EP 21 – Simon Lerner – Successful Trader & Entrepreneur

Simon has an incredible story. He was accepted into Columbia University but dropped out to pursue entrepreneurship and self education. It turned out pretty well.

He’s only 21 but is already an extremely successful trader, he founded NetCon and organized educational conferences and he’s also investing in real estate.

This one has a goldmine of valuable takeaways and anecdotes. We cover his entire journey in our conversation and dig deep into:

  • how he’s been able to accomplish so much already,
  • how he thought about dropping out,
  • what gives him the mindset to succeed,
  • how he networks with other high achievers
  • and much much more

By the way, if you’re interested in trading, you are in for a real treat because I’m dedicating the next month to interviews with successful traders. There are some really incredible episodes coming. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out! (scroll down for show notes)

You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts and/or Spotify. Also you can watch the video version of this interview on YouTube!

Show notes:

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Click here for the raw, unedited transcript:

This transcript was automatically generated using Descript.

Ismail Humet: [00:00:00] Welcome to The Bound to Be Rich podcast, where I attempt to reverse engineer people who seem to be successful, no matter the circumstances, so that you can apply those lessons to your own life. I’m your host, is Melmed. One quick thing before we get started. I am starting my own email newsletter and I would love for you to join it.

It’s going to be like a personal note for me to my friends, of all the best things that have come across that month from hacks and tips, interesting stories, products, books, ways to make money, and who knows what else. It’s totally freight and if you don’t like it, you can always opt out at any time, so there’s no downside.

The link to join is in the show notes, and I hope to see you on the list in this episode. We are joined by Simon Lerner, founder of Net Con and a very successful young entrepreneur. Simon has an amazing story from immigrating to America, making money, playing video games, getting into Columbia University, but dropping out to getting into trading, organizing, educational conferences, and investing in real estate.

We get into it all. The crazy part is that he’s [00:01:00] only 21. It doesn’t take long into speaking with him to realize he’s different. We cover his entire journey in our conversation and dig deep into how he’s been able to accomplish so much already, how he thought about dropping out, what gives him the mindset to succeed, how he networks with other high achievers, and much, much more.

There’s a gold mine of valuable takeaways and anecdotes on this one. By the way, if you’re interested in trading, you’re in for a real treat because I am dedicating the next month to interviews with successful traders. There are some really incredible episodes coming. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out.

All right, let’s dive in.

Simon, thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate you making the time. 

Simon Lerner: Yes, ma, thank you for having [00:02:00] me. Really appreciate taking the time as well. Uh, I’m 

Ismail Humet: really stoked to speak with you because I’ve, we’ve been going back and forth on social media for a long time, and I feel like we have a lot of similar interests or experiences, so I really was looking forward to this conversation.

Um, I think the, if I think back to our first like dms to each other, way back in the day, it was me asking you about moving to Florida. So if you don’t mind sharing, why did you move from New York to Florida and how has that gone? 

Simon Lerner: Absolutely. I mean, I want to, I guess, set the tone a little bit because New York was not my home place either.

I wasn’t born in New York or raise in New York. I came to New York when I was, uh, 13 years old. I was born and raised in Russia. So, uh, a lot of people don’t know that. Um, my parents brought me to America for the purpose of education. They thought that, um, America had the greatest education at the time. To them, education was.

That one thing that can help you really, you know, set yourself up for quote unquote success and build the life of [00:03:00] your dreams to them. That was, you know, the pure American dream as immigrants to the country. They brought me in pursuit of higher education, right? Cuz obviously Russia at the time did not have, uh, as good of education as America did.

Um, and they brought me to America. 13. I went to eighth grade and middle school, all high school, and I started college in New York. But I ended up dropping out, um, in middle of freshman year, um, out of college. And I was still living in New York and at that point just made sense to move to, uh, Florida for, you know, several reasons.

Uh, number one being, you know, no, no state tax weather. I, I was tired, you know, of the four to six months of snow every single year growing up in Russia. So I had 13 years of that. And then coming to New York, having a very similar kind of climate where. Pretty much from November to mid-April you have snow.

