Dr. David Phelps

Join us on the Underdog podcast as we dive into the journey of transformation from a successful dentist to a real estate guru with Dr. David Phelps. David reveals the lessons learned from his hands-on experiences, the challenges overcome, and the strategies that led to his success.

Dr. Phelps, a former dentist, took an unconventional path by stepping into the world of real estate investing. From selling greeting cards door-to-door in his early days, pursuing a career in dentistry, following in his father’s footsteps, to eventually making a pivot in his life. Now with his community, Freedom Founders, they cater to professionals and business owners seeking passive real estate investments.

Key Takeaways:

  • External factors influence: sometimes individuals may find themselves on a career path influenced by external factors, like family expectations or societal norms. It is important to pursue one’s true passion, taking in consideration that the traditional route of education and career choices may not be the only path to success and fulfillment.
  • Creating financial independence: individuals, both young and old, need to move beyond the traditional mindset of trading time for dollars and to actively seek out opportunities for building passive income, particularly in real estate. For young individuals, immersing themselves in the real estate field by finding mentors or apprenticing with experienced professionals and maximizing the available platforms in this time and age. And for older individuals, being part of networks like Family Mastermind provides access to valuable connections, opportunities and education tailored to their specific needs.
  • Building your career: In building a career in real estate, success often comes over time, through consistent effort, curiosity, continuous learning and taking risks. Real estate is truly versatile, and it is only with yourself the choice to explore various facets and find what aligns with your goals and interests.

So, whether you’re a dental practitioner like David once was, a corporate professional, or an entrepreneur at heart, this episode is for you. It’s a reminder that it’s never too late to pivot towards a future where your income works for you, not the other way around.

Listen to this exciting episode. Join us for the conversation! Listen to the full episode here:

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The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also in the Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

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Dr. David Phelps’ Story of Building Wealth and Passive Income Outside the Traditional Career Path

Dr. David Phelps: Hi, I’m Kevin Harrington, an original shark from the hit television show Shark Tank, and you’re listening to the underdog podcast.

Pamela Bardhi: All we know is over time barking like the Monday all we know is over time barking like the Monday hello, everyone, and welcome to the Underdog podcast. Today I have an incredible guest here with me, David. How are you?

Dr. David Phelps: It’s great to be here, and, I feel incredible just because I get to be on your podcast. So I’ve been looking forward to this for some, number of weeks, and, gosh, here we are. The date is here.

Pamela Bardhi: Oh, my goodness. I’m so excited to have you. We were just talking about before the call meeting at family and just such amazing groups that have so much synergy. and that are at the cutting edge of so much stuff in real estate, in life. it’s just so, so cool to connect and see what everybody’s up to. It’s like the greatest thing in the world. So, I’m so excited. I get to see you again super soon.

Dr. David Phelps: Absolutely.

Pamela Bardhi: And I was just vetting to you. I’m like, my goodness. we’ve connected at family, and now I get a chance to really hear your story in detail and everyone who’s listening. so super excited to get into all that, and really, I love to hear the whole story and really understand. where it is that you came from and how did you get really to this point of where you are today. And I really reel it all the way back.

What did you want to be as a kid when you were growing up

And with that, I’ll ask you this question, which is one of my favorites. What did you want to be as a kid when you were growing up?

Dr. David Phelps: M. Yeah, that’s a good question, and my father was an eye surgeon, so I kind of had that bent towards medicine, being a doctor. And I kind of followed that pathway all the way to the point where I was really getting into college, and I made a little bit of a deviation. I still went into the medical field, but I went from called medicine to dentistry. That was my little switch. Now, there’s more of that story we’ll get into later. but you asked the question, what did I think I want to be? And I’ll tell you this, Pamela, no regrets. No regrets. I did that dentistry for 21 years and we can talk about why I’m not doing it or why I left it when I did.

But I think many times when we’re young, we are given the vision, or perspective from people that want to do good for us. Certainly our parents, people around us, mentors, teachers, professors, coaches. all kinds of people will tap us and kind of say, hey, you’re good at this, or you’re good at that. You should do this.  And I was one of those kids. I was blessed to be pretty good at math and science, so I kind of followed that pathway. but looking back, there’s a lot more that I had inside me that kind of got suppressed. and I think that maybe will speak to probably a lot of people, maybe feel like, got into a career path that, like, okay, I can do it. I can make a living.

