Mikey Taylor: Exactly. Once I kind of realized that, that if I don’t feel, if my body is trying to hold my back… Hold me back, it’s not my gut trying keep me from whatever you want to call it succeeding. It’s actually this weird subconscious that’s just scared of me getting hurt. I just realized that it was like, dude, stop, just had to stop listening to myself. I think that’s probably the biggest thing from skating. I was-

Oliver Graf: I was going to say that’s an interesting parallel because I’d imagine it’s very similar.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah. I mean do you think about it? I’m like, if I would’ve listened to my mind when I was a kid, try my first hand rail, I would’ve never been a pro skateboarder. Since I went through all this action to force myself to do it, well that spanned a 15 year professional skate career. Then everything else I did was an extension of me just pushing myself through what I was scared of dealing.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: It just, I’ve seen the rewards on the other side of what it takes when you’re just don’t listen to yourself trying to say no.

Oliver Graf: You got to taste the fruit for better fruit.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, that’s right, that’s right.

Oliver Graf: Your skate career has been well documented, but like, if you could go back in the memory banks, what’s one thing that stands out as just that was just a really amazing experience as a pro skater.

Mikey Taylor: The first street league I think was probably pretty big for us. and for any… For everyone’s on the real estate side doesn’t go skateboarding. Street league was like our big contest series.

Oliver Graf: The first really big content series outside of X games.

Mikey Taylor: They had X games right? But X… Let’s take a step back. Skateboarding and probably one of the things that kind of drew me towards it was it’s not based around competition. Skateboarding is based in for us expressing ourselves in the street and video parts it. The contest stuff was kind of for a select few and that’s your skate in X game.

Oliver Graf: Almost frowned upon.

Mikey Taylor: It was frowned upon for us. What happened was Rob Dyrdek had this idea that he could create a competition for actual street skaters and then strictly was birth. All of a sudden it took us street skaters and put us in a stadium with five, 10,000 people watching us. I remember just the first time I experienced that multitude of people watching us, it was wow, this is pretty.

Oliver Graf: It’s crazy.

Mikey Taylor: It’s for a non contest skater that was pretty massive.

Oliver Graf: Street league, that was kind of the standard.

Mikey Taylor: I think that one of them. I think another one is the first time I saw somebody riding my own skateboard or…

Oliver Graf: Yeah, pro model.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah that I had my own shoe. I think the first time I saw, this is a good story. I had my own skateboard and so I would see other kids that were wearing my skateboard. I was wow, that’s cool. When you have a shoe, you have people buying your product that aren’t skaters.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: The first time I saw [inaudible 00:09:02] a regular person. The first time I saw a regular person wearing my shoe was, Oh my gosh, this is out of control. Everyday, people are wearing our product.

Those are probably a few of the big standards.

Oliver Graf: That’s a trip. Well I could definitely sit here and talk to you about skating all day. One thing I know that you kind of still have your big toe in the water is with Sovereign, right? What are you doing with Sovereign, that’s your skateboarding brand.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: What are you doing with that and kind of what’s the vision there?

Mikey Taylor: Okay, what I’m doing with it ultimately is what happens to a lot of skaters when they start being a pro skateboarder is they get outside of skateboarding and then they’re kind of fall out of touch. I never wanted that. My idea was if I own something inside of skateboarding, it would always keep me in tune with what was happening. That was I think like my bigger-

Oliver Graf: Finger on the pulse.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, yeah. Just like, I mean dude, when you get older, it’s, hard to stay current. It’s hard to know what the kids are doing. If you have a brand whose job is to sell product to the youth, you at least have more of insider… What would you call it? Inside track to what’s happening with kids. I always wanted that too. I think my vision with it is ultimately that our vision was ultimately to present something that is aesthetically pleasing beyond skateboarding. We kind of wanted to have every board be something that anyone would want to hang up in there in the room if you were a skater or not. We put a big emphasis on a static doing-

Oliver Graf: Homework.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, exactly.

Oliver Graf: Yeah. Something I actually wanted to ask you about a little further down in terms of branding because I think that’s something you’ve done really well over your career. Is just creating that strong brand around the things you’re doing.

With sovereign, you’re very a lot of white, a lot of clean, simple, crisp graphics. How important do you think that brand feel is in terms of growing a business?

Mikey Taylor: I mean coming from somebody who leans more towards the marketing side, I think it’s everything, right? I think it’s for people who aren’t brand people you can compare it to how somebody looks when you talk to him, right? Are you more inviting to somebody who doesn’t know you if you look nice or if you’re kind of ruggy and you haven’t shaven, you haven’t shaven in a month and you’re kind of wild, it might deter people from wanting to get to know you. A brand kind of follows the same suit where if a brand is consistent and let’s say welcoming, it might drive more people to the brand.

I think the hard part isn’t so much the colors you’re using. People have a hard time staying consistent, right? You have to remember people who are viewing a brand want to trust the brand. If there’s no consistency, that means there’s no trust. If there’s no trust, it’s hard to get a consumer to not only purchase, but to feel part of the community. I think it’s very important. I think it really comes down to knowing who you’re building the brand for. Let’s say something like Sovereign that is very, let’s call it edgy or there’s a certain kind of art demographic that we’re trying to reach, that is not going to be built for maybe the sports fanatic in a sense, right? Knowing who you’re building your brand for is probably the most important thing and then staying-

Oliver Graf: Kind of staying consistent within that.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, yeah.

Oliver Graf: Do you still skate?

Mikey Taylor: Not enough-

Oliver Graf: Not enough.

Mikey Taylor: Truthfully. Yeah, I’m probably got, if I’m being honest with you, I’m probably skating once a month maybe.

Oliver Graf: Oh yeah.

Mikey Taylor: It’s hard right now. It’s hard for a lot of reasons. One as you know, when you’re building a business, it is hard.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: It is just exhausting-

Oliver Graf: All consuming.

Mikey Taylor: It’s all consuming.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: Which is one. Two, the skate kind of the mentality or the personality that skateboarding attracts as a very obsessive personality. I’m kind of consumed by what I’m doing and right now what I’m doing is not skateboarding. It’s I’m having a hard time turning this off to go skate for fun one day a week or one day every two weeks is something I’m just not doing well at in that sense.

Oliver Graf: I want to take what you said there because I think that obsessive part is, I think that’s an entrepreneurial characteristic and I’m just curious what your thoughts are on that because I find myself the same way. If I’m on something, I’m all in on that, I’m 100% and it is very all consuming and there’s everything else kind of gets worked out. Do you think that that’s part of being an entrepreneur or do you think that that’s just how you were built and how you approach things?

Mikey Taylor: That’s a good question. I think that’s a component that can be your biggest strategic advantage as an entrepreneur. It can also be the thing that destroys you as well. It’s my biggest strength and-

Oliver Graf: Double edge sword ,yeah.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, but I don’t know if that defines you as an entrepreneur. I haven’t given that enough thought. I don’t know.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: I know for me it’s that’s the… That’s one of the biggest driving factors.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, me too. I was just curious because it’s kind of a random thing and it just came up and I kind of feel the same way where I just hardcore obsess over stuff.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Until I can get it done like big project, whatever it is.

Mikey Taylor: The thing is I don’t know if that’s something you can teach.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: Right, it’s something that it’s been inside me since I was a kid. It’s like I think it’s powerful when you can find the thing that consumes you as long as it’s something for the good. I’ve never been able to like turn it on and off based on whatever topic. If you were like, hey dude, go start a tire company. I could not just go, okay, Mikey become obsessed with tires. I don’t operate that.

Oliver Graf: It’s all right.

Mikey Taylor: I’m more of a maybe call a passion driven person where I find the thing that I just am so intrigued by that it consumes me.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: You know what, now that I think of it, I actually know a lot of entrepreneurs that aren’t as obsessive as me. I don’t… I think what defines an entrepreneur is somebody who… Oh God, now I’m going to contradict myself. I was really going to say somebody who’s obsessed with creating a vision that’s in their head, but then that counters the…

Oliver Graf: I really do think that’s part of it though, man. I think that’s really part of it is.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: It makes total sense as a skateboarder because you’re just on it. You just want to skate all the time, you just want to escaping every day.

Mikey Taylor: You know what’s funny man, people are… People have said, “When did you become an entrepreneur?” I remember the first fear of it was I didn’t go to college. Right, I didn’t go to college because I was going to go skateboarding. Back then at that time, I never thought somebody would hire me into like any type of good paying job.

