Brad Blazar—speaker, real estate investor, author, and leading capital raiser—discusses the life-changing power of using other people’s money to achieve financial freedom. INTERVIEW WITH BRAD BLAZAR
WRITTEN BY MATTHEW BRADY
What was your upbringing like?
I grew up in a traditional middle class family like many people. But I soon realized that the path I was on was one mostly driven by my parents’ expectations—not necessarily what I wanted to do in life. For many people, you graduate from high school and college and the expectations are you hopefully get a good job, enter a career, put some money away in a 401(k), and have a comfortable retirement.
You dropped out of college and returned many years later to pursue your financial interests. Why?
School largely does not teach us how to go out and create wealth or true financial freedom. Most people around the world are exchanging time for money—we call that a job. You show up to work every day and work your forty-hour week. In return, you get paid. I dropped out to invest and bet on myself. By the age of twenty-three, I launched my own oil company raising capital from high-net-worth investors all across the United States.
Who or what influenced you to go down the capital path?
Much like Robert Kiyosaki writes about in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad, I was fortunate to have a wealthy uncle in my life. He was somebody I looked up to since his life was very different than ours. When I was around eight years old, he told me, “Brad, if you can find a problem that lots of people have and create a solution for it, that’ll enable you to create financial success. Money exchanges hands when problems are solved.” That wisdom didn’t sink in until many years later, though, when I saw Steve Harvey tell his TV audience that everyone has a unique talent and that if you can find it and deliver it to the world in a way that positively impacts people, it’ll be magical for them and you.
It dawned on me that for pretty much my entire professional career, from my early twenties to my fifties, my talent was raising capital from high-net-worth investors. I realized that I could use that talent to coach and mentor others on how to attract and talk to potential investors and ultimately help their dreams become reality. So I launched Capital School, largely as a coaching and mentoring program. And the rest is history. It’s gone ballistic! We currently work with students in seventeen countries around the world, and it’s changing people’s lives. That’s very gratifying.
You focus heavily on belief. Would you discuss what kind of impact that can have on someone?
Absolutely. I call it the Art of Beliefology™; that phrase and the word Beliefology™ are actually trademarked. It means that we are largely driven by our beliefs, which are supported by our underlying habits. The problem is that habits take time to become ingrained. Psychologists have found that you have to maintain a habit for roughly sixty days for it to become part of your life. That’s why so many people start diets or fitness routines as New Year’s resolutions but then quickly fall off the bus. But if you focus on sustaining good habits, they will reinforce a new belief system that will help you create a more positive and successful reality.
I have a great story about Beliefology™. I was coaching a gentleman who was 480 pounds. He wanted to be a coach, but it was not going well. I recommended that he work on himself first and prodded him to walk the next morning, promising him that if he was willing to move, he would lose the weight. Six weeks later, he had worked himself up to running three miles a day. After he had lost 180 pounds, he told me he saw himself differently: as an athlete. Today, he’s 220 pounds, and he’s rock solid. His habits supported his new belief system.
What are your thoughts on passive income?
There are certain industries out there—insurance and real estate, for example—where you’re getting paid next year for the work you’re doing this year because you’re establishing policies and making connections that produce positive cash flow. Every year, that number is hopefully compounding on itself, giving you passive income.
What I like to teach people is twofold: how to begin turning your liabilities into assets and how to own businesses, real estate, or assets that generate passive income. Most people have a mindset that they must amass millions of dollars to be financially free, but nothing could be further from the truth. You just need to get to a point where your passive income meets or exceeds your living expenses. Once you do that, you’ll really feel financially free—and you can spend more time increasing that passive income and reinvesting it to make more.
A big part of our Capital School curriculum is showing people how they can get to that point much faster and go much further by using other people’s money: attracting investors and raising capital.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when trying to raise capital?
People understand that others are not going to invest until they trust them, but they don’t invest enough time in building trust. Imagine, for example, that you need to raise capital for a real estate deal and you have a conversation with a potential investor. Typically, in the first or second conversation, you’ll start selling the opportunity. However, once you try to get them to invest, they’ll suddenly become very evasive and give you every excuse for why they don’t want to move forward. It’s not that it’s a bad deal—they likely just don’t trust you enough to partner with you.
I always stress that the best way to increase your chances of getting people to commit capital is to slow down the process. This isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. At the end of the day, you’re selling them on you. So allow them to really get to know and trust you, and validate that this trust exists before you present the opportunity. If you do it too early, you’re basically like a hamster on a treadmill: you’re creating all this activity for yourself that is ultimately leading nowhere.
Is it vital to put yourself in an investor’s shoes?
One hundred percent. If you can uncover what that person is looking for at this point in their life, you’ll be much more successful because you’ll be able to fit the investment with their need. And if there’s a match, there’s a much greater chance that they’ll move forward and write a check for you.
Can raising capital be affected by major world events like a pandemic or a recession, or is it bulletproof?
In my experience, it doesn’t really get impacted. Personally, I just block out the noise and focus on my goals no matter what. Most people who have any degree of savings or wealth realize that money is a tool. The purpose of having it is to see it grow, so they are always looking for solid investment opportunities. For example, if the stock market’s pulling back or there’s news of an approaching bear market, different investment choices arise for potential investors even as others disappear. So I don’t buy into the mindset that one time or another might be better to attract capital. If you’re good at it and you’re persistent, it’s always a good time.
What do you find most enjoyable about what you do?
Seeing others have success. There are so many people out there who want to invest in real estate but don’t have the knowledge or resources to do it themselves. I get the most gratification from helping them see their money grow, have more financial freedom, and, most importantly, achieve longtime goals so they can change their lives and their families’ lives.
Ultimately, why is raising capital a wise venture for anyone?
If you’re at a point in life where you want more wealth, then learning how to attract and raise capital will help you go much further and faster than doing it alone. Most people have limited resources, which discourages them from going for it—but they often look back with regret later about not taking action. The key is to just get started.
Let’s say within twelve months, you find four people to each give you $50,000 and then buy, rehab, and renovate two properties and flip them. There might be a $60,000–$80,000 profit apiece in most markets, which is very attainable. After you pay back the investors’ capital and split that profit with them, you’d still have an extra $60,000–$80,000 in your pocket. That’s life-changing money for a lot of people. It could allow them to get out of debt or put a little cushion of capital in the bank.
It could also set you in motion to hopefully do the same or greater the next year. And if you continue that process, you’ll put yourself on a path to change your life by creating much more abundance and a better financial future. It’s all about showing up, improving yourself every day, and having the courage to take that first step and believe that you can do it. Helping people do that is inspiring.