Um, it was just not about that. I needed a change of environment. And the thing is, I was pretty much used to the consistent change cuz I’ve changed my environment many times. We’ve [00:04:00] moved probably, I, I think I went to four or five different schools. We moved, uh, you know, a lot, um, as a, as a kid even in New York.

And, um, we moved homes three times in a span of five years probably. Um, so change was not something that I was scared of. I embraced change very well and I love changing my environment. So to me, the fact that I wasn’t in school anymore and both I, I think dive into it a little bit later why I dropped out and like all that stuff, um, just gave me another opportunity to move, change my environment, change the people I’m around and, you know, have a different social exposure.

Cause obviously Florida is so much, uh, different than New 

Ismail Humet: York. Yeah, I, I was strong considering as well and the only thing that stopped me was that the real estate market in the town that I was looking at got crazy. They were competitive bidding on the lots for new homes, the old homes, there wasn’t any listings.

So it just got really, really crazy and that’s kind of why I had to pause my search. Sure. Um, but you, you talked about dropping out and then what’s really interesting to me as a son of immigrants as well, I know the [00:05:00] pressure of pursuing higher education as a, as a son of immigrants that came to this country for a better life, for better education, as you said.

How did dropping off go with your parents? And if you can get into the story of like why and how you thought about making that decision. 

Simon Lerner: For sure. So I went to, so just to set the tone, I, I was going to school for engineering. I got accepted into Columbia Engineering, uh, which is a, you know, really kind of good school.

Like, you know, it’s an I league school. Um, you know, not to brag or anything, but, um, I was good at math, science and all that stuff, and my. Said, Hey, you’re gonna go get an engineering job. He’s gonna pay you. Well, you’re gonna make, you know, the hundred 50, 250 K year, you’re gonna be happy, satisfied with that.

Um, I went to the first semester and I really just hated every moment of it because I knew I was doing it for my parents, not for myself. I really wasn’t like enjoying it, even though yes, I was good at it intrinsically because, you know, as a kid growing up, I was always playing with Legos. It was always [00:06:00] some more of a math science person than English and uh, social studies language, right?

So I was very hands on math, but just some, there, there was a disconnect because, you know, when someone enforces something on you, obviously you’re doing it for them rather than for yourself. To me, business was something I, I was more so inclined towards. And at the time of going to college already, I was getting into trading.

I started, you know, uh, senior year of high school. Uh, and over the summer I started picking up trading. And um, I was trading in, you know, in school before school, during school, during class, um, because. Trading was more, more appealing to me, um, and really like something that interested me more than the classes and the lectures and, uh, you know, the boring stuff in school, I found it very boring.

Um, so that was, you know, where I realized, hey, I want to go more so the business route. So what I did was I, the first semester I went for engineering, the second [00:07:00] semester my parents was like, Okay, fine. Like, you still need to go to school. If you don’t wanna do engineering, pick something else. And it switched to, um, business for the second semester of freshman year.

And then I realized that I was learning more, driving to and from school, listening to business podcasts from people like, uh, you know, Andy Illa, Joe Marion, right? Like big podcast. Then I did sitting in a class learning from a professor who’s never had a. Who only conceptually knows how business is supposed to be run or made.

The business is taught from outdated, you know, 1990s, early 2000 textbooks, and they’re just regurgitating information from the textbooks rather than, you know, learning from people who actually have built 8, 9, 10 figure businesses. Um, so there was a disconnect in that part because I knew that the apple doesn’t fall far from retreat.

And if I’m learning from people who have never ran a successful business or are making, you know, $80,000 a year, I’m probably gonna be somewhere in that, you know, ballpark range, uh, somewhere to my, you know, professor. [00:08:00] Um, so the decision to drop out, uh, came for, you know, several things. And there I remember vividly there was this one point, uh, I was trading, you know, stocks.

I was not really consistently profitable just yet. That was freshman year in college. I went to my economics professor after his lecture cause we were talking about stocks at stock market. Um, different instruments. The Dow Jones Astra did Dow Jones Industrial Average and all the, you know, uh, important stuff about stocks.