When I was young I just kind of told myself, okay, if you’re going to pick skateboarding, that means if you want to do anything you need to create it yourself because who’s going to hire ex pro skateboarder who graduated high school. That was I don’t know if that helped put me in the mindset of you need to create your own things. I think skateboarding, it being so self focused and it really is, you have a vision of what you want to do and you go out and create it really complements an entrepreneur.

Oliver Graf: It allows you to obsess in a positive way over-

Mikey Taylor: That’s right, that’s right. What if we’re being truthful. I didn’t even know what an entrepreneur was five years ago. That wasn’t a term that-

Oliver Graf: Wasn’t on the radar.

Mikey Taylor: [inaudible 00:16:48] skateboarders. It’s everywhere now.

Oliver Graf: When you started making money and skateboarding there came a point where you thought to yourself, okay, now I’m ready to do this investing thing, right. I know you were kind of mentored, right? Why don’t you tell me a little bit about how you transitioned or maybe pre-transition, right, because I know like the skateboard just ended one day kind of suddenly feel like it does for a lot of pro skaters. What was that transition like and then what was the transition like in terms of the back fall on the investing side?

Mikey Taylor: Where should I start? There are so many different paths I can take that. I guess to your first point, I don’t know if I so much had the insight that I needed to invest as much as my parents playing kind of a bigger role of them being concerned that I picked skateboarding and not college.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: Right, and part of that like did they were really worried truthfully. They did not want me to do it. When I kind of decided to, one thing that they really encouraged me on was being introduced to Randy. I talk about Randy as being kind of my biggest mentor. My dad had a relation with Randy and kind of one thing he said was, okay, if you’re going to pick the skateboarding path, I want you to go meet him. That’s… I sat in with him because my dad was like, you need to do this.

Oliver Graf: I love that.

Mikey Taylor: For context, Randy managed money for living. He owned his own multifamily office. He managed multiple families money. Then they also had a private equity division where they had two real estate funds. That was my introduction was my dad’s saying, you need to learn something about money if you’re going to pick skateboarding.

Oliver Graf: I love it.

Mikey Taylor: Randy, he always had this idea with his company that if you invested with him, they wanted you to be more than a limited partner. They wanted you to feel like a general partner. There was so much learning that were involved in me investing with them. I mean, looking back and especially knowing what I know now, there’s a lot of, let’s call them financial advisors that will go, Hey dude, just give me your money and I’m good. Then they go do their thing, right? I mean to think why would a guy take a 19, 20 year old kid and go, I’m going to teach you about behavioral finance-

Oliver Graf: Oh yes, It’s really impressive.

Mikey Taylor: I’m going to teach you about assets and liabilities. I’m going to teach you. It was like, who could have asked for that? It was like such a blessing for me. That was where it started. Then as I kind of started going down this entrepreneurial role, he was always the guy that I normally looked up to, but leaned on when I needed information inside of how to do what I was going out to do because again, I graduated high school. That was it. I didn’t have a business degree, I didn’t know how to raise money. I didn’t know much other than what skateboarding taught me.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: To have somebody kind of show me the ropes was pretty huge and that ended up becoming an even bigger blessing when my career ended. That was one thing Randy didn’t understand unfortunately is how difficult a pro career was going to be when it ended emotionally but God financially he, did so much for me just teaching me that this was going to end and there actually is a path to financial freedom-

Oliver Graf: That’s great.

Mikey Taylor: It’s not just half a million dollars.

Oliver Graf: Your parents were like, we’d rather you go to school, not do this pro skater thing, but if you’re going to do this pro skater thing, you need to learn how to manage the money, talk to the guy Randy.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Randy took you under his wing?

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: You started nesting some money with him.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: He showed you how he was making it grow.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: That kind of prepared you for the investing path?

Mikey Taylor: It did. I think more than anything prior to investing, what he showed me was it’s such a basic concept, but it was like living below your means, right? Don’t spend more than make and really looking back, my strategy in the beginning was similar to somebody’s strategy on how to get out of debt. That was because us as skaters weren’t making that much money, right?

You hear a pro escaper and you’re, “Oh yeah, they’re making millions.” Pro Escapers don’t make millions.

Oliver Graf: There’s four that make millions.

Mikey Taylor: There’s four. I was not one of those four. I mean, do you think how do you get somebody who’s making a hundred grand a year to be financially free in the next 10 years, right. That’s what we were up against. His strategy and what he taught me was when you’re getting out of debt, it’s controlling your expenses so that you can find out the spread between expenses and income that you can put towards getting rid of debt, right. I wasn’t in debt, but we use that same strategy to allow me to invest-

Oliver Graf: Or grow the money.

Mikey Taylor: Exactly. It was I remember the first thing he told me, okay, we’re going to create a budget and as you make more money you’re going to stick to this budget.

Oliver Graf: Your budget doesn’t increase?

Mikey Taylor: Exactly, but what did increase was the amount of money that I got to invest into assets. Then that was the beginning teaching me how to be responsible while I wasn’t making that much. Then once I started making more, it was, I already had the tools to be responsible to then go implement into investing. There was a lot of leg work that went in prior to me actually deploying capital into something.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: I think looking back, that is probably the biggest thing he did for me because investing, I mean you know this, it’s not that complicated, right? It actually you can… You’d be surprised how simple it is to learn. The hard part is having the capital to deploy into opportunity. That’s where people go, yeah, this sounds awesome, but I don’t have the money, right. That was something that I think change the trajectory of my-

Oliver Graf: Present-

Mikey Taylor: Future.

Oliver Graf: Then what did you put the… What was the first thing you deployed the money into?

Mikey Taylor: This is funny man. I have meetings with him, he’s teaching me about money. I think I’m going to be like Warren Buffet, right? What he told me the first thing I was going to invest in, I was actually surprised with because he told me I was going to invest in myself and I didn’t understand that back then, right?

Oliver Graf: I like that.

Mikey Taylor: He goes, okay, we’re going to invest in yourself. I was, okay, what does that mean, right? Then he basically continued to say, look, the biggest return you will ever make is when you invest in yourself, one. Two your biggest wealth building towards your income.

How can we invest in yourself that will basically cause you to make more money that then we could use to create more passive income perse. In the beginning it was okay, Mikey, so how do you make more money? As a 21-22 year old kid, it was I need to get my sponsors to pay me more. It was that simple.

Oliver Graf: Aright?

Mikey Taylor: Okay, well how do sponsors pay you more? Well, if I become better then more kids will, I’ll have a higher demand. Kids will buy more of my product, I’ll make more money, right? He’s okay, well how do you get better at skating? I was well I need to skate more. At that time the challenge was the only place that we could go basically practice was that public skate parks.

When we would go to public skate parks, every kid there would know who we were-

Oliver Graf: You get mobbed on.

Mikey Taylor: We would get mobbed on and you wouldn’t want to try something that you didn’t know how to do because you didn’t want all the people who knew who you were to think you suck.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, that’s interesting. You’re right.

Mikey Taylor: Right, so what would happen is-

Oliver Graf: Like oh, you didn’t learn anything today.

Mikey Taylor: Exactly. Every time we would go to practice, we wouldn’t be practicing. It would be like we are putting on a demo and we were only doing the tricks we knew how to do. I remember that was like, Hey, I need to like figure out a place that I could go practice. Then what a couple people were doing was buying or renting warehouses and putting their own private training facility inside that warehouse that no one had access to.

It was like, okay, how do we get you in a private skate park? We started using money to then at this point it became a warehouse in North Hollywood and we had a skate park in it and we would go practice. Then I started getting better and this sponsor pay me more. I started making more money. That was one of the first kind of ways we started investing in myself.

Oliver Graf: You guys bought these buildings?

Mikey Taylor: No, no, no.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: I didn’t have them… Back then, it was look a hundred grand a year in California because very quick and second at that time my strategy was I needed to make more money. It wasn’t build passive income in the beginning.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: The first amount of money went towards building my personal brand.

Oliver Graf: Skate more equals more money.

Mikey Taylor: Bingo.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: Bingo.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: Then I started making more money and then that money started being deployed.

Oliver Graf: That’s great.

Mikey Taylor: When it started getting deployed, it was like if it wasn’t a brand that I was going to start, it was storage units at that time.

Oliver Graf: That’s great.

Mikey Taylor: Another thing too that we should touch on, we use the stock market actually back then, not to have crazy growth but the challenge that people don’t realize is because you have an amount of money to deploy, doesn’t mean there’s opportunity to deploy it.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: If you’re just sitting on money, you’re losing money.

