Eric Upchurch is an Army Special Operations veteran who has a passion for educating the military community on how to create long-term wealth through real estate investing, while personally investing across the country for the last fourteen years. He serves as Co-Founder of Active Duty Passive Income (ADPI) and is a Senior Managing Partner with ADPI Capital. Eric’s personal mission statement is to “educate, empower and to help people grow”.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Central Iowa in a very middle-class family. We had enough, but we also had to work for anything ‘extra’. By 12 years old I was working in the fields, detasselling corn, and learned a solid work ethic and basic leadership skills that would carry through adolescence and early adulthood. Both my parents made it clear from an early age that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I would have realized that whatever it is in life that you want, you can GO GET IT! We live in such an amazing country, and at an amazing time in history. Also, I wish I would have understood the importance of discovering purpose as well as the need for continual growth in life.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
In general, it makes me cringe that our antiquated education system continues to encourage traditional methods of schooling, getting a ‘good job’, and saving for retirement. Related to my industry in real estate investing…I would say a bad piece of advice is “wait for the right time.” Rather, you should buy right, now, and wait.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
I served in an Army Special Operations unit where one of my secondary duties was as a burial detail Officer in Charge. Burying my friends was one of the darkest, most difficult things I’ve had to do, repeatedly. When I had just separated from the military, one day I saw a homeless Veteran on the side of an exit ramp in San Francisco. I thought, ‘I bet 20 years ago he didn’t know he’d be homeless now.’ This prompted me to go to the local VA to see if there was something I needed to work through; turns out I did need to understand “survivors’ guilt” and deal with my feelings and experiences of deploying five times head-on. What I learned from this is that I am resilient, curious, strong, but not immune to innate human reactions. And that everyone needs help in some way – even if they don’t appear like it on the surface.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Networking. Building a personal brand through telling people who you are and what you do is the single most influential action one can take. It’s through this consistent action that friendships, mentorships, and teams are formed around you. Teams are what build fortunes.
What is your morning routine?
My ideal day:
0700 wake up (I don’t use an alarm, ever)
3 things I’m grateful for
Splash cold water on the face
Chug 12 oz. water
10 air squats
0700-0730: Miracle Morning (SAVERS)
1100-1200: Income-producing priorities
1200-1300: Lunch, go for a walk
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
In the past few years, I have learned how effective and impactful saying ‘no’ can be. We own/operate multiple companies, have several commercial multifamily assets, a large military real estate investing community, and I have a family and my own investments. Business can turn into BUSYNESS without situational awareness and clarity of mission. Sometimes saying ‘no thank you’, tactfully, can be an accelerator to success.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Time-blocking the day is essential for me. Each day, towards the end, I’ll look at the next day and week and prioritize two things that must get done the next day. Then, when I’m done with my workout, these are the first things that get accomplished.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki was the ‘spark’ I needed to really understand that anyone can invest in Real Estate and that there is a different way to live your life that isn’t being taught to most people in the US.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was instrumental in understanding that thoughts become things; that I need to focus on the things I want out of this life and relentlessly, unapologetically pursue them.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
I came up with a quote that I tell people as often as possible, my success formula. “Learn all you can, network your butt off, add value to others, and take massive action. If you do these four things with the intention to be only 1% better daily, success will hunt YOU down.” – Eric Upchurch