And I came to him and I said, Hey, you know, I really enjoyed your lecture today. I’m actually, you know, trying to get more hands on into trading. I’m trading Tesla right now, wanting to, um, get your opinion on like what I should do, should I buy more, should I sell all of it? Uh, and that was one, Tesla was about $180 pre split, right?

Um, and he, Simon, I really appreciate your enthusiasm for the class, but I actually can’t give you any advice on what to do if you’re stock because I personally not invest in the stock market. My wife doesn’t let me trade it over, invest. And I was [00:09:00] like, Wait a second. So I’m gonna have my parents spend all their hard earned money on an education.

So I’m learning business or quote unquote, the stock market from a, the person whose wife doesn’t even let him invest her trade. Like, how does that make sense? He’s not a practitioner, right? Uh, it’s like, Think of, think of it in, you know, I, I had an analogy. I’m like, What, what if I went to the gym and I was taking device from a 300 pound overweight man?

Or how to get a six pack? In theory, he might know how to get a six pack, right? He might have read about it, watched videos. He might know that he needs to be in ACH deficit, do certain exercises, but he’s never had it or achieved it, right? So why should I be taking device from it? So at that point, it became clearly apparent that school was not the place, you know, for me to learn those particular things.

I’m not saying school is bad and you can’t learn things, but just that particular niche that I wanted to be involved in, the people that were giving me advice were not successful enough or had results that I was trying to get, you know, get for myself. So I said, Okay, let me [00:10:00] take a break from this. I’m gonna go, uh, take that money, you know, that is being paid for my education.

Invest it into education from people who actually. Um, have the results that I’m trying to achieve, and guess what, If things don’t work out, I can always just go back to school. So it’s a, it was a very limited downside of like, Hey, you know, I can take the next year or two years and go try to, I, I’m not just gonna take it off and go do God knows what.

Right? I’m still gonna learn, invest in myself, educate myself, um, but I’m gonna learn from people who have results that I want rather than just a professional, a professor who’s making 50, 60, 70 k year teaching you things from a textbook. There, there, there’s 

Ismail Humet: so much to like, I think the whole concept of education now can be a whole podcast of itself, but there’s a lot of things that he said that resonated with me.

I had a similar experience where I was gonna college during the financial crisis and I remember I had a similar like moment where I just stopped paying attention to people and I was just following the news. Cause I’m like, I’m living through history right now. This is the best time to learn investing in trading.

The professors didn’t even know what was going on. So I was just reading the Wall Street Journal and, and [00:11:00] like following things in the classroom, uh, as opposed to paying attention to the professor. . I also was listening to podcasts back and forth, and I was learning more from them. I think it’s a, it’s a tough thing for business people interested in business and specifically entrepreneurship.

You can’t really learn that as well in school from people who haven’t done it. Right. How are you gonna teach entrepreneurship in school if you haven’t been an entrepreneur? So how do you solve that though? Cause like, I have kids now and everyone’s like, You gotta start a 5 0 1 seat, whatever the, the college account is to save money for their college.

And I did not do that because I don’t know what college is gonna look like in 20 years. Uh, it already looks questionable to me now for people that are, unless you’re doing like a law degree or, or medical degree where it’s required, I don’t know. I don’t know how it’s gonna look in 20 years. So I, I just started investment account for my kids because I’m not sure how do you solve this education problem.

And, and then the final thing that stood out to me is that dropping out sounds irresponsible, but the way you laid it out, It was very like, mature and, and thought through. [00:12:00] Um, I think if, if, if young people are listening that want to drop out, you learn a lot from listening to Alzheimer just explained his thought process.

And like you said, you weren’t gonna just throw it away. Um, you were gonna go learn for people who have done it. So how did you go about finding the correct educational? 

Simon Lerner: Gotcha. So this is actually where, you know, net con comes in in a way, and I will touch up on that, uh, in a second with us. Um, with our company, our mission is to reform the way people learn.

And, uh, our, you know, goal is to, uh, provide education in different formats for people that want to learn that business and entrepreneurship, right? Uh, whether it’s, uh, cuz obviously everybody learns in different ways. Some people prefer audio format, like this podcast that people are, uh, listening to right now.