Oliver Graf: Right?

Mikey Taylor: Right, so we would basically use the stock market as a holding place until opportunity presented itself.

Oliver Graf: Stack it up in the stock market.

Mikey Taylor: Yes, the challenge is you… If you’re just trying to keep up with inflation, then you don’t need to look for these big growth funds or these huge rewards. You need to returns. You need to essentially keep up with 2%. we were holding money in a very conservative-

Oliver Graf: Safe, simple stuff.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah and then when something like a storage unit pop up, it was boom.

Oliver Graf: They were vetting the deals for you, so you’ve got comfortable.

Mikey Taylor: At that time they ran their own fund. Basically they would go find a deal, they would build out their proforma, they would present it to investors similar to what a syndicator does they would just have multiple projects inside of one fund. Then what was cool were the hands on approach game it was like, okay, so Randy, can you explain this to me? What is, I mean dude, it’s so funny.

Oliver Graf: No, that’s the best education ever. I mean you’re talking about your money, you’re obviously paying attention and these guys know what they’re doing.

Mikey Taylor: Another big thing too that people forget is when like let’s say you’re investing passively, so somebody else is doing the work, right? A lot of times the operator has the tendency to only say the good things that are happening and it’s a false front to the investor to try to learn because nothing is perfect ever, right. What Randy’s approach would be like, dude, he would tell us the good and the bad. This is what we did well, this is what we struggled with. It was I remember each project it was holy crap. I felt we were doing the deal.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: It was huge.

Oliver Graf: That’s a great learning experience.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Okay, so I’m circling back to it all ended with skateboarding.

Mikey Taylor: Okay.

Oliver Graf: You’re probably feeling defeated, deflated.

Mikey Taylor: What will my career ended?

Oliver Graf: Yeah and how are you feeling at that point in time and then how do you overcome that and transition into beer of all things which you know nothing about at the time.

Mikey Taylor: Beer came before my career ended.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: Should we start with a beer or start with the career ended?

Oliver Graf: Why don’t we start with the timeline, how did that go down?

Mikey Taylor: Basically with the Craft brewery, this is like dude, maybe five months before we started the brewery, my wife back then fiance, she kind of had to talk with me, right? She was like, Hey, so I’m not saying you need to figure this out now, but just kind of start thinking about what could be next. What do you want to do? I was, okay and I left that and then seriously-

Oliver Graf: She was obsessive.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah She knows how to. This obsessive kind of personality and it was okay, what can I do, what could I do? There was like a month long kind of window where people would talk about ideas and my quick response, let’s start a company. For example, we all rode for this backpack company called OGL.

Oliver Graf: Yep.

Mikey Taylor: OGL pulled out a skateboarding and so the whole team no longer had a backpack sponsor. I was going out shooting with this guy, a teabag scape photographer and he was kind of had this conversation. “Hey, what are we going to do now that OGL is gone and the seed that my wife planted them on the floor, let’s start back at the company. We don’t need [crosstalk 00:28:59]. We can do this ourself, right.” Then seriously, three weeks later, I’m in San Diego with Josh Landon who was palling my partner in Saint Archer and we’re filming a video. I get a call from another friend who’s going to start a Sunglass company. I’m yeah, let’s start a sunglass company. Hey on the phone, look at Josh, I’m going to start a sunglass company. That conversation sparked the overall idea of us creating Saint Archer. Basically when he was let’s do something new, what about a craft brewery that same seed was stuck in my head. Let’s do craft brewery, let’s go get this.

It was like my wife just randomly had a conversation with me that led to like me just saying yes to everything-

Oliver Graf: That’s killing.

Mikey Taylor: What happened was Saint Archer came three weeks after me telling Atebo let’s do the backpack company. There was so much more that went into Saint Archer that it kind of shook presidents on everything that we’re focused on. Basically me, Josh and Paul spent the next year trying to figure out what that even meant. I started going to other breweries and-

Oliver Graf: Yeah, well that was actually my next question is what is step one? How are you figuring this out? What do you do?

Mikey Taylor: Step one is least step one is research. What we did not understand at that point was beer. We knew nothing about it other than we liked beer. That was it.

Oliver Graf: Right?

Mikey Taylor: We recognize that something was happening in craft beer because right around that time when we would go out to parties, right? When I would go to a parties, it was always [inaudible 00:30:28], Corona, kind of the gotos. Then some guy would bring this random, gosh, at this point Sam Adams might’ve felt like a Korean.

It was… I was, “Oh, what is that?” Then all of a sudden somebody would bring [inaudible 00:30:42] and then it was what is this stuff? We started recognizing that there was a change happening or there was a certain industry that was growing. We knew nothing about beer though. What we started doing was calling other breweries and setting up meetings to try to learn what they were doing and what the possibility of us doing it was. One thing we did know was marketing. That was kind if you’re a pro skateboarder, the skateboarding industry is so competitive and everything is kind of the same. For example, every skateboard company uses the same wood, right? The only difference is a graphic. How do you convince a kid to buy this board and that board where they’re the same exact thing?

Oliver Graf: Right?

Mikey Taylor: Really good marketing. That’s something we did know. We just didn’t understand what it meant to start a craft brewery.Our original idea was that we were going to contract brewing, so someone was going to make our beer and we would just be responsible for marketing-

Oliver Graf: Marketing sales.

Mikey Taylor: As we started going down that path, basically the margin was nothing and there was no money in it. We felt if we went down that path, we would’ve had to start a brewery at some point. We just decided we might as well do it now. Then we had a meeting with Randy. Randy, we’re going to start a brewery, we need to raise money, we have to do a business plan. What is this?

Oliver Graf: Yeah, how do we do that?

Mikey Taylor: I didn’t even know how to do a business plan.

Oliver Graf: Wow.

Mikey Taylor: Randy basically helped us create a business plan, helped us basically get all our legal documents to then go out and raise money, and then also taught us how to pitch and how to respond to investor questions.

I mean, dude was I imagine-

Oliver Graf: Here’s the common objection.

Mikey Taylor: I can’t put it is is what is supposed to be when you go and get an MBA in college? That’s what we actually got-

Oliver Graf: In real life.

Mikey Taylor: Exactly.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: It started with [crosstalk 00:32:32].

Oliver Graf: I’m brilliant about it. I don’t know if it was just luck with timing or just brilliant marketing or both. To your point, the craft beer thing was kind of bubbling in and getting hot and then leveraging this community aspect of skating and action sports which had never really been done before outside of the sunglasses, the backpacks, the boards, the t-shirts.

Mikey Taylor: What’s funny is call it luck, call it fate, whatever. Skateboarders typically didn’t do things with surfers and snowboarders. Skateboarding is a very, this is our thing world.

Oliver Graf: Right?

Mikey Taylor: Josh was a filmmaker, right? Josh had a ton of friends in surf and he also had friends in snowboard and Paul and I were the skate community.

If us three wouldn’t have gotten together, the worlds would never have been combined. It was just-

Oliver Graf: Crazy.

Mikey Taylor: It really was. That was I think one of the first times you ever had skaters, surfers, snowboarders, musicians, actually a part of something and truthfully felt a part of it. It wasn’t, Oh, we’re all getting checks. We’ll show up for a photo shoot. It was, we are all in this together. We’ve got skin in the game. This thing works. We’re stocked. This thing doesn’t, we’re all screwed together. It was special. It was not planned out. It just, it happened that way.

Oliver Graf: It was super organic and it was perfect timing because again to get all these people, I remember just watching it. I’m keep my finger on the pulse, I grew up surfing my whole life and I would just, every time I saw it saw Saint Archer, I would just buy it over everything else because I knew it was part of the scene. I want to support seeing whatever, whatever. I think that was that on purpose or do you think that just happened organically because I think it’s why the main reason you guys kind of blew up so fast, right? I mean-

Mikey Taylor: Gosh, it’s so funny looking back and trying to figure out why it worked, right. I actually truthfully believe that timing is everything and I think there’s a lot of great ideas and great companies that can get introduced at the wrong time and it doesn’t work, right. For us, I think a big component was when it launched and where social media was at at that time, right. It was, it’s so funny man talking about this. We raised the money to start the company, right? Which was hard for us to deal and we were already running it pretty lean and we’re looking at our marketing budget which was already nothing, and we’re trying to figure out ways to cut our marketing back.

I don’t do, this might’ve been Josh, I don’t remember who even said this, but somebody came up with the idea of, Hey look, the majority of our investors have a social media following. What if we just post it on Instagram-

Oliver Graf: Put it out there.

