My prayer for the new year is that you would be able to follow the calling on your heart. I want to show you that it is possible to be your own boss, start your own business, and reach financial freedom. I am going to be sharing stories with you this month of entrepreneurs I know personally who have found success. This week, I am proud to introduce you to the guys of Pyromechs. This group of gentlemen are Charis Business School graduates and students of mine. They left business school with a plan to start a business of their own, and I am proud of how far they have come.
Tell us about you, your team, and what your company does!
My name is Devin Bellard, I am 24 years old and I am one of the founding members of Pyromechs, Inc. I am from Opelousas, La but moved to Colorado to get a closer relationship with Jesus Christ by attending Charis Bible College. I took the business course at CBC under the leadership of Billy Epperhart. Learning under Billy has inspired me to become a better person and businessman than I ever dreamed. My team is comprised of 5 inspirational guys. Will Bellamy, Tilman Renner, Cory Steinke, Steve Flores and myself. These men have a passion for God and business, it’s truly an honor to work with them. We have been working on our business for over a year and are very excited to say. Pyromech, Inc is projected to launch at the beginning of March with work being lined up as we speak.
What inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I remember growing up speaking with my peers about what we wanted to do in life. They would say they wanted to have these amazing careers like what engineers, doctors, or lawyers have. However, all I ever wanted was to run my very own business. Aside from the above, I want to make an impact in this world for Jesus. I want to be able to help other Christians thrive in this life and give them opportunities they never imagined.
What led you to choose your business idea?
In all honesty, God gave the idea to us. After moving to Colorado to attend Charis Bible College, I found myself working for a company located in Denver. This company did High-Temperature Repair work. My business partners and I worked here and loved it. Through an unfortunate chain of events, we found the company wasn’t being run very well. At that point, we all quit and continued to pursue our studies. During the 3rd year of CBC in the business course, we came up with a business idea. It occurred to us that not only would this business be fun but extremely profitable, and we haven’t looked back since.
How did you meet your business partners?
I met my partners at Charis Bible College. It was only a matter of time before we met, as classmates and coworkers.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to face in building your business?
There have been constant challenges to face and hurdles to jump. If I had to pick the absolute hardest challenge it would be this: communication. Communication is absolutely essential. If you don’t communicate well, people find themselves on different pages with different desires. These desires try to pull the business in any direction but forward! The bottom line is define clear expectations and do what you say.
I hope the story of Devin and the guys at Pyromechs has inspired and encouraged you. You really can do anything you wish, as long as you set your mind to it. Remember, where God guides, He provides.
What is your biggest goal for 2018?
- feel stuck in the daily grind of 9-5, and it seems as though your dreams may be dying a slow death. You need inspiration. You need to revive your dreams.
- want to know which of the Seven Mountains you are meant to impact. Where is your sphere of influence? How can you make a difference?
- need to get out of debt, learn to become prosperous, and use your money to make a kingdom impact. You need a plan for your money that involves something bigger than you!
- want to tap into the desires of your heart and discover God’s plan for your life. You feel like there’s more. Now it’s time to find out what.
The annual WealthBuilders Conference is coming up NEXT MONTH! If you have ever wanted to know more about entrepreneurship, business, real estate, or financial freedom, this conference is for you!
I am passionate about making sense of making money for making a difference, so I love receiving testimonies from those who have attended my workshops, read my books, or listened to my teachings. Cedric van Duyn has been and faithful follower of mine, and I was excited when he wanted to share his testimony. It was so good, that I wanted to share with you all! What do you feel you have learned or gained? I’d love to hear your feedback as well!
Real Estate Testimony
Cedric van Duyn
In 2005, my wife and I purchased our first home in the Seattle, WA area. In 2008, after the bubble burst, we had
to relocate 1 hour away, due to work. At that time, we could not sell the house for a profit, so we
decided to rent it out at a monthly loss of $750, hoping that the market would rebound and that the
equity investment would come in handy down the road.
As our 3 boys came along, it became increasingly difficult to carry the negative cash flow, and so in the
summer of 2016, we decided to sell. Our renters asked to be kept in consideration, so we settled on an
off-market sale. Due to this, our realtor charged us only 2% commission, which enabled us to sell below
market value and still receive the same amount of equity. Our renters agreed to purchase “as is,”
enabling us to avoid the hassle of what would have been a laundry list of repairs on a 1922 construction.
It was a WIN-WIN- WIN for everyone involved!