I can provide for my family, but is this all there is? And then for our young people today, I know we’ve got a lot of those listening in. Many are looking at the same things like, well, what’s the pathway? Do I still go to four years of college and do I got to go to graduate school and do I got to be a doctor, engineer, or lawyer or whatever? And I would say today, no, you don’t. Now, if you want to do it, you do it, but do it for the right reasons. and so, we can jump into all that. But those are some of the revelations I had as I went through the years of kind of maturation, figuring things out along the way.

Your story intrigues me for so many different reasons

Pamela Bardhi: That’s incredible. Your story intrigues me for so many different reasons. I can’t wait to really dig into it. You mentioned a couple of key points there, and so you’ve always wanted to do this. and your whole family has kind of been in the medicine space and your dad. now you stepped into that world. And so what really triggered that pivot that you mentioned, your career? Because, most people, right, they’re like, I want to go to school. I want to say one of the biggest dreams is to become a doctor, and you achieved that.

Dr. David Phelps: Well, I think the professions, certainly they have for decades and probably well over a century. have been considered high respect, and maybe with it a relatively high or above average income. And I’m not saying that those things shouldn’t still be there, but I will just say this. Unless it’s something you really want to do, and if you have that affinity, you want to serve in that way, do it. by all means, go to school and do what you have to do to get there, but be sure you need to. I think that I didn’t know anything different than to work hard and go to school and get grades and keep going up.

As I went further, further along, actually, before I went down that pathway. which was always going to be my mindset to go to school. and get into college and dental school was when I was younger. I always wanted to have. And this sounds funny because I didn’t have any issues with my family. The family provided, well, didn’t give us more than we deserve to have. In other words, I’m glad my parents did not give myself or my sisters extra stuff. We didn’t live the high life. So, it was good discipline. If I wanted something better, Pamela, if I wanted, like, I play a lot of tennis. I played tennis when I was really a young kid, and my parents would just get me a racket.  like at Kmart, just off the shelf. Here you go, kid. Go do it.

And certainly that’s what you start with but I got more into it, and I wanted a better racket, right? I wanted a better racket. I wanted better shoes and I want to take lessons. I want to get from m the college pros. Not pros, but the college players. and so I had to earn the money to do it. My parents were not going to pay for that stuff. They just get basics. But you want something more. You want a better bicycle, you’ll earn it. So early on, I learned how to. When I was old enough to throw newspapers and mow lawn jobs. I sold greeting cards door to door. That’s when I’m, like approaching early teens. when you can do that kind of stuff and that felt good, because if I did want something more, here’s another example.

So, going back to many years ago, before we had smartphones and streaming and everything. the family usually had one television set. I’m telling you back how it was in the. Okay, for those who don’t know. Yeah. Like, one television set, black and white. In the early days. Yeah. Probably got the color, but there’s no remote. So everybody sat in the family room. and you had to all choose together what you’re going to watch. That’s kind of tough when you got three younger sisters and they want to watch something. And I just got fed up with that, and I said, I got to get my own TV. Now. Back then, TVs were quite a bit more expensive than they are today. It’s like, even a little black and white. People go black and white. What are you talking about? Yeah, black and white console.

And again, I’m throwing out Kmart because Kmart is where I got my stuff. It was probably $130 to get a little black and white, 13 inch with rabbit ears. Okay. There’s no cable. There’s no Internet but I was so proud of that because I had my little TV in my room. and I could go back to my room and watch my stuff, and back then there was like three channels and maybe a fourth. So in a different world. But what I’m getting at is there was always this sense of. I wanted some freedom and independence. and that’s where I’m alluding to freedom and independence. I wanted to have choices and options early back then. Now, I didn’t understand what that was pushing me towards.

And I still went down the path of going to school and working hard and getting the grades to take the next step. Next step  which is kind of laid out in front of you. If you take a certain path. you’re going to become a certified or licensed in something or a career path. There’s steps laid out. You got to do this pathway, and if you pass all the marks, okay, then you’re in. You’re into whatever that is, and I think a lot of people consider, well, that’s safe, that’s safety. If someone’s laid out a career path or a plan or a great job in a company. you need an MBA or maybe not, whatever, and you think, well, that’s safety.

That’s where I’m going to go for the safety, and I’m telling people today, there is no safety. You got to create your own safety. Whatever you do, you’ve got to create your own skill sets and be adaptable. and be able to pivot today more than we ever did. Certainly when I was growing up, where you maybe stayed in a career path or a job or a business. you took it out for 40 years, I think that’s long gone. And I think you’ve got to be able to move with the times. So how do you do that? It’s a different mindset than what I grew up with. but we’ll talk a bit more about why I made the pivot.