Mikey Taylor: Now it sounds stupid [crosstalk 00:35:33].

Oliver Graf: That’s crazy.

Mikey Taylor: Would people… Could we do that?

Oliver Graf: Could that be a thing?

Mikey Taylor: It was our whole idea on how to save money.

Oliver Graf: This was influencer marketing, influencer marketing?

Mikey Taylor: Totally on accident, let’s try and save money. What happened is on social media, it was in skateboarding you never had all these guys come together to create a company outside of skateboarding, right. It was always skateboard companies, apparel brands, a craft brewery.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: Then later on with all these guys, that was just, I think there were a lot of people that looked at and went, this is amazing. We’re going to support this. You guys are now contending beyond our industry. Yes, we’re going to support it. It was just just in a line demand, it was crazy.

Oliver Graf: So how did you guys handle that scaling, that massive growth super fast because it was what a two or three year run from-

Mikey Taylor: Three half years.

Oliver Graf: Three and a half years from start to sale?

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, so it’s funny man, it’s funny man. When things are going good or things are going bad, you always have problems, right? Our problem, thankfully it was a good problem and it was how to keep up with demand which we decided to create a company in a capital intensive industry. It was expensive to grow.

Oliver Graf: Of course here, I imagine it’s not cheap to start a brewery.

Mikey Taylor: No, so that was hard and ultimately I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Josh. Josh is his personality. He’s great at pushing people through challenges. He really kept everybody pushing forward on these capital raises and on this kind of scaling window because even though you have demand doesn’t mean it’s all going to work out, right? We all feel good. Everybody’s showing up to the brewery, but we’re still losing money, we were never profitable. It’s you still have to get on board, investing more money in something that is really going to pay out if we sell. We do it was scary. It was hard. It was expensive.

Oliver Graf: How much money did you have to raise at the beginning?

Mikey Taylor: First raise was two and a half million and then I think we were at about eight and we were probably 8 million all in at the end.

Oliver Graf: That’s great. Fast forward three and a half years. A ton of growth.

Mikey Taylor: Then my career run. [crosstalk 00:37:38]. Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Let’s go to the career ending part in a second because I think, I feel that probably happened twice.

Mikey Taylor: Okay.

Oliver Graf: I imagine it happened again when you sold Saint Archer and kind of had that [crosstalk 00:37:53] now work.

Mikey Taylor: I’m going to answer-

Oliver Graf: Feeling. Basically my wife’s whole idea was starting a company was this is what I was going to do after skateboarding, right. That’s what skateboarding… That’s what Saint Archer was going to be. It was… I was still a pro skateboarder, so I was splitting my time and I remember I’ve talked to Josh three hours a day, every single day and the first year it was, okay, we can do this. At year two Josh is, dude, you’re over skateboarding.

Let’s go. Just be done with it. Let’s go. Then all of a sudden we sold the company. It was this was what I was going to do. Now I’m not and so there was such a mixed emotion we saw that it was we sold the company and we were able to give all of our investors who did, a lot of them were friends and family. That was amazing. I was also in a position of where it was okay, well what am I going to do after skateboarding?

When, so you started Saint Archer, when did the skateboarding career end and when did you sell Saint Archer?

Mikey Taylor: We sold Saint Archer and October of 2015 and my career ended in February of 2017 and then a world of hurt following.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, so then how are you dealing with that? How are you now that now that the thing after skateboarding is already coming on and the skateboarding thing is now done. How are you reflecting on like what’s next and…

Mikey Taylor: Poorly? I thought. Look, there’s nothing can prepare you for something like that unfortunately even thankfully I was in a position where I had put myself in a financially stable position but dude, I was already a very… What would the term be? I felt very humble in the sense of what my world actually was and I felt very clear on the fact that this wasn’t going to last forever. Still, nothing prepares you for your whole identity being one thing and then it not being.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: It was dude, in the beginning all I could say it was you just no longer feel like you. [inaudible 00:40:01] no, now you’re not. The initial feeling was, how do I get back to feeling me?

I remember for like four months it was how do I get back to feeling Mikey? What I was doing was trying to start… I was trying to come up with ideas of a new company that would then become my identity was what I was trying to solve this pain with. It was dude, I would try to come up with this idea. I would get all the way to for example, I was going to do a shoe company, right? I was going to do a shoe company because my main sponsor, which was a shoe company, kicked me off and I went into this like defense mode. Okay fine, I’m going to kill you with success. I’m going to start a shoe company, I’m going to beat your shoe company right and I get all the way to the point of having samples, the brand identity, done samples from China. I’m looking at a shoe going, why am I doing this? Why don’t I just work on the court issue instead of trying to create the bandaid to hide it?

Oliver Graf: Interesting.

Mikey Taylor: That was a very humbling experience because ultimately I think that is where I accepted that I was at my lowest and there’s something painful but also refreshing about being at the bottom in a sense of there’s only upside from there. I kind of recognize that there was a lot of things I needed to work through.

Oliver Graf: It’s just crazy that was your lowest when you had a hugely successful skateboarding career, you sold this amazing business that you started and now here you are feeling at your lowest?

Mikey Taylor: It shows you how powerful purpose is.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: Right, success doesn’t equal purpose. It’s I think it’s such a bigger conversation, but us as people need a purpose to push forward, right? Regardless if it’s business, if it’s identity, it’s ultimately why are we here? Once the purpose is gone, you questioned not only who you are, but what is the point in me waking up to do anything-

Oliver Graf: What I’m doing with my life?

Mikey Taylor: Right? It’s funny, man, yeah. From a financial standpoint, I was as successful as I had ever been and I was as miserable as I’d ever been. I was more happy at 18 making 500 bucks a month, skateboarding every day, right? It’s ultimately I had to find what my purpose was to then motivate me to be happy and inspired to go out and basically beat the next day. It’s funny, man. I think it happens for everyone. It just happened for me earlier, right?

You hear about a lot of people retiring at 65 and then they go through this identity crisis. I just hadn’t figured out at 35, I was 34, okay. Shit, I’m retiring at 34 what the hell am I now? that was brutal, absolutely brutal.

Oliver Graf: I want to ask you just a totally random hater question that I saw on the internet. Saint Archer sold to Miller and at that point in time that was kind of-

Mikey Taylor: Whack.

Oliver Graf: Whack. People were Oh, you sold out this and that. What’s your response to that?

Mikey Taylor: What was my response to that or was it now?

Oliver Graf: Yeah, both.

Mikey Taylor: What my response then was I was ashamed truthfully.

Oliver Graf: It’s crazy, right, it’s crazy.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, I mean, indeed for us it’s… You got to understand the skate world to understand that that philosophy. The skate world is very anti success, right?

It’s not when you sell something, it is selling out. There was a part of it that felt like we were selling out. It didn’t… I didn’t get to possibly a year after it happened where I was you know what, why am I letting this, this kind of consumption of negative feelings make me not proud of something we did that was amazing.

Oliver Graf: It was amazing.

Mikey Taylor: Right, it was just, I mean dude-

Oliver Graf: You probably got your friends and family a ton of money for everyone-

Mikey Taylor: This is the thing. We talk about we are who we are. The products were a product of the environment we grew up in, right. I grew up in the skate community from 13 to 34 that’s all my life was. Skateboarding is very negative truthfully. It is like if you’re not a skater, we don’t talk you, we hate you. It’s a very anti everyone.

Oliver Graf: It’s inclusive if you’re a skateboarder and very not and you’re not.

Mikey Taylor: Absolutely even to this point, I’ve had to work through a lot of challenges by being brought up in that environment. Now there’s a lot of positive aspects to it as well. Something like building a company and selling it dude for all the skaters involved. It was share we sold out.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, sell a number [inaudible 00:44:51]-

Mikey Taylor: Totally. It was tough man. I remember a week after is when ballast point sold and so that was some cover for us because they sold for 1 million bucks. We were like everybody stopped talking about Saint Archer. We were like woo, we dodged that pressure’s off. Then I got a little older and was what, this changed a lot of people’s lives.

I’ll tell her specifically my parents. My dad-

Oliver Graf: How good does that feel?

Mikey Taylor: Oh my God, I’ll do that over and over and over again to put my parents and completely different scenario and then who would become my father-in-law and mother-in-law and my uncle. It was like bro, there’s so many personal… My actual family was invested in this thing and then all my friends were to see people that are my closest friends have this type of awareness. It was like you know what? Okay this is huge. This is something we should be proud of.