Our 8 years of negative cash flow @ $750 p/m yielded an equity value of slightly over $144,000. Under a
1031 exchange, we had 45 days to identify a new investment property. I had already heard Billy teach
the 1% rule several times, and so the search was on! However, our area simply did not fit the numbers!
A desperate text message arrived on Billy’s phone while he was in Uganda, to which he replied, “Look at
multi-family.” I started punching numbers on duplexes, triplexes, etc. until I landed on a 6-plex which
was the closest fit.
Our deal landed on exactly 1%. We purchased for $430K and the recorded rental income was $4,300 at
the time! With our $144K equity down, our PITI payment was $2,229, yielding a cash flow of $2,071. I
felt that this was a healthy situation for me to start the learning process on apartment complex
Desperate in my pursuit for the acquisition of Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom, I attended Billy’s
next Real Estate Workshop, which happened to be within weeks after I closed. This investment has paid
huge dividends for my property management skills!
A hidden blessing I soon discovered was that all the apartments had been rented out way below market
prices. At my first tenant turnover, I gingerly raised the rent by $25 p/m. The moment I posted it to
Craigslist, I was overwhelmed with crushing interest. I realized that I could easily have raised the rent by
$100 p/m. From this discovery, I did some market research and systematically started bringing the rent
closer to the averages in our area.
Since purchase almost 7 months ago, I have raised the total rent by $665, which averages at $110 per
unit. I currently have a pending agreement for another $125 rent increase on one of the units, and
another unit that will most likely see about $75 around the same time. This will be a total increase of
$865 p/m cash flow over a period of 9 months, which averages at $144 per unit! At this point, the cash
flow will be $3,000 p/m, which is an average of $500 per unit (excluding vacancies and repairs).
To minimize tenant turnover costs, I decided to institute a $200 non-refundable portion of the security
deposit to cover cleaning and other turnover fees. I was encouraged to find new tenants fully agreeable
to this reasoning, and somewhat relieved that they would not need to do a deep clean upon departure.
In my limited experience, cleaning costs have never been over $100, and several new tenants have
preferred to clean themselves, saving me the full non-refundable turnover fee!
Thank you, Billy, for equipping me to step into a whole new realm of financial blessing!
And thank you, Cedric, for sharing your testimony. Remember, you have the power to change your life. How has real estate investing been a game changer for you?
It’s been awesome to get to know Rob Statham through Wealthbuilders events. Rob has a huge heart, and a genuine love for serving others. It’s an honor to have him share this story with you! Thanks, Rob, for your friendship and for sharing this blog post today!
It’s June 2015 and there I was in Woodland Park Colorado attending the Charis Business Summit. The speakers were Paul Milligan, Dr. Dean Radtke, and Billy Epperhart. Paul’s reputation was building 100 million dollar businesses from the ground up, Billy was a real estate guru, and Dean was all about leadership. I had started our company in 2006 and we made a good living, but nothing you’d read about in Business News. I had a couple rental properties but no real attraction to real estate; they were just to hold on to as an inheritance for our kids. I had heard Dr. Dean Radtke speak one time and remembered the wealth of wisdom he shared on leadership.
I was there to hear Dr. Radtke. I heard from God.
I remember this story like it was yesterday. We had to pick our breakout sessions. Naturally my first pick was Dr. Radtke. My second I decided would be Billy Epperhart’s session since we had a couple rentals. I sit down right near the front and Billy starts his session. The first thing I remember him saying was…
It’s either God or Money, make up your mind.
I sat up! God just got my attention.
My whole life, or I should say my entire born again life of over 25 years, I have never been motivated by greed. My motivation for money was to take care of family and be able to take them to Disneyland. You know, just be comfortable and happy. I wanted to take care of my kids but I was not going to spend my whole life trying to build bigger barns, if you know what I mean. I worked in the Oil and Gas industry and was constantly exposed to bad decisions (my opinion) people made for money. I hated how people would do anything when a dollar was involved. So I sat straight up at the start of Billy’s breakout on Real Estate. Truth reverberated in my soul. I knew the verse before he had it up on his presentation.
Matthew 6:24. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
I was all ears. My mind is spinning. Who is this guy? I thought this was some multi-millionaire Real Estate investor like the “Rich Dad” guy. You know, full of insight and wisdom for Real Estate but certainly not melded to the gospel. I keep thinking “Who is this guy? Listen to him Rob! Listen to him!”
I listened to Billy and I heard from God.