Some people prefer, uh, reading. Some people like, uh, video explanations. Some people like live events where you can, uh, you know, Cohesively with a mentor or a coach, like in person, right? You see them, you, you can interact with them. So, uh, our goal is to provide education, different mediums, right? Um, [00:13:00] so when I dropped out and I’ll kind of, you know, give a little bit more background than, um, I gave other interviews, uh, cause I think it’s important.

Um, so here’s kind of the backstory of what was happening, uh, just to set the tone. For going back a couple years prior, my parents were divorced, right? So I was raised by a single mom and my dad never really like, contributed or paid, you know, child support or elements or whatever you call it. But he came around when I was, you know, graduating high school.

He felt bad. He’s like, Hey, you know, I never really like supported you to your mom. I’m gonna pay for your college, right? He said, um, you know, I, I want you to have that education. That’s why, you know, we sent you to America in the first place. I’ll pay for your school. Right? So what was happening is for the first semester, I think it was like 15 K years, something, uh, sorry, 15 K semester.

So like 30, 35 k year that, um, he was willing to pay for my school. And, um, since he was obviously overseas, he’s still in Russia, he, he would send me that, uh, that money to pay for school. So what happened is for the first semester, he, uh, paid me, uh, he didn’t pay me. He sent me [00:14:00] $15,000. He’s like, Hey, that’s money you’re gonna pay for school, right?

And I paid for school and I went for the first semester. The second semester he sent me the same $15,000 to go pay for school. I went for the, like the first week of the business semester, had that realization of, um, you know, that hey, I don’t want to continue here. Um, and, and then the deadline came like, Hey, you need to pay for school.

And then I was like, now it’s time for me to really weigh my risk. Like, what do I wanna do? Cuz you know, my dad gave me $15,000 to spend on my quote unquote education. Right? And I was like, it, I just wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror. If I took that $15,000, I would be doing him a disservice if I put that towards that single right.

That, you know, to me, the. School stock was going towards zero, but it had a negative trend, was in a downward direction. I was like, Let me take that money. I’m not just gonna take it and blow it, I’m just gonna take that money, but invest into education elsewhere. Right? So I have that kind of, uh, [00:15:00] foundation.

I’m so glad for it cuz I know a lot of people, you don’t have $15,000 to invest into their education. Um, or $15,000. You know, in general, I obviously had, you know, savings from jobs and hustles that I did as well to fund my trading accounts. But I had the $15,000 to educate myself, um, like after I dropped out of college.

So what do I do? Um, the second I dropped out, I was like, okay, I need to find people that have results that I want. And that was right at a time that 10 x square conference three was coming out of Grand Cardone and everybody, um, like all the speakers, I think Kevin Hard, a bunch of other, um, entrepreneurs, 30,000 people.

It was like the biggest entrepreneur event of the year. I was like, Let me go there because Grand Cardone is, uh, you know, the quote unquote billionaire. Um, I, I want to be around people like him. I wanna learn from, from, from. You know, people that have results. And I spent, you know, probably three, $4,000 going to Miami, uh, going to that event and was very disappointed because obviously I caught on real quick that the entire gist of the event was to sell people into coachings or programs rather than serve people [00:16:00] and provide them with proper education.

So it wasn’t much better than college either because of what, you know, I came to the event people were passing around business card advertising their business and it wasn’t personalized. You can’t go up to grant card and be like, Hey, let’s sit down for 30 minutes in an hour. I have these issues. I want to discuss.

Here’s my portfolio. I want to have your thoughts on it. He’d be like, you know, if you wanna sit down me one on one, that’s gonna be, you know, 250 grand for an hour or something that cause obviously his time, uh, his R one honest his time is much better speaking in front of 30,000 people than sitting one on one.

And then when I returned I was like, there’s a flaw here right in this big event. And I know there was a lot of money. You know, people are making from this event, a lot of people, uh, invest money to go through those events to try to better themselves, but they are not getting the outcomes that they’re coming there for.

Right? Um, it was just a whole motivational, fluff, motivational and bullshit type of event where, uh, speakers went on stage and they would say, I made a million dollars doing X, Y, and Z. So, you know, so can you, if you wanna learn how you [00:17:00] gotta buy my course program, right? That was like in the short 10 seconds what that event, you know, was about right.