You were building your real estate empire simultaneously, which is incredible

But part of my journey, as I was going through school to get from college to dental school, I started reading books about money. Well, let’s just call it investing. And I read books about the stock market. back then, in the late 70s, mutual funds were just coming in, into vogue. Before then, you had to buy individual stocks, and they were expensive. so the retail investor, small investor, couldn’t do it. But mutual funds came into play where anybody could invest the money in mutual funds. And so I read books about that. then also found some books on real estate and when I compared and contrasted the two, the real estate just made sense. It was just something tangible. We know it’s a tangible asset, and I like that. I like control.

So I like the fact that I could go out and do as much work as I wanted to, to find something.  we talk about, in real estate, you find an asset, you acquire it through different means. somehow you add value to it,you manage it, you fix and flip, or you hold it for the long term, whatever it is, and I like that. And so I followed that pathway and while I was in dental school. I talked my dad into being my financial capital partner and got him to put the credit. and the down payment into buy, a house that we joined, ventured on, and I managed that house. During my years in dental school, we split about $50,000 in capital gain profit during that four years of just holding it, managing it.

And when I look back on the hours I spent waiting tables through school. which I made pretty good, pretty good tips at a good restaurant. but still, the amount of profit I made in those four years. if I divided it by the hours that I put into acquiring and managing that property with two tenants over four years, not too bad. In all the hours I put in waiting tables. my return on my time was about ten to one. In other words, the capital asset, the real estate, the asset produced over that period of time, about ten times. all the hours I spent waiting tables.

And that really hit me, thinking, okay, there’s something about this investing thing. I got to figure out more about this. And of course, real estate was where I was headed. so I just continued down that road while I was doing. While I went into the workforce in dentistry, which is kind of the safety zone. but on the side, I’m always building this, what I call plan B. Plan B wealth, assets outside of my dental practice and that gave me a chance to pivot when I did later down the road.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s incredible, and I love that you were building both simultaneously, because that’s extremely. First off, being in dentistry or any type of medical field within itself is very challenging. And then to go out and do basically become a waiter. also be building your real estate empire simultaneously is incredible. So, David, I love that you did that. you really created all these different plans for yourself and I think that’s absolutely fantastic. because sometimes when people feel like they’re in that safety net, they don’t really deviate. 

I’ve met so many doctors, dentists, and everyone who’s in the medical field nurses and all that. And they’re so afraid to take that jump into real estate, and it’s like. So it’s fascinating to me. that you really built that even before you really got into that world. Or actually, you were building it simultaneously, which was incredible. and what was the catalyst for you to really allow yourself to do that? Because I know there’s a lot of people listening right now that are in these fields. that want to get into real estate, but they’re in that safety net. they’re just, like, afraid to make the next move.

Dr. David Phelps: Yeah, the safety net is a big problem. It provides kind of a comfort zone, what I call a status quo. It’s working. You’re providing for your family. You’re living a good enough life, but it’s like being on a treadmill. You’re trapped on a treadmill, and everybody wants to elevate their lifestyle to some degree.  It’s just human nature. I want a little bit better house, car, better school for my kids, vacations, whatever. So what do we do? Well, we work a little bit harder on the treadmill. Our skills are better. We provide higher quality services or products or whatever it is. so we can ratchet up our income. But as we do that, we’ll also elevate our lifestyle. Then you’re staying at par. and the rat race just goes up higher and higher and higher.

And without understanding that, for me, the goal was always, how quickly can I transition from trading time for dollars. in whatever your career, job, business may be going from that position. which is what we go to school for, to moving it, to having assets. investment assets that would produce what I call today replacement income. or income that would support my lifestyle, which gives me options. I never want to quit doing something that I’m relevant at. which people will say, well, that means you’re working all the time. No. If you get to really do what you love to do, it’s not work. Now, when I was working helping construction crews and street crews during labor, my labor years during college, that’s work.

I’m not saying that’s something fun, but getting in a place where even if you’re in a business or you’re a doctor or a dentist, like I was, what I was able to do is as I was building up the replacement income and the net worth wealth on the side with the real estate, it took the pressure off of me. So I didn’t feel like I had to be compelled to be as fully scheduled and stressed out and having to crank it, crank it, crank it all the time. It just gave me breathing space. And I think a lot of people today don’t have that breathing space. No matter what your income level is, I don’t care if you are an attorney who gets bills out at $1,000 per hour, it’s the same problem all the way down to whether you make $30 an hour.