Billy starts talking about making sense of making money to make a difference – the Wealthbuilder’s motto. He walks through scripture after scripture revealing the Lord’s plan for wealth. Deuteronomy 8:18, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
I began connecting the dots between my job, my life, and my God calling me to bring His Kingdom to earth. To do business for His glory and not man’s greed. I sat there in awe and I sat there fighting tears. What in the world had I been doing? God gave me a business and real estate and all I could think about was myself and my family. There’s nothing wrong that, but there is something wrong with stopping there. God was calling me to build wealth to establish His covenant, His Kingdom here on earth. I heard Him.
Then Billy starts getting into the details, his numbers for Real Estate. The rent should be 1% of the gross price, the price should be 2-4 times median income of the market, and on and on. I sit there and run the numbers with the houses we are renting. They match Billy’s numbers! I am in awe. How can we stumble into not one, but two rental investments that are good deals? I see God had given us deals when we didn’t even know what a deal was. He gives us “Billy” deals in the midst of being completely ignorant and passive.
God is so good!!
Excitement is growing in me. I can’t wait to share this with my wife. I want every class, paper, book, opinion Billy’s has to offer. I am excited and I want more. I get a glimpse of what I don’t know. Ouch. I need help. I pray “God, I need help. Help me.”
Moments later Billy mentions that he is going to host a Real Estate Roundtable in October. I immediately go into distress, “Oh NO!!!” I am afraid I missed it. It is only 15 people and I am at a Business Summit of 600, and to make it much worse I am hearing this on the second day of the summit! I don’t know if I should interrupt the session, jump up and run upstairs or just scream. Someone in back asks, “How much is it?” Billy says, “$995.” I immediately think I am going to have to talk to Lesa. She’d freak if I go back to our little cabin and tell her I just spent a thousand bucks to attend a real estate roundtable.
Instantly I hear the Holy Spirit say the price is just a gatekeeper. It will keep the people interested away, but will not stop those He’s calling. Now I’m excited, second day or not. The price may have left a few seats open for today. I am back at the “should I run upstairs” thought. It’s close to ending so I decide to wait. I casually put away my belongings. I decide which door would be the best to use to beat all the other people running upstairs. I wait on the edge of my seat with my computer bag in hand. Billy dismisses us.
I jump out of my chair and run to the door. Some guy beats me to it. I’m hot on his heels. I know he’s thinking the same thing I’m thinking. He bolts down the corridor and turns to the stairs. I was positive then as I followed. Right as I approach my turn for the stairs I run into Andrew Wommack – right there in front of me. ANDREW WOMMACK! I would LOVE to run into Andrew and tell him THANK YOU! His ministry has been such a blessing to us.
So there I am face-to-face with Andrew Wommack. He slows down and smiles, readying himself to meet me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to tell him what I just shared with you, so I gave him the 6th-grade head nod as I whizzed by him and ran upstairs still hot on the trail of that guy in front of me. We both get to the table, out of breath – it’s like 28,000 feet there :), and sign up for the roundtable!
My wife and I attend the roundtable after cramming a lifetime of reading, studying, and researching into four months. That guy racing in front of me turned out to be a new friend. We both laugh about how we were shot out of a cannon to sign up.
That roundtable & ministry of Billy and Becky Epperhart is one the best things that has ever happened to us.
That was the best money I have ever invested. The return is never ending – it’s priceless.
Today, my family is all about making sense of making money to make a difference. We now have six houses and eyes wide open looking for more. We are blessed, excited, and proud to partner with Wealthbuilders. We are building our real estate portfolio with a heart to redeem the land and help set people free from a spirit of poverty.
I know I am way over length for a blog. Billy’s staff asked if I would be interested in doing this and left it wide open as to a topic – wealth-building, real estate, or leadership. I think I have covered all three, because when you share an encounter with Billy Epperhart that is what you’ll get – along with a huge portion of God’s grace! Hopefully I will get an opportunity to share some of the details and ups and downs of “getting in the game” as Billy would say.
Thank you Billy!
Interested in attending a Wealthbuilders event? Our annual Wealthbuilders Conference is coming up February 3rd-5th in Denver, CO! We would love to see you (and your spouse!) there.
Right now we’re having a Holiday Special on tickets, so right now you can get a single ticket for only $149 or couples tickets for $239! This is a GREAT get-a-away for you and your spouse to spend time intentionally planning your 2017.
We hope to see you there. Find out more & sign up HERE.