I’m not saying all events are like that, but generally speaking, the bigger the event, the less customizable it is to your needs and, uh, the more kind of salesy pitchy it is cuz uh, you know, for people to get help with their needs, they would need to enroll into some sort of, uh, more expensive version of the program.

So I was like, well, let me try to host my own event where. , I would host it in a way where I would want to attend it. Right. Um, because after attending that one 10 X Square conference, I knew that I wouldn’t want to attend another one of those because I had a, I guess poor experience. I, I wouldn’t want to call it poor cause it was eyeopening, but I know that I just wouldn’t want to attend one more of these cuz it was just waste of time and, and the ROI and the money I invested wasn’t there.

So I was like, what can be done differently? How can I serve people? How can people benefit from, from, you know, obviously education outside of school, obviously, you know, education, but [00:18:00] in a different manner, in a different format. I was like, okay, let me take this into my own hands and let me host my own event.

Right. Um, and uh, that’s where Netcom was born. Um, Netcom, um, had, you know, was broken down into Net Con where uh, net was for, uh, networking and CON was for conference. Right. So it sort of as a networking conference where you actually get to. Um, you know, build integrity based relationships with people rather than just, uh, attend an event and sit in the chair and, uh, you know, take out your credit cards and purchase stuff.

Uh, so we hosted the event and I was like, What are some parameters that I’d want to adjust and change based off of what I’ve seen from the two or three events I want to, I was like, Okay, number one, I wanted to be closely and intimate where, uh, the ratio between speakers and attendees is small, right?

Where, you know, like in 10 x the ratio between speakers and attendees is probably like one to 2000, where for every speaker that goes up, there’s 2000 people. The ratio, right? With us, the netcom, the ratio is [00:19:00] about one to 10, one to 12, right? So you can only imagine when you have, let’s say, 10 speakers who have experience in a certain niche working with, instead of 30,000 people, it’s only, you know, a hundred people, a hundred, 150 people.

Then it becomes more so than. Let me sell you this. Let me sell you that. Let’s break down to small groups. Let’s have different formats of learning. Some are gonna be panel discussions, right? Where there’s four or five speakers in different, uh, sorry, in the same realm of expertise that people can ask of their questions that matter to them.

Cuz for me, the biggest issue was I couldn’t ask questions that I had concerns about or I had like questions about. I couldn’t be like, Hey, Grand Cardone, like, what about this? Or, um, I actually had a experience with this and that. Um, what would you suggest? There was none of that, right? So we integrated, you know, that into the conferences, uh, as well as, you know, a lot of more stuff that I’m not gonna dive into too much detail.

Well, 

Ismail Humet: before I, before I ask, uh, my question, I just wanted say that I [00:20:00] also relate to this because I started, I went to a couple conferences in a specific niche industry. Uh, I’ve got a business in the photo booth. And I had the same realization where I wanted to do it differently and I organized my own event.

Similar concept, more intimate, better speakers, more speakers. Uh, unfortunately I had to pivot that to virtual cuz it was scheduled for like March of 2020. So that was a whole rollercoaster ride. A lot of lessons learned there. But my question to you is you’re like 18, 19 at this time, I assume. Yep. What gave you, like, why did you think, Hey, I’m gonna do it on my own, like a lot.

That’s, that’s a lot. Like, that’s not normal for an 18 year old to think I’m gonna drop out and I’m gonna do this on my own. I’m gonna do it better than Grand car down

Simon Lerner: I guess it’s, I can’t really describe it, um, in a way that a lot of people will understand. I think entrepreneurs will definitely understand, uh, people who don’t have that, I guess entrepreneurial really spirit, cuz I, I think a lot of people [00:21:00] are born with it and some people are, are just not born with it.

Uh, so I definitely think I had a slide edge in that, uh, thing. My dad, you know, like I probably got it from him. He, he was an entrepreneur his entire life. He’s built, uh, you know, a company back in Russia in the early two thousands, um, in the advertising space. He was doing, uh, digital, uh, not digital advertising.