It’s the same problem. It doesn’t escape no matter where you are. You’ve got to learn. I tell this to everybody, young people, mid career, and people that are enders that are trying to exit their business or practice. If you have not figured out how to invest in assets that produce cash flow when you’re not working, then you never retire. You can’t, or you’re going to have to downsize your lifestyle at a time in your life when that really wasn’t the goal. Right? I mean, do you work all your life and produce a good lifestyle? Only to say, well, now I’m retiring, no more active income. Now it’s Social Security and whatever piddling 401K mutual fund that I’ve got my money. And it’s like, well, we have to ratchet down now. Not the place I want to be when I’m in my 60s.

Pamela Bardhi: Right? Absolutely. And it’s crazy because it’s almost this illusion that there is a safety. But like you said, when the income, the active income stops, then what happens, right?

Dr. David Phelps: I’ve got a number of examples, but one friend of mine, who’s a periodontalist, he’s a dentist who specializes in gum disease and gum treatment. Right. For people, and he was in his thirties and he had a little bit of a snow skiing accident, not terrific, but enough where it injured his hand and wrist. And he was quote out, in other words, he couldn’t trade time for dollars because he needed that hand for about two months. Now you can say, well, sure.

Don’t you have some disability insurance? Yeah, but there’s huge deductibles on that stuff and there’s always waiting periods, so what do you do to fill the gap? What do you do to fill the gap that insurance isn’t going to always provide for? You’ve got to have something else of producing income outside of your primary income source, which for most people, that’s us trading time for dollars until we have those investments. So no matter where you are on the spectrum, it’s important to be thinking that way because you never know. You never know, right?

Pamela Bardhi: Absolutely.

David Perry: There are two different ways to start in real estate

And how does one really activate and enter that space and really actively make that choice. Right. If they love real estate, they have no idea how to do it. It’d be super interesting to hear the details of your pivot and how you really got started. for anyone who’s listening that might be interested in the same thing.

Dr. David Phelps: Well, so there’s going to be two different ways. I would tell kind of two different segments. let’s talk to our younger audience, like I was when I was in my 20s starting this, and then I’ll talk to the older audience, which I’m also today, the older audience. There’s two different segments. Right. So I can speak to both, so I’m going to flash back 44 years. Okay. 1970s and 80s, when I was getting started. So when you’re young, typically you have more time than money, right. I mean, that just kind of goes with it. And if you’re not too down, far down the road, in a career, maybe you’re still in school, you’re getting out of school, maybe you’re not married, but hopefully you don’t have a lot of obligations.

Because as soon as you start stacking up obligations, it becomes harder to have some pivots and have some outside opportunities to create wealth. So for me, it was just. I was curious. I was just very curious, so I would say, number one, don’t let the fact that you don’t know something or the fear that you don’t know something stop you. You can pick up the knowledge. There’s obviously today the knowledge base. I mean, I had to go to the library to check out books. There’s these things called library cards. You probably never had one, Pamela, but. Okay, well, fantastic. So you had to take these cards to the library because you didn’t have, were there were bookstores but we went to library so you could get books. But today, look what’s online.

I mean, gosh darn, the Internet’s just, you’ve got podcasts, you’ve got YouTube, you’ve got everything out there. So there’s lots of knowledge. I think the key thing, though, is there’s so much knowledge and information. How do you curate it down to what’s relevant for who you are, where you are? And I think the key there is you’ve got to find other people who can be your guide or your mentor and that could be one on one, that could be in groups. But I would say today that young people I would find in real estate, so look at family mastermind. How many great business owners and operators there are in family and, if you could connect with one of those people as a young person, connect with them and say, hey, I just want to learn something more about how this real estate thing works.

Could I come? Just be like an apprentice for six months? I’ll do anything for you, for your company. I’ll just be a gopher and think, if you go to the right business and you have to vet it, right, who’s the right business? Who has values and has some experience, but you spend six months with somebody under their tutelage in their environment, where that’s worth a four year degree in a specific area. So that’s how fast. And then you can take the outside information you’ve been reading about podcasts and YouTube and whatever you do, and now you can say, okay, now I can fold this down into, well, what’s going to work for me? For me, I think for young people. We’re know, all of us are know, you and Pam and people at family, we’re biassed because we know in our hands, real estate works.