Oliver Graf: [inaudible 00:45:46] really cool [crosstalk 00:45:47].

Mikey Taylor: Down to is people when you’re building a brand, right? We go back to the beginning. When you’re building a brand, there needs to be a purpose beyond the money, right? When you sell a company, a lot of people have this sense of being lied to, that your intentions were just a lie to them to sell something, right?

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: I think that was where I was challenged by it, but it was what, because I’m doing something for a reason. If the money follows, then that doesn’t mean my intentions weren’t pure.

Oliver Graf: Right, exactly.

Mikey Taylor: Right.

Oliver Graf: There’s nothing wrong with making a profit if it’s made the right way and everybody wins.

Mikey Taylor: Bingo. Bingo, but dude, skateboarding man [crosstalk 00:46:28] stoked on business long time?

Oliver Graf: That’s crazy. You hide your payday, you’ve overcome the emotional trauma of your skateboarding career ending. Now you start Commune Capital. What is the longterm vision with Commune Capital or what was the initial agenda first and then kind of where you want to take it?

Mikey Taylor: The initial idea was to do everything Randy did for me, for as many athletes as I possibly could was the initial vision. I say that in a sense of it sounds exclusive to athletes. In the beginning it was straight up. It was I felt very isolated in the sense of I was on an Island by myself because all my friends that were skaters were going to have the same experience that I was fortunate to have all because my dad was like, yo dog, you’re going to go speak to Randy. I had somebody come into my life and actually teach me about money. It was my initial vision was how can I duplicate him in this next company?

Oliver Graf: That’s great.

Mikey Taylor: Then what ended up happening, and it’s really crazy to even talk about, it started off this small, right for skateboarders. Then it was okay and then we got a golfer and a football player and then it was it started expanding to other categories inside of skateboarding.

What blew me away was the amount of sales guys who resonated with the athlete message, where for athletes we have to figure out how to retire in 10 years, right, but a sales guy, when you think about it, they have the same highs and lows that we have of not knowing what the next year is going to be like.

Oliver Graf: Right?

Mikey Taylor: For us, the only security we would have was a three year contract. For a sales guy, they’re really only security is the year that they performed and then the next year-

Oliver Graf: You’re going to have a superstar year and then the next year can be-

Mikey Taylor: Bingo so what really, I was, I guess my eyes were opened in is how much this message relates to more than just athletes. We started having… I started having a lot of sales guys go, “Hey dude, I know that thing?”

I know exactly what you’re talking about by not knowing what the future looks like. Then what was happening is there was a big similarity in an athlete having to reinvent themselves after skateboarding.

Oliver Graf: It could be emotional signs as well.

Mikey Taylor: A sales guy is always having to reinvent himself also. It’s there are so many similarities in the two past and then we started getting a lot of sales guys peeing a part of the community and then it was like we started having entrepreneurs and it started expanding into a bigger group than I originally intended, which has been humbling and exciting at the same time.

Oliver Graf: It’s quite amazing.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: On the website it says, and I love this quote, “Financial freedom isn’t a dream but rather a tangible life verse pursuing and through Commune Capital, the way I understand the goals acquiring and repositioning multifamily and mixed use properties in gentrifying areas.”

Mikey Taylor: I don’t like that term if that’s still the term, I got to change it.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: I’m glad you said that because…

Oliver Graf: I’m actually glad you said that too because I got another hater comment for you.

Mikey Taylor: That’s fair. I’m so glad you said that. That actually brings me into having to change that. I would say there’s a component of investing that only gets you so far, right? The ultimate goal would be for you to invest with us, to have an opportunity to build past income but to also be a partner in learn with us like Randy taught me.

Oliver Graf: I love that.

Mikey Taylor: There is a big component that the people that are involved in our fund, did we spend time with educat-

Oliver Graf: You’re really bringing them in?

Mikey Taylor: Oh yeah, I need them. I’m glad we had this. I need to put more emphasis on that. The part about gentrification is it’s a shitty word. It sounds too cut throat, and I probably should have been more because I don’t know. When did you get this? When did you get that? Has that been changed?

Oliver Graf: I don’t know. Let me read you the hater comment and then-

Mikey Taylor: Because, well actually before you read the hater comment, I just got to give it context. I didn’t realize when I started the company that gentrification had such a negative view. I just thought it was an area turning around.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: That’s a case of not having enough information and just putting it out there. I think that’s actually been changed and I think the big thing was there are so many people doing bad business and it being associated with what gentrification is. That I don’t like how that makes our company sound because I think that I don’t believe in a lot of the people that are doing business the wrong way.

Oliver Graf: I think it does. The word rubs people the wrong way which I can understand.

Mikey Taylor: Sounds like you’re ripping people out of their homes. I totally understand that and sympathize for it because it’s-

Oliver Graf: Cheers.

Mikey Taylor: Cheers. Say the comments.

Oliver Graf: All right, the hater comment and it is strictly basically related around the gentrification terms, right with no regard for the classist and racist connotations of using the word gentrification in a positive light in an investor pitch no less or what the value add strategy might spell for local residents trying to survive a devastating rent surge. Mikey shortsightedness did not even consider how his business might affect his own well community.

Mikey Taylor: That was an article… That was a full article that… That’s funny man. Sometimes people say things and it affects you. That was one that hit me and I probably spent more time evaluating what I was doing beyond the normal hater, which actually sometimes is healthy. I think for us, I had to get to a point of going, am I doing this for the right cause and ultimately does he have a different view of what we’re actually doing? Did I make an error on communicating in the wrong way? I believe I did and why we’ve changed the language to hopefully fit what we’re actually dealing with.

Oliver Graf: Excellent sense there.

Mikey Taylor: Gentrification could be so many different things. A big component of what we do is re-purposing, right? We have a project right now where we bought a foreclosed Sears building, right?

It was a dark Sears building, completely dark and it was attached to a mall that is on the verge of going dark. You can consider us buying a series building and scraping it, which is our plan and building a mixed use community of retail and parks and living. You can, that is considered gentrification, right?

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: We have a dark building that was once a staple for the community that is now an eyesore of misery in a sense. We’re creating new life out of it where you could argue that no one is losing a home or… There’s ways to do it in which are good. But God, I’m going to agree with him in the sense of when you say judge Asia has a negative viewpoint too.

Oliver Graf: That’s interesting response because I… When I read it, I was… I see his point, but I thought it was a little unfair, right?

Mikey Taylor: I agree with you. You know what, actually this, this could actually benefit a lot of people because this hugely benefited me. When you hear criticism, you need to understand that a lot of times they’re saying it through their experience and not yours, right? When I first listened to this guy, immediately it took me to defense mode. No, I’m not. Well that’s not why I’m doing this. That’s not how we do business, right?

Oliver Graf: It’s harsh.

Mikey Taylor: Then the second time I read it, once I calmed down, I tried to read it through his perspective. I don’t know what his experience was. He might’ve lived in a house and was barely scraping by and somebody might’ve came in and raises rents to a point of he had to leave and his experience could have been very painful.

Oliver Graf: 100%.

Mikey Taylor: That’s being portrayed on me as I being the one who’s doing it to him right? That doesn’t mean that. That means he might’ve had a bad experience and I’m just the one he’s taking out on. I I think viewing it as that has allowed myself to not take things so personal and being kind of stuck in this trap of battling with a guy that doesn’t help me build my vision or my purpose.

Oliver Graf: I love that.

Mikey Taylor: That’s how you got-

Oliver Graf: a very mature answer.

Mikey Taylor: Look it, I have had a lot of experience of doing it the wrong way. I mean to be on social media, it’s like you have people attacking you always, right? If you’re going to succeed at it, you’ve got to get to a point where, what the words that people are using towards you don’t cripple you from what you’re trying to accomplish. That was like a powerful one for me.

Oliver Graf: I think one of the biggest things with real estate investors is yeah, there’s some unscrupulous people out there that are doing things the wrong way up to no good. In reality, when you go into an area that needs love, right and neighborhood and you go in there and you turn around a building and you add video cameras to make it safer, add lighting to make it safer, fix the building, kick out any drug dealers and any people that shouldn’t be there, so it’s a safe, then really you’re doing a lot of good for the community and if you’re able to make money in the process, so the personal win-win.

Mikey Taylor: [inaudible 00:56:02] in which you look through it, right. It’s and dude, they’re, do we do deep, deep value add projects, right? We find buildings that are dead or incredibly run down. It’s somebody might say, Oh yeah dude, you’re kicking people out of their home. Dude, no, that is not what we’re doing. We have a cockroach infested crack-

Oliver Graf: a trap house.