Uh, he was only Billboard advertising. He had, uh, you know, I think the fourth largest company in the country at the time, in the early two thousands for billboard advertising, uh, for like digital screens. And then they went outta business when Facebook and YouTube ads and all that came about. But before that, you know, he, uh, he was driving taxis, fixing, leaking fts, like anything he could do to like, you know, have, you know, a business or like some sort of entrepreneurial endeavor.

So I probably like 25, 30 different ventures, right? So I definitely, you know, got that from him in a way. But it’s also a muscle and a skill you can develop, right? Um, I know that for a fact, um, [00:22:00] hustles and, you know, making money, obviously that’s not the, the. Uh, dream outcome for me now, But at the time when I was 15, 16, that was something that was very, um, enticing to me.

Uh, things like flipping things online and, um, you know, uh, providing people quote unquote value, whether it’s, uh, editing pictures, uh, for clients on fiber or, um, Upwork. Right. So you’ve done, you’ve done all that? I’ve done all that. I’ve had experience with that, and I have built certain skills by the time I was 18 that really helped me, um, see this big vision, right?

Skills like communication, right? I feel like I am, I’ve developed a very decent ability to communicate with people and, you know, sense out people’s needs and wants, right? And, uh, be able to, I don’t want to use buzzwords as provide value, obviously, Uh, you know, provide values. Very generic. People always say provide value.

Well, [00:23:00] what does you know that mean? But I feel like I’ve gotten. Very good at providing value to people and be being seen as a valuable asset to people. And, um, in terms of, you know, providing value, like again, what does that mean? It’s just meeting needs and wants of people. And how do you do that? Well, you can either possess skills to provide value to people, or you can facilitate an introduction to somebody who can, uh, who has the skills.

So from, I know for a lot of people who reach out to influencers or want to connect with people or want to mentor, um, they always hear like, Hey, you need to provide value to those people so they pay attention to you, right? Because obviously they get hundreds and thousands of dms and messages a day. How do you stand out?

Right? You need to provide value, um, but for you to provide value. A lot of. Know that it doesn’t have to be them that’s providing the value. They can just be a valuable asset to that person by, you know, making an introduction. So, you know, another question is like, how did you get, you know, 13 speakers for your first event, who are, you know, seven, eight figure [00:24:00] earners?

Right. While I connected with one or two at the 10 Growth conference. That’s why I’m not saying it was a bad experience. I met a few people there. Uh, Fernando Villa was, um, our mc, uh, for the event that I, uh, met at Tech, uh, GR Con. And, um, I connected with him and then I leveraged that connection and leveraged that network to have him introduce me to like six or seven other speakers.

Then through those speakers I got to, you know, to have into their network. Um, and for one of them I sent a message and he, he, he didn’t see, he, he wouldn’t reply. I really wanted him to be, um, a speaker of my event. And, um, I saw in his story he posted, Hey, I’m looking for, uh, you know, if anybody can help me with the website stuff and instead of, you know, just.

Messaging. What was the mentality of ask like, Hey, come speak at my event. Come help me do this. I need you for this. I switched my mentality and I was like, Let me switch it to a giving mentality. What can I give this person so he finds me valuable to then possibly later reciprocate that to me. I didn’t go in with [00:25:00] expectations of the, you know, having him reciprocate that to me.

But I went in and I made a group chat introduction with our website developer and, uh, him. I didn’t say, you know, Hey, come speak at my event. Uh, you know, I was a total stranger. I said, Hey, you know, I’m not gonna mention his name. Let’s just say his name was John. Hey John, I know Albert. Albert, um, is a great website developer I life for the two of you to connect.

I think he’d be able to assist you with your needs, right? And that was it. All right. Because I personally don’t possess the skills to build a website. I don’t know how to build websites in a fast, efficient manner or up to the industry standards. But I know somebody who does, right? And I know somebody who has a need for a website.

So now it can make a. introduction and very fast, I become a valuable piece of the equation for both parties because I’m solving an issue for both of them. For John, I’m helping him find somebody that can provide quality work, a website, or whatever needs he had. And for Albert, who’s making [00:26:00] the websites, I’m providing him a referral client.