Now, there’s other things that work, too, all right? But real estate, to me, if someone asked me, David, what’s the quickest way for me as a young person to build some wealth and some passive income? It’s real estate. Of course, there’s many ways to do that. You don’t start with multifamily syndications, all right, but just on the street, there’s so many things that you can do as a young person, but I think you’ve got to learn from somebody else because you’re solving problems and you can solve problems. There’s so many problems to solve, right, that people have, that you can figure out where to enter the spectrum in real estate and just start making money and also building up some assets at the same time. Now, for the older spectrum, people that are already entrenched in life, career, business, family, got a lot of obligations.

So you’ve got less time and maybe more money, but you still want to get involved in real estate, I think same thing. You want to fold or collapse time by finding people that are already doing it, people like you. People that want to be passive investors, where do you go? I think you’ve got to find people that are curating, the right people and giving you the right education, so that you can learn how to invest through other people because if you’re in your forty s, fifty s, sixty s, most likely you’re not going to deviate and create a whole nother business in real estate operations. But you’d like to connect, so real estate is all about connection, right? We know that it’s about connection, who, you know that gives you access points to so many opportunities. Because real estate is an inefficient market.

That’s the opportunity. It makes it hard to enter. Well, you can’t sort of with the click of a mouse. We do virtual wholesaling stuff today, so it’s different there, but it’s all about connections. It’s who you know and we know. Like in family mastermind, for example, the relationships that are there, you make what you want to of it, right? But my goodness, there’s so many opportunities and so many resources. That’s what life’s about. So I would say connect with people to help you down the path that you want to go, whether you’re a young person or you’re an older person.

Still, real estate, I think, has so many benefits, wherever you are in the spectrum, that can help you magnify your wealth and cash flow. Which gives us what? Freedom. That’s only what we want. We want freedom and independence, just like I wanted when I was in my early teens. Not that I wanted to have my own house and leave home. I appreciate the fact that I had someone that was putting food on the table, like my mom cooking. Right? I wasn’t ready to do that. but I still wanted some of that freedom to have a few options that the money would provide for me, even though I didn’t have the real estate asset until, that would have been 22, I guess, how old I was here.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s amazing, David. That’s amazing. And it’s a hell of a journey, right?

When you’re younger, you have the money but not the time

And it’s so interesting because you mentioned that when you’re younger, you have the time, and then you mentioned when you’re older, you have the money but not the time. So it’s almost. It’s reversed, and I love what you said about just be an apprentice. I always tell people, I’m like, listen, you don’t understand the power of showing up. When you show up, then you’re just present. What you can absorb is unbelievable, because what happens is our society has created this short sighted, instant gratification mode, which is so unrealistic, right? Like, if you look at something, it’s like, okay, how am I going to make money now? You’re never going to win in the long term. I always put in the time, and I’m like, hey, listen, I don’t want anything. Just teach me the things.

And that’s how I really started learning about everything in the industry and I totally agree with you on this. I’m like, it’s more than equivalent to a four year degree. I remember when I went under as the director of commercial real estate operations and really started learning that game of how commercial real estate works in the whole industry. I was under this brokerage for quite a few years, but then I went out and I created my own brokerage and then basically made 1.25 million my first year. But that 1.25 million came because what I had sat down for more than a few years, like three years, really sitting down and really understanding the thing.

The ROI doesn’t always come immediately, but it comes over time, like you said so if you got that time. So anyone who’s listening right now, anyone who’s got that time investing in yourself is your greatest gift that you can possibly have right now. And then as you get older, you can keep aligning yourself with incredible people that can help you move your money passively, or you can start to get active with it, if you really want to, and build your own portfolio. But there’s a million different options with that, which I love.

David, when you were young, what were your greatest challenges in real estate

And David, one of my questions for you is, what was some of your hardest kind of challenges in building in the real estate realm, if you will?

Dr. David Phelps: Well, when I was young, yeah, when I was kind of building it, the greatest challenges, I don’t know if I really looked at them as challenges. I mean, they were there, certainly getting started and getting that attraction, the momentum going, probably. Even though I didn’t have a child for the first nine years I was married, we had independent careers, my wife and I. So that allowed a little bit more time than if I would have had children, but still time, because I was a dentist by day and then nights and weekends, I was doing real estate on the side. That was kind of my life for a number of years until we had our first child.

But I think for a lot of people, we talked earlier about the fear factor, getting out of your comfort zone. I think because I sold greeting cards door to door, other people sell cutcoat knives or something, or we’re waiting tables. I think the ability at a young age to understand how to communicate to people that are older than you is something that’s just learned. It’s learned, and I got relatively good and comfortable with that, probably the waiting that. Well, greeting cards, selling greeting cards and waiting tables both. I had to learn how to get in step with people, right? We learned that communication and building trust and relationships is the biggest thing. So when I put my little ads in the newspaper, we used to get these things called newspapers.