Mikey Taylor: We’re creating actual, we’re creating area for people to actually use. There is a part of me that understands it. It’s I know there’s, look, there’s a responsibility in it for us to do things the right way and there’s going to be people that do it the wrong way but that’s everything. That’s beyond real estate. It’s life. I mean look at the police. There’s bad cops, there’s good cops.

Oliver Graf: Perfect example.

Mikey Taylor: You can’t just say all cops are out killing. You can’t say that, it’s not true.

Oliver Graf: All right, yeah, it’s not true.

Mikey Taylor: That’s the message that goes on

Oliver Graf: Also is the message coming from certain people’s experience back to your point about-

Mikey Taylor: Exactly right. Do through your experience. That’s absolutely true, right? You just have to recognize that we all have different filters or lenses. Where do you want to call it?

Oliver Graf: What sort of projects are you looking for now? Is it mainly multifamily apartments and storage units or what? What’s kind of the bread and butter for your vision?

Mikey Taylor: Okay, it’s funny, there’s… I would say for the vision of what I’m trying to accomplish for our investors right now it’s multifamily and storage. I think those are the, just the two components that we… The asset classes that we drive for that. I think the thing about multifamily that I really like dude, like if for anybody who’s in storage, they know for anyway is not. Storage in [inaudible 00:57:59], a great asset class, they cast full like crazy, they’re stable, they’re pretty awesome from an investment standpoint, from a creative who came from skate and apartment building is a lot easier to-

Oliver Graf: It’s not so much easier with storage in it.

Mikey Taylor: I do the apartment side because you are building a community that people are actually living in a part of. There is a part of that asset class that I think lends towards my skills, not the right word. It’s more of… I don’t know, enjoyable in a sense.

Oliver Graf: Yeah and you can beautify it like it totally. It’s a piece of art.

Mikey Taylor: You can contend with culture in an apartment building where I don’t want to say you can’t storage, I just have figured out how to-

Oliver Graf: Right, [inaudible 00:58:38].

Mikey Taylor: But storage has been good. I would say that’s where we focus.

Oliver Graf: Then how are you raising money for these deals? It’s mainly private investors, I’m guessing. Is it accredited? Non-accredited? Everyone.

Mikey Taylor: Okay, so right now it’s accredited investors only-

Oliver Graf: Which is rough for raising money.

Mikey Taylor: Oh, well you know what it isn’t.

Oliver Graf: I agree totally.

Mikey Taylor: Okay, if you’re going specifically on raising money, I think you can raise more money from accredited investors, right? But when your purpose is trying to get people to financial freedom, coming from an industry with the majority of them aren’t accredited, that really limits my vision. I’ll say this, we do not have what would be a reggae offering reggae plus offering right now.

Oliver Graf: We will.

Mikey Taylor: There absolutely is going to be a time where non-accredited can participate in our community alongside accredited because that’s ultimately, I think, my vision and purpose. But gosh, working through this world is different than anything I’ve ever done before. It’s incredibly different than the brewery industry or the craft beer industry. It’s incredibly different in the skate industry. There’s just way more regulations some-

Oliver Graf: A lot of red tape.

Mikey Taylor: Oh my gosh, you have no idea. It’s funny, man. It’s the first time I’ve actually ever felt I was part of a corporate structure because prior to this we did whatever we wanted. Boom, boom.

Oliver Graf: No rules.

Mikey Taylor: No, I never had to worry about being regulated by the ACC. It was wait, what? I have a compliance officer. It was just, that part is new for me.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, you’re liking the multifamily space. You’re going after accredited investors to raise money. How are you guys finding the deals that you’re looking for because I think for a lot of investors out there, that’s probably the biggest challenge. It’s money or deals, right? Depending on which side of the coin you are.

Mikey Taylor: Check in the end, right?

Oliver Graf: How are you guys finding deals?

Mikey Taylor: We use brokers-

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: To this deal… To this point, or I shouldn’t say it like that. We use brokers and a lot of it has been, God, where am I going to start on this? Okay, so brokers can be great if you can create a great relationship with them, right? What you’re ultimately trying to do is get access to off market deals where we want to participate.

Oliver Graf: You want to be call number one?

Mikey Taylor: You want to be called number one, right? You need to become very good at networking and start actually building a trustworthy relationship to have access to those deals. That takes time. There’s a component where for who my partners are and a lot of the relationships that they had built prior to this new company and truthfully I’ve been able to, I’ve gotten good at leveraging what I’ve done in the past to create new relationships in the future, right? For example we participate long beach, I’ve been able to use who I am to get in the door to them basically guy making the decision. Then I’m able to start creating the relationships to then start seeing actual off market deals, not just that I was just test these guys throw in the crap. Right, so I would say it just takes time for anyone who, so to answer your question, we use brokers. we have relationships with brokers who we’re at a point where we see off market deals with.

There also is a part where we have used developers that we’ve done deals with that will basically bring us a project that they’ve gotten under contract-

Oliver Graf: Oh nice.

Mikey Taylor: We will come in and become the equity.

Oliver Graf: It’s ready to go, they just need the money.

Mikey Taylor: Yes, so we get to participate in that side as well.

Oliver Graf: Cool.

Mikey Taylor: For somebody who wants to go find their own deals, it’s the art of the first deal, right? It is incredibly hard to get your first deal. It really is, right. Really you have to understand the broker world. I think a lot of your listeners are brokers, right? Brokers get paid when you close, right? If you have this massive project and you’re going to make money when you sell it, you’ve got to take a huge leap of faith to trust somebody that you’ve never met before to pass them a deal and risk not closing on, which means you’re not making money.

Oliver Graf: Right exactly.

Mikey Taylor: Typically let’s just use apartments because that’s where we focus. The brokers bring deals to people they know we’re going to close.

Oliver Graf: Exactly.

Mikey Taylor: Right, so for somebody trying to break in, yeah, it’s an uphill battle in the beginning. A lot of times it might take you 12-15 months to get one broker to go, you know what, [inaudible 01:03:22] dog.

Oliver Graf: You’re my guy.

Mikey Taylor: You’ve been hounding me every single week for 14 months. All right, I’m going to give you a shot. Then you better close.

Oliver Graf: You better close from that shot.

Mikey Taylor: The thing that is amazing is when you do close, you’re going to get a followup deal right away and another deal and another deal. Then it’s just… It just started coming at you like full force, right. You just have to push through to get the first deal, that’s the challenge.

Oliver Graf: That’s a very good point because it’s hard to get to pull position.

Mikey Taylor: Hell yeah.

Oliver Graf: Once your pull position, if you’re closing [crosstalk 01:03:53] position all day because they know that you can…

Mikey Taylor: Look, so I would recommend this. If you’re starting to create a relationship with a broker, he is going to be vetting you to find out if you are going to close or not. You need to know what you’re talking about, right? That’s a big one. If you see anything that might give him a hint that you won’t close, you lost your opportunity. Make sure you are educated let’s say apartment buildings, right? You have a lot of a single family investors that want to move into apartment buildings. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how big your portfolio is in single family. Brokers in multifamily do not care at all.

Oliver Graf: Different world yet. They don’t care.

Mikey Taylor: Completely different. They want to know how many apartment buildings you’ve closed on. I’m not talking duplexes or quads.

Oliver Graf: Right?

Mikey Taylor: You need to make sure you can hang in this world. You know all of the terms. If you do go through a walkthrough with them, you’re actually asking relevant questions because ultimately you’re building trust over and over to them to go… For them to go, okay, you know what? I’m going to give you one. Okay, fine, seriously broken me down, loading up. Here you go. You just need to be willing to go through a whole year of eating crabs until they throw you a bone.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, it’s the kid asking for ice cream.

Mikey Taylor: It’s exactly right.

Oliver Graf: It keeps asking until he gets that ice cream.

Mikey Taylor: That’s exactly. You have to be so persistent. That’s what I think if you’re getting into like doing deals yourself, that’s where you want to go. If you’re investing in other people, I think it’s less about how do you find deals and more about how do you do diligence on the… How do you do due diligence on the people you’re investing with? It’s probably the more relative question.

Oliver Graf: That’s a great transition which transitions right into my next question of how are you, why you, why Commune Capital versus someone else?

Mikey Taylor: That’s a good question. All goes back to building brands, right?