Right? So very quickly I become this amazing person for Albert and for John. But what do you gain out of that? I gain the fact that now I’m likable by, by John and Albert, and now without any expectations. I know that in the future, if I need something where I know that John May need something, I now have the right in a way to.

ask for something in return, right? It just, Gary, it’s just similar to Gary v’s. A book. Jab, Jab, Jab, right Hook where it’s like, give, give, give and then ask, right? I want to give without any expectations or return, but I know in the future if there’s something that I may need, that that person would more than likely, uh, go out of their way to assist.

Where, where, where now I know that I can go four months later childer and be like, Hey, you know, do you know anybody by any chance that that, um, you know, is good at video editing? Or do you know anybody who can help you with this? And he might be like, Yeah, I know this guy. Let me [00:27:00] introduce you guys, right?

Where, where, whereas I either wouldn’t have known the other person or they just wouldn’t have responded to my, you know, dms. But when they make that introduction on, on, on my behalf, right, Rather than just me reaching out, they’re like, Hey, um, Ismail, meet Simon. I automatically seem credible to you because a friend that you trust is making that introduction.

Right. 

Ismail Humet: Yeah, I think you just broke down perfectly. Networking. In today’s day and age with social media and everything, you’re right, you can’t take it personally cuz people are so busy they get so many messages. And I’ve done the same thing where becoming the connector is like an underrated and undervalued wave.

Growing your network, everyone wants to connect themselves, but no one wants to be a connector. And I found that being the connector is way more valuable. And just like you said, there’s no guarantee that they’re gonna reciprocate it, but the next time you send a message, they’re gonna see it. They’re gonna at least look at it and there’s, there’s just a higher chance of you getting through by being the connector.

Um, it reminds [00:28:00] me, so here’s a general question I have cuz when I talk to Josh or Donez people who haven’t heard that podcast, I can listen to that as well. Um, he, he talked very highly of you and I think he referred to you as like a booster machine and. The stories that he specifically mentioned was about how you were very generous, and I think he’s talked about, um, I don’t wanna butcher her, but I think he, he came to your Hampton event and you had a crazy house and you let him stay there for free.

Um, why are you and e even with this interview right now, um, you, without getting into the details, you’re very generous with sharing knowledge and people follow you on social media. They can see that. Why are you like that? Is there some ulterior motive where you’re gonna benefit somehow? Is it just naturally part of your personality?

Where does that generosity come from? 

Simon Lerner: I feel like it’s somewhere in the middle with understanding number one of human psychology. Uh, and number two, just, you know, my ultimate, uh, you know, upbringing, the way, you know, my, my [00:29:00] parents raised me, I guess, uh, in, you know, Eastern European culture, uh, it’s, it’s a, it’s a norm in a way.

Uh, just I would say comparing the American, uh, society in Russian society where I grew up. I know that people like in general are much more, uh, open back home where, where I come from, obviously Americans have, you know, some sort of negative stigma, uh, because of news and whatnot, but I, you know, I actually lived in both countries and I can make that, you know, comparison, right?

Where, um, in Russia, you know, if you have an elderly woman and, uh, just crossing a road and you have some sort of teenager walking by that teenager, like five out of 10 cases, that teenager would go up to the elderly woman, ask her if she needs help, uh, help her carry groceries. Whereas in America, like I, I’ve rarely seen something like that happen, right?

That doesn’t, you know, number one, the cultural exposure. I would say number two is just understanding, you know, human psychology. Um, I feel like, you know, there, there is two types of people. There’s people that are very repelling and there’s people that, [00:30:00] um, are liked and, um, you know, people, others gravitate to toward some like magnet in a way, right?

And I’ve studied a lot of people that. I personally have gravitated towards, um, people like Omar, people like Tony Robbins, people like, you know, of that high caliber, and I kind of pondered and I was like, What makes me gravitate towards those people? What makes those people so likable in my mind? Is it, um, you know, and, and I’ve read, you know, a lot of psychology books.

I, I love psychology and understanding human mind, um, and emotions and why people make certain decisions. And, um, in, in one of the books, um, I don’t remember which one at this current point in time, um, I remember there was a concept talking about how, you know, acts of kindness, uh, Charity, gift giving.