We didn’t have the Internet back then. I’m jesting with you, but that’s the way we advertise to find houses. I have this little ad in the classified, I’ll buy houses now. Today. People do that online and stuff. But that worked back then because that’s where people went. They read the newspaper and so people would call me and I’d have to talk to them on the phone first and try to figure it out. Is this even a potential deal that I could put together? And there’s the standard questions I would ask to figure out if it was possible and then next step, if it was, then I’d go meet with a person and again, I’m a young person. Most of the people are older than I am, but they’re homeowners, and that doesn’t mean that their financial acumen is any better than mine.

So it kind of put me on a par. I don’t have to be some industry real estate commercial guru. I didn’t get involved in commercial. That’s a different ballgame, as you alluded to. You have to learn a lot more there. But I think it’s just getting comfortable making offers, and realizing that it’s a numbers game early on. Learning how to solve problems creatively and just making offers, making offers, making offers, making offers. I can’t tell you other people enough. Whatever you’re trying to do in life, you never can take a, no, as that’s the end, or you’re done, or you can’t go any further. There’s always a way if you want something.

In this case, I wanted real estate. There’s a way to get what you want, and it may take 45678, 910 times attempts to finally get one that fits what you’re looking for through the gate. But it’s persistence, and I think that’s just the key to life. So if there was a challenge, but I think I learned those lessons, lessons early because my parents didn’t give stuff to me, as I alluded to earlier. It’s like if I wanted something, I had to figure out how I was going to get it. And if you have that kind of drive inside you, I’m talking to young people here. It’s like you can get anything you want. Just don’t let society put constraints on you.

Don’t let other people’s agenda tell you, well, no, you couldn’t. You shouldn’t. I know there’s a lot of people who have, again, well meaning parents or aunts, uncles, maybe grandparents, and say, ridiculous. If someone says, hey, I’m not going to college, auntie, I’m going to go flip real estate houses. I was like, auntie’s going to, no, you need to go get the job. You need to put the tie on and go to work and be respectable. Right? I’m saying, well, don’t let know. Quell all your dreams. Not that she’s not looking out for you, but there’s a mindset we have to, right?

Pamela Bardhi: Absolutely. Absolutely. And you hit some really key points there, David, honestly, you really, really did. I mean, real estate is just such an interesting industry. But the cool thing is it can be flexible to what you’re looking for, and there’s so many facets of real estate, right? So anyone’s like, oh, I’m interested in real estate. I’m like, amazing. What part, right? There’s wholesaling, there’s the real estate investing part, there’s the funds, there’s a million different, there’s the lending side of things. There’s a million different doors that can open for you and if you are that type of person that you do like, that active could, there’s still a lot of opportunity. You become a real estate lender. You know what I mean? You can work at a bank and do the business finance. There’s a million different things that you could do.

So don’t silo yourself out, because not everyone’s built to be an entrepreneur, but what you should be doing is investing in properties on the know. Again, these assets that you’re mentioning, David, that’s just really important. That’s going to kind of give you your, basically, like, what my dad would always say is make money while you’re sleeping. That’s really what we’re looking for. Right? what happens when, God forbid, something happens to you and you can’t work, especially for an entrepreneur, right. Or you lose your job as a result. Right. Which is your one primary source of income. What happens after that? Right? So you got to think about all these different scenarios and make sure that you have multiple streams coming in, because it’s a whole different universe. It’s a whole different universe.

What would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know now

And for those that are listening, this is my favorite question, too, by the way, David, which love. Love. But what would your older self, and you kind of alluded to it already, but what would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know now? And it could be life, business, whatever.

Dr. David Phelps: I said it earlier, I would take whatever curiosity that I have as a younger person. And yes, you’re going through school, you’re going to at least get a high school degree. Maybe you go into some vocations or something, but wherever your curiosity is, and let’s just say we’re talking to a lot of people who like real estate. Okay, how do you do that? I would go back to what I said earlier, whatever else you’re doing and don’t deviate from it, but could you take six months off or a year off between whatever this level of your education training before you go to the next level?

Could you take a year off and focus on taking that apprenticeship, being around other people, real estate people, business owners, whatever you’re looking for, find those entrepreneurial people who would be willing to give you a chance just to apprentice. I took a year off between college and dental school, really, because I had to get my residency in the state. I was going to go to dental school because it was a lot cheaper. So I just took the year off mainly for that. I worked and I travelled. But going back, if I would have known better, I would have found probably a place in real estate because I was already enjoying what I learned about real estate to that point.