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: I think people that invest with us resonate with what we’re doing. I say that because look in today’s market, right? You know this. You pretty much are going to see the same return from every deal, right? It’s going to be anywhere from a six to 8% pref. It’s going to be most likely within a teen IRR based on if you’re looking to buy on cashflow or appreciation or both, right? It’s all pretty much the same right now.

Oliver Graf: Right?

Mikey Taylor: The question really becomes who do you want to associate with and what is it going to be a better experience? Right? Now leaning into the investor that I have been, I’ve had experience investing in, let’s say my partners now Randy and his real estate deals.

I’ve invested in other startups. The problem that a lot of investors feel is that they’re always in the dark. They never know what’s going on, right? I’ve experienced that on the startup phase, but I did not experience that with my beginning investing in storage units. I felt like I was part of the team, right. I would say if you want to actually have an investment in something and learn about it and feel like a part of a community, and it ultimately there being more return than the actual IRR number, we’re a good person invest with if what we’re investing in aligns with what your goals are, right? That’s a big one. A lot of people if you’re a cashflow investor, well you’re not going to invest in a growth fund. If you’re looking for growth, you’re not going to invest in cashflow.

You need to be pretty clear on what your intentions are.

Oliver Graf: You hit the nail on the head with your own experience because you’ve done it both ways. You’ve seen both sides. I think that education piece that you guys bring in is the missing piece for a lot of funds because a lot of people that invest in people and funds, they feel like they’re giving them the money and then they’re, it’s kind of they’re going to just go and do their thing.

Mikey Taylor: That’s what a lot of time happens. That’s true, they are stressed. Unfortunately, that’s usually what happens.

Oliver Graf: The way that you bring people in, keep them informed is I think a key piece in terms of engaging investors and getting more investors and increasing word of mouth referrals all that kind of thing.

Mikey Taylor: I think it all comes down to your experience, right? This is what I’ve learned. There’s times that I’ve invested in something where the return might’ve been smaller than something else, but my experience was so much greater that I was, wow, I actually liked that more than the other. That’s not saying our returns are smaller, but I think there is a value also in your experience, right? What we try to do is our whole vision is making it more than an investment. It’s making it a community of people that actually want to know what’s going on, feel a part of something. It’s just I mean do we put a lot of focus on community, whether it’s what we build are actual investors. We want this to be an actual I’m a part of this mission.

Oliver Graf: How are you set up in terms of your fund when people put money in, is there different thresholds get preferred rates or return, some don’t, how does-

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, it’s a nice question. Basically we do a preferred return for everybody like talking specific to our deal, we have an 8% preferred return and then we have a targeted IRR. You get that no matter what. For people who don’t know what a preferred return is, that basically means that you get paid first. It’s a good way for, I think us to put our money where our mouth is. If you want to invest with me, you’re taking the first day-

Oliver Graf: That’s a nice guarantee.

Mikey Taylor: Before I even touch anything. I think that’s good. There are different thresholds as far as Kerry goes based on what you invest.

Oliver Graf: Yep.

Mikey Taylor: For us that’s at $1 million. If you invest below $1 million, you have a percentage of equity or the turn that you get, you know the higher with-

Oliver Graf: More than a million.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah and that’s really when you start getting into the million plus you start dealing with more institution money. We have to as managers give up on our return to-

Oliver Graf: To make [inaudible 01:09:50].

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Then what’s your exit strategy on most of these deals?

Mikey Taylor: We are buy and hold, we’re a buy and hold group.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: It’s not saying we never sell them, but we do not flip.

Oliver Graf: Okay.

Mikey Taylor: Kind of how we build out our, let’s say our proforma. We show everything typically on a five to seven year old and we’re trying to accomplish a certain IRR by ultimately two of three things. You have your cashflow from let’s call it one individual apartment building. You have the possibility of a refi or multiple refis and then you have an option of a sale. If we can’t hit our projected IRR by a refi, then we will possibly consider selling it to achieve that return-

Oliver Graf: To get it on paid out.

Mikey Taylor: We haven’t had to do that yet.

Oliver Graf: Cool.

Mikey Taylor: We at least when we build out what our exit is, if we’re not able to do it, that absolutely is an option.

Oliver Graf: The strategy is right now buy it-

Mikey Taylor: We buy-

Oliver Graf: Renovate-

Mikey Taylor: We buy-

Oliver Graf: Refinance, get the money back, hold it-

Mikey Taylor: Let’s say a perfect scenario. Let’s use that for example. We buy something, we renovate, we refi and then possibly or hopefully move into a down the project and then do the same thing over again and the burst strategy, so bigger pockets to use. That’s ultimately what we prefer to do, but if something doesn’t work out and we’re not able to refi and we’re not able to hit our targeted returns, that would probably be a place in where we said, okay, we might have to sell it to be able to get those returns. We just haven’t had to yet.

Oliver Graf: Hopefully you don’t.

Mikey Taylor: Hopefully we don’t. I think the buy and hold strategy is how you actually generate real wealth.

Oliver Graf: Yeah.

Mikey Taylor: I think when you flip, you get stuck on this mentality of quick money now, but it’s not forever money.

Oliver Graf: Right.

Mikey Taylor: I like staying there. It’s where I’ve always participated in.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, I love it. Longterm cashflow.

Mikey Taylor: If we got to be patient with that.

Oliver Graf: You’re very patient.

Mikey Taylor: You got to be patient.

Oliver Graf: Very patient.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: You’ve had all of these things that you’ve done in your career, right? You’ve lived the highs, the amazing times would be a pro skater. You’ve had the big exit on the business, you’re working on a real estate fund for longterm wealth creation. What has brought you the most joy over the years and not in terms of like which one of those three but I just mean in general, what really gets you excited about the things you’ve been doing?

Mikey Taylor: Do truthfully, I’d probably have to say there’s been bits and pieces of each one. I think skating, it was… I got to experience something that most people don’t get to experience. I think that was something pretty cool for like a kid from Newbury park to find skateboarding ended up turning into a career and traveling the world. That was something that I recognize was I was lucky in a sense or experience that. The brewery, I think the thing I’m most thankful for the brewery was what we learned through it. Then also when you’re able to give money back to people who trust in you, that’s a feeling that I had never experienced prior to that. I think with what I’m doing now is probably the most, it’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done actually.

I think it’s because this is the first time where it hasn’t been so selfish and truthfully. Prior to me losing my career, it was all about that.

Oliver Graf: It’s not just about Mikey.

Mikey Taylor: No and it was for a long time. That was most of my life tell you the truth. When I had to figure out what my purpose was, I had to reevaluate what was important to me and I did. I was married and a dad at that point. There was a part where I had to take a step back and work on being more selfless and there was a feeling I get now, even if it’s people, I don’t know if it’s a DM or a comment that’s just to thank you, you’ve, I have never looked at it that way. I’m so glad you’re doing this.

That’s a feeling that is very new for me. It’s something that feels incredibly rewarding and to tell the truth, the relationship I have with my wife and kids is something that I want everyone to experience because I am.. I was married and had kids prior to me coming to this idea of it’s not all about me and my life is just more blessed now beyond the money. It’s just we’re happier and there’s way more joy in our life because of it.

Oliver Graf: They seem genuinely happy which is-

Mikey Taylor: It’s something I don’t take lightly because I know there’s a lot of people that are struggling with that. I think what puts me in a position of feeling so driven to do this is that I’ve experienced both sides of it and I know that it’s not luck that gives you happiness, right?

Actually it’s so funny. It’s usually the things that aren’t easy actually bring you the most joy, right? It’s very easy for us to be selfish. It’s really easy for me to go, yo, dog, I’m just doing my thing, right.

Oliver Graf: We’ll stay in my lane.

Mikey Taylor: That’s easy but it’s not rewarding. The thing that’s hard is going, Hey, you know what? I’m going to put you first. Especially when you say something bad about me and then I’m going to really put you first. That’s where you actually create more joy. It just takes more work. That’s something that I’ve learned later in my life, but my life’s pretty short, so I still have a lot of room to increase or improve on it. It’s something that can be done.

Oliver Graf: A lot more to do.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: The exciting part too is this real estate fund is something that won’t ever expire.

Mikey Taylor: Seriously, I can’t tell you how awesome that is.

Oliver Graf: I could do that forever, which is amazing. Just a question of Facebook. I posted that we were going to be interviewing you and this is from Eric up church. Shout out to Eric. You seem to have the X factor with all of the things that you’ve done in your career. What would you say is the one thing that’s really driven you to that success in your endeavors?

