Jessi Johnson is a prominent realtor and mortgage broker. He was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s reality show twice (only one in Canada to be able to do so) and personally manages over half a billion in his client’s mortgage. Johnson is currently affiliated with Sutton Centre Realty as a realtor, and Home Equity Solutions, as a mortgage broker.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
My childhood was not easy. My father was kind of a deadbeat who was usually drunk before I woke up to go to school and then slept all day. Let’s say it wasn’t the most inspiring or motivational relationship. My mom was and still is fantastic, but I certainly missed out on fatherly guidance, so had to make stuff up as I went. I currently don’t have children but admit to having a deep-down motivation to have kids just to give them what I feel that I didn’t receive. At the end of the day, it could have been worse.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
As a teenager and throughout life, I wish that I chose friends more wisely. You are the average of your closest friends, they say. I have become much better at selecting who to spend time with as I mature, but it still took me until my 40’s to understand this. Getting involved earlier in real estate and then flipping properties is something that I wished I figured out ten years earlier. This error was a massive part of the inspiration for writing my book.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
I try to not focus on the negative but, “take your time to buy real estate” is likely the worst advice given in my profession. Don’t wait to buy, buy 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?
One of my more important lessons in adolescence was when I just graduated high school and was throwing raves/concerts. The government decided to cancel promoter permits for one year which essentially canceled the events. My events were of a rather larger scale so this cost me everything I had, my business, and put me deep into debt with investors. I couldn’t declare bankruptcy because most of them were my friends and I am against taking the easy way out. With my company destroyed at this point, it took me about 5 years but I eventually paid every borrowed penny back and with interest. Some of those people are my top investors on projects to this day.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Consistency is key and a weakness I still struggle with but not nearly as bad as I used to. When I am consistent, and on point, success happens. I am also not afraid to try things other people are won’t do or consider. A number of years ago, I was asked to audition for a new reality show by Oprah Winfrey. I was terrified not only of the process but also of the time it was going to take to film my part if I actually got the role. I ended up getting on the show and although it was tough and scared the crap out of me, it took me far out of my box, which allowed me to do more things in the future.
What is your morning routine?
My morning routine begins (when I am consistent) at 5:30 am, I aim to start the day with a 10 minute morning manifestation meditation. After a strong hand-crafted coffee by my amazing girlfriend, I update my voicemail for the day, watch Darren Daily who is a motivational speaker with daily videos, and then set my MVPs (most value priorities) for the day. Following this, I try to read or listen to (audible) educational books for about 30 minutes for study time. I then work until 9 or 10 before breaking for 2 to 3 hours. This is when I try to hit the gym and eventually eat breakfast. I like to fast in the morning and evenings, so only eat during an 8-hour period of time. Back to work after personal time. If I don’t force a break in the morning, I often work later into the evenings and then have no life.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Since a kid, I have always struggled with FOMO (fear of missing out) in social life and enjoyed alcohol a little more than I should. Thanks, dad. This has been the one and only real cause of any inconsistent consistency.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most effectively?
Like most productive people, I have a To-Do list but aim to keep it small to better each day. The second I start working in the morning, I launch PomoFocus (pomofocus.io) to help keep me focused and remind me that I must take breaks. I also print a half-page piece of paper that I call the Daily every morning and aim to complete the checklist by the end of the day.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
I have always struggled with reading, my ADHD kicks in, which inevitably crushes my ability to focus for long periods of time, so I have only read a fraction of the books that I want. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki for assets over liabilities, Moon Walking with Einstein by Joshua Foer for memory retention, and The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss for obvious reasons. I also happened to write my own book Rockstar Real Estate Investing, a best seller on Amazon and, ironically enough, has since caused me to up my own game!
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“One Life to Live” ~ I can’t express enough how important it is to have a constant reminder of this.