I should have found somebody a business that let me do that. So focus. There would be, what I would say, let your curiosity drive you. But, find people that are already doing something in that realm and you can go see from the inside. What does this really look like? What else do I need to know? And then you know what? You go back to school. If you’re going to go into college, you’re going to put more emphasis on actually coursework classes that will pertain more to what you’re trying to do. I didn’t take anything in college outside of the primary sciences. All the stuff I had to take, I didn’t want to deviate. I had to play it safe. I don’t want to take stuff that would screw up my GPA.

So I just stayed in the lane today. If I went back, there’s a lot of the courses I could have taken that probably could have added to my ability to do what I do today, which has nothing to do with calculus, has nothing to do with physiology and anatomy or biochemistry. Just telling you, I don’t use that stuff. I’m just looking back at what was that all about? It’s just part of the stairsteps that they put in front of you, and it’s like that stuff wasn’t relevant. I should have taken more courses in finance. And I got my financial calculator here, how to run an HP twelve C or whatever calculator. That’s the stuff I should have been learning. But I didn’t know. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Pamela Bardhi: Right. Absolutely, and it’s craziness because it’s almost this illusion of safety like we talked about earlier. But it’s really not, though, at the end of the day, right. Because the minute you stop that active income, then what happens? Right? And then what? Right? And then what? Then what? You depend on Social Security and then a 401K, that’s definitely not going to support your lifestyle by the time you retire and then you’re forced to kind of downsize, and it’s craziness. It’s absolutely craziness. But it’s incredible how real estate, especially over periods of time, can really accelerate your wealth, especially on the long term buy and hold, and I tell people all the time, I’m like, guys, it’s the greatest industry in the entire world.

This is the reason why the most amount of millionaires are produced through real estate, is because what it can do, especially long term. Like, I was reviewing two of the condo conversions that I did here in Boston, Massachusetts, and I was like, oh, my God. Within a five year period, the returns with the rentals that we’ve had, and then basically what the sellout is going to be over time is almost seven figures on each of them. I’m like, that’s insane. That’s insane. It’s like, you can only do this through real estate. And it’s like just, even if, even if you’re working, even if you are somebody who’s playing it safe and have your job and then having this on the side, this could change your life, and even just one deal could change your life. So just go all in. Be curious. Don’t be afraid.

Real estate is like the least riskiest asset. Well, compared to all the other investments that are out there, this is not financial advice, anyone who’s listening, but this is just my perspective and my opinion, and also, David, yours as well, that it’s a safe bet. Real estate, if you are under the right leadership, with the right mentorship and the right data, that points the risk mitigation of each asset that you’re about to invest in with whatever fund or whether it’s personally or whatever, if all that points true, then there’s opportunity for you to make some serious money over a long period of time, whether it’s a hold, whether know you’re going to sell it a few years down the line or whatever it may be, that asset is going to make you money forever, no doubt, right? It’s done. Right. Love that David.

David leads a community called Freedom Founders that focuses on real estate entrepreneurship

And David, now in your world, what are you up to these days? What’s going on in the next few months? It’s been a while since I’ve seen you fill me in on all the things.

Dr. David Phelps: Yeah, well, Pam, I lead a community called Freedom Founders, which is, I started about 14 years ago when I had doctors asking me how was I able to pivot out of my practice at a relatively young age. And when I told them I did it through real estate, they want to learn. Well, how did you do it really just became a community where I curate good operators because these are mostly, professionals and business owners who want to be passive, they don’t want to be active. So that’s a whole other side. There’s great people to teach people to be active. We both know who they are. But this is for people who want to get enough education and build the relationships.

So I curate that because of relationships like we have in family. Right. I know who the people are, to bring that. So, I do a lot of that. I just call it coaching, consulting, mentoring of some really great people to work with. They’re good in their technical professions, but money management, building for the future, no clue, and as you said, most of them intellectually know that real estate makes a lot of sense. It’s just, how do you do it? How do you do it? And so I try to create that path in full time for them, so that’s what I do with my time today. It’s just a lot of fun.

We do a couple of member events. We do invite qualified guests to come to some of those if they want to. But this is for people that are accredited investors, business owners who really are looking for the ability to connect to high level real estate and as an alternative to the financial markets. So that’s what I have coming up. My website is freedomfounders.com. As you learn a little bit more about we do there, I am proud that I have authored a number of books in different aspects of freedom and real estate entrepreneurship. I wrote a book a couple years ago on inflation, so they’re all on Amazon. If anybody wants to look those up. They’re the.