Mikey Taylor: Such a great question. The… Oh man, where do I even begin with this? Everything that I’ve been able to accomplish has been because of other people. I say that in the sense of I’ve always surrounded myself by… I’ve already… I’ve always surrounded myself with people who are better at things that I’m not good at. Whether it was Saint Archer or Sovereign or Commune, I’ve been very self aware on what my strengths and what my weaknesses are. I didn’t willing to not have to be the the focal point in a sense of allowing other people to succeed and flourish in an area that I can, right. I think a lot of people get held up on wanting to take all the credit and what stops what I would say limits their growth is if you want all the credit, it’s hard to have other people get behind you and want to build something great.

But if you’re willing to take a step back and go, you know what, this is all of us together. Let’s all glorify each other. Let’s all show each other’s strengths and we’re going to win. That’s how I’ve always tried to build things. It’s, I’ve never had to be the sole owner. I’ve always tried to have people around me and give them as much praise as ultimately I think they would give me. I think that’s how you create magic.

Oliver Graf: Great advice to just build a team, outsource your weaknesses.

Mikey Taylor: Let me add to that. If you can’t build a company that you can walk away from, you’re not building a company correctly, right? That’s hard for people to deal, right? It’s hard to say, Hey, you know what? You got this. I trust you. It’s hard to do. That should be your goal, but you have to have a lot of confidence in yourself to go, you know what, these guys got this. I could take a step back and somebody might question me and go, Hey, but these guys are doing this, aren’t you supposed to be doing that? Well, no, actually Oliver’s better than me at that. He actually kills it at that. I’m not great at that. It’s hard for people to admit that people are better than them at things.

Oliver Graf: I love too how you’re spreading the love around to at that point. It’s not all about, it’s not the Mikey show. It’s let’s bring everyone up together kind of vibe.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah, but I look, I think that’s what I experienced as a kid. Thankfully that was the group around me. They built other people to succeed and I just, I saw how that worked and I saw how that felt to me, right.

Did Randy did not have to do that for me.

Oliver Graf: Right, it’s amazing, no its amazing.

Mikey Taylor: Randy could have been, I got your dog. You don’t think he built me up and it was I experienced what that did for my life and I want to do that for others. It’s..

Oliver Graf: What’s fascinating is how many times he showed up in your life over the years.

Mikey Taylor: He’s my partner now.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, it’s amazing. It’s really fascinating.

Mikey Taylor: It’s insane. Yeah.

Oliver Graf: That’s crazy.

Mikey Taylor: It’s cool. Yeah. I don’t know, I think like just get to a point of being humble and selfless. It’s funny as that. We think humble and selfless means anti success. That’s been the key to my success, truthfully.

Oliver Graf: It’s really great.

Mikey Taylor: Yeah.

Oliver Graf: Well I really appreciate the time. I just want to end with what advice would you because you’ve kind of become sort of inspirational in the entrepreneur space. What would advice would you give to someone who’s kind of earlier in the career wanting to level up, wanting to do the entrepreneur thing?

Mikey Taylor: Okay, I’m going to give this to you through my experience, rig

Oliver Graf: Perfect.

Mikey Taylor: My experience I struggled with at an early age worrying about what other people were going to think of me. It limited what I was going out to do because I would allow their opinion to ultimately rule my life. If you’re just getting started and most likely you’re going to be dealing with your parents or friends that are going to tell you you’re crazy [crosstalk 01:20:02], you have to just recognize that they care about you and they’re worried for you, but they don’t rule you and you need to just go out and get past it, move forward, and ultimately lead, right? It’s really getting to a point of you are going to have to accept that you’re going to be the leader and it’s going to be difficult, but you have to move forward and trust me just push through and push through and push through and you’ll be blessed by it.

Oliver Graf: I love it.

Amen to that. Hallelujah. Really appreciate it man. I just want to say thanks again.

Mikey Taylor: I appreciate that.

Oliver Graf: Your time has been amazing. You gave a ton of valuable nuggets and we appreciate you. If you’re watching, give us a like leave a comment. If you have any questions, I’m sure we can circle back with Mikey and we’ll see on the next episode of Founders Club. Today we’re out here at Helmsman Ale house in Newport beach. I’m sitting here with one of the owners, Andrew and the head brewer, Dylan, and they’re going to give us a tour of their establishment. Before we get started, why don’t you just kind of tell us a little bit about the vision of the place that you had here when you first opened it. I know that there’s not a lot of breweries in this area, so what kind of was the division behind it?

Andrew: Yeah, we’re actually the one and only brewery in Newport beach, which is kind of cool, at least for now. We can keep saying that as long as we can until the next one opens. This place originally opened mid to late nineties and it was very busy back in the day and kind of ahead of the curve a little bit in the craft beer scene for this area, but then kind of got a little tired and we acquired it, operated it for almost a year while we were working on plans to do what you see now. When we got those plans we came in and ripped it apart-

Oliver Graf: And made what you see here today.

Andrew: Yes.

Oliver Graf: Yeah, so I think one thing that’s really cool is that you guys were telling me you guys do 15 beers on site here. Can you talk a little bit about the brewing facility and what you guys have put together in terms of the beer that you guys are putting out?

Dylan: Yeah, I mean we’ve got 14 lines here. As we took a while to build up the list of brands that we brew here. We’ve been supplementing those with guest beers. Right now I think we’ve got nine of our own house brew beers here. Try to have a good spread of like color, alcohol content, style, kind of have something for everyone. If you like light beer, I’m really into the gunboat pale right now. Turned out really good. It’s sort of a perfect marriage of California pale ale at that more happy end and classic English pale ale, which is more on the malty end.

Oliver Graf: Cool man. Maybe I’ll have to give that a try. Why don’t we take a little tour and kind of talk about what you guys got going on behind the bar back here.

Dylan: This is the original brewhouse from Newport beach Brewco. It’s made in 1994 by specific mechanical, so that Canadian manufacturer. We used… Reused all of the vessels, all of the critical equipment like piping pumps, all that stuff got replaced. We’ve got a new chiller, new boiler, new mill and gris case, grain handling. Everything’s pretty freshened up and I worked pretty hard to get these vessels back to good working condition.

Oliver Graf: You saved them, you brought them back.

Dylan: We did.

Oliver Graf: Very cool.

Dylan: Heavy chemical cleanings brighten the stainless right back to-

Oliver Graf: Nice, yeah, it looks beautiful guys. I mean, you’re doing an incredible job. What would you say that you’re kind of most proud of now that you’ve got it pretty well done?

Andrew: I think just it’s always been a dream of ours to have a brewery and make our own beer. I think just this whole project coming together and hiring, being able to hire Dylan to make some killer beers. It’s been good even in the kitchen too, if they’re putting out some good food, overall, we’re really excited about, very cool.

Oliver Graf: Very cool. Thanks for sharing guys. I’m really looking forward to trying a couple of the beers, trying some food. If you’re in the area down here on Lido Island, anywhere in Newport beach, come check them out at Helmsman Ale House.

From Pro Skateboarder to Multimillionaire Real Estate Investor ft. Mikey Taylor on Founders Club 1-20-30 screenshot (1)

Pullout Quotes:

“The fear never goes away. You just get better at monitoring it.”

“Everything else I did was an extension of me just pushing myself through what I was scared of doing.”

“If there’s no trust, it’s hard to get a consumer to not only purchase, but to feel part of the community.”

“Once I started making more, I already had the tools to be responsible to then go implement into investing.”

“I felt very clear on the fact that [skating] wasn’t going to last forever. Still, nothing prepares you for your whole identity being one thing—and then it not being. You just no longer feel like you.”

“There’s something painful but also refreshing about being at the bottom in the sense that there’s only upside from there.”

“Success does not equal purpose.”

“When you’re building a brand, there needs to be a purpose beyond the money.”

“The ultimate goal would be for you to invest with us, to have an opportunity to build passive income but to also be a partner and learn with us.”

“When you hear criticism, you need to understand … they’re saying it through their experience and not yours.”

“It’s not luck that gives you happiness. It’s usually the things that aren’t easy actually bring you the most joy. It’s very easy for us to be selfish … but it’s not rewarding. The thing that’s hard is going, ‘You know what? I’m going to put you first.’”

“If you can’t build a company that you can walk away from, you’re not building a company correctly.”


Connect with Mikey

Connect with Oliver

Other episodes of founders club you might like:

Kent Clothier – How To Find Off Market Properties

Cory Boatright – How to Make Big Profits Wholesaling Real Estate

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