Pamela Bardhi: Absolutely, absolutely. Can you let us know, David, the names of all the books so we can look at them? We can put in the show notes too, but if you want to just let us know those.

Dr. David Phelps: I keep a stack of them.

David Phelps has written three books on personal finance and high net worth

So I’ve got own your freedom, which is a couple of years ago. This is the one that we talked about, the apprentice model. This is for young people. We talked about apprenticing. This book is for people who are like, what’s your next? Is evolving out of your current career business. Right, so what am I going to do next? Because all my identities with being a doctor, lawyer, engineer, even real estate person, right. This one’s getting the band back together. This is a book of just case studies of people. I won’t tell you where that title came from, but it’s kind of cool.

This is the book on inflation that I wrote right before inflation started to take off about two years ago. And then, I wrote, it’s the first book I ever wrote here, from high income to high net worth. So this is, again, for people who make a lot of money working hard, trading time for dollars. How do you get the net worth and how do you get the net worth actually working for you so you don’t have to work for money anymore, or at least only when you want to? That’s the key, so that’s the stack that I’ve got there.

Pamela Bardhi: That’s incredible, David. That’s incredible. That is a heck of a lot of books. I absolutely love that, and I love that you have each one catered to a specific audience, which is incredible. Which is incredible. And you mentioned those were on Amazon.

Dr. David Phelps: Everything is on. Yes.

Pamela Bardhi: Amazing. David, your story is incredibly inspirational, and I love just all the different pivots that you’ve had and really talking about the concept of trading time for dollars, because again, these are industries that individuals, it’s like they’re highly prized, like doctor, lawyer, all these things. And at the end of the day, it’s like, well, at the end of the day, the reality is this, that when that income stops, what happens to you, right, what happens to your lifestyle? What happens to your monthly cash flow? Like, all of these things.

So I love that you created this community where everyone, even though if they don’t have the knowledge or they got into the game late, shall we say, which I always say, better late than never, right? Are able to still have this opportunity to really create this high net worth and these types of returns, so I love what you’re doing in the community, and I think it’s absolutely incredible. And I’m sure that there’s people listening right now that are like, how can I get a hold of Dave? I know that you mentioned a website earlier. Is there a better link to reach you, you or your team?

Dr. David Phelps: Well, there’s a link there for, like, a discovery call. There’s a link there if they want to just engage a little more with us and see if there’s something we can do, if there’s a possible fit, always glad to do that. So some of those calls come to me and some go to my team, so that’s a great way. I do have a YouTube channel, Dr. Phelps, which I give a lot of my insights there. So, I mean, that’s not a direct connection, but that’s just more information for people, that kind of thing.

Pick up one thing you just said a second ago, at the end of the day. So I would say, at the end of the day, you’re a hardworking, professional business owner, a career path. You make a good living. At the end of the day, you’ve got to get ready to go back to work the next day unless you have a plan B that gives you the options where you don’t necessarily have to get up and go to work the next day unless you want to.

Pamela Bardhi: Amen. It’s the power of choice, and that really is like, time. Freedom is the new source of wealth, right?

Dr. David Phelps: Absolutely.

Pamela Bardhi: Because like you said, you can get caught in that rat race all day long, even if you can make a million. But if you spend a million, what are you going to do at the end of the day? So I absolutely love your approach. I love your pivots in your story. Dr. David, you’re incredible and just thank you so much for being here and sharing all these incredible insights. And anyone who’s listening, please feel free to reach out and really learn more about this amazing opportunity with David. I think it’s going to be absolutely incredible and opens doors for a lot of people in real estate to be able to invest, no matter where they are in their lifetime, which I think is really key. Thank you so much, Pam.

Dr. David Phelps: It’s a real pleasure. I really enjoyed the conversations with you. You’re doing so much to spread good word and, I think just, good aspirations for people who want to live a life on their own terms. So thanks to you.

Pamela Bardhi: Amen. Thank you so much.

Underdog is always dropping on Thursdays. Catch us next week

So that’s it for today’s episode of Underdog. Catch us next week. Always dropping on Thursdays. And remember, if you’re interested in real state or want to learn how to create more money and magic in your life, check out meetwithpamla.com and let’s chat. Sending you so so much love. 


Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Dr. David Phelps. If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review. The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

If you’re interested in elevating your life 10x, and owning your power, Pamela invites you to join her for a 15-minute call to set your goals straight and get clarity. Start building your game plan now: meetwithpamela.com