Obviously all those things are seen as, uh, Something that people gravitate towards, right? And, uh, makes [00:31:00] you, um, I guess sort of elevated in, in that person’s mind because they, they see you are doing like an active, you know, gratitude and kindness, right? Um, and they can relate on, on that aspect because, um, they want to be in that position as well.

They want to be able to give, they wanna be able to provide, they want to be able to, you know, donate to charity or help people, right? For a, a lot of people, you know, for 99% of human population, we’re good people. We want to help people, you know, we want, uh, everybody to, to do well. There is, you know, obviously people, you know, there are just bad people that want others to suffer and whatnot, but for the majority of people, there are good people that are great people.

They want, you know, nothing but happiness and success and whatever, but their human psychology obviously gets in a way where there’s envy, there is jealousy, there is, you know, Oh, he’s doing better than me, so I need to, you know, do something. So he’s not doing as, you know, as good to make myself feel better, you know, about my insecurities and stuff like that.

For the majority of people, you know, were good people. Right. [00:32:00] Um, 

Ismail Humet: it’s interesting you mentioned the cultural differences. Uh, my family came from a Yugoslavia at the time, which is now like modern day Macedonia, so it’s Eastern European connection there. And I’ve also seen the same thing where there’s more of a community aspect there versus in America, like I remember working on Wall Street, I literally saw a guy have a heart attack in Penn Station and people are like stepping over him and stepping like, nobody cared, everybody’s trying to get to work.

That would not happen in like the small town in Macedonia, like you said. So there’s a very different culture here. It’s almost like people don’t trust generosity. They think there’s something behind it. So, So I’m glad you, you answered that question that way. Uh, and you mentioned Omar, we’ll get into trading next, but I think one thing I relate between you and him is that you’re both very generous and also transparent, which is very appealing in that sector.

Like in that world there’s not a lot of transparency. Um, But before we dive into that, uh, two more things with the net con Well, one, one general [00:33:00] thing you mentioned, um, you know, I’ll, I’ll go with this question. The net con event, I think I read somewhere that you had a fear of public speaking and is that part of the reason that you wanted to do the event and speak in front of crafts to deal with that fear?

Or was it like, was that like a side effect benefit kind 

Simon Lerner: of thing? Yeah, absolutely. Uh, you know, statistically people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. That’s their biggest, for the majority of people that are surveys that I’ve, you know, have thousands of participants and it’s been clearly proven that people are more afraid of public, public speaking than anything.

Right. And obviously I consider speaking one of, you know, there’s obviously gonna go to high income skills or very valuable skills. I consider speaking to be one of the most valuable skills to, um, be able to. Deliver a message. Uh, you know, I knew that if I was to be in a realm of business, any kind of [00:34:00] business or entrepreneurship, um, I would most, you know, want to be in the leadership po uh, position.

And for me to be in some sort of leadership position, to have, uh, persuasion, to have people listen to what it is that I have to say, to communicate effectively with my team and, and future employees, uh, business partners. I need to master speaking. I need to get better at speaking. Right? Um, and that was one of the skills that I needed to develop and, uh, and for me, I’ll just interrupt you real quick.

Any skill that it is that I want to learn, I dive right in. And I think, um, the one takeaway that people are gonna have from this podcast is, uh, don’t be afraid, uh, or overthink about whatever it is that you want to learn. Go dive right in. So with speaking, how I learned it is by speaking, right, is by hosting an event and getting on stage in front of hundreds of people and, uh, challenging that year with real estate.

How do I get into real estate, right? I bought, uh, you know, two properties. We’re closing on one property, Uh, right after the call actually we have, um, closing at, uh, [00:35:00] 1:30 PM Um, and then I figured out, hey, here’s what I’m gonna do with the properties, right? And I learned it by, by doing it with trading, it was the same thing.

Instead of, you know, reading a hundred books and watching a hundred YouTube videos, I opened an account, I funded it, and I started trading, right? And that’s how I learned trading by making mistakes, by figuring out, Oh, this button does this. Or by, you know, the connecting with, uh, people in real estate, right?

By buying this property. Now I know this agent now knows. Acceler agent. Now I know, you know, I have a contract template. Now I know the entire closing process. Now I know, you know, uh, how the title company works and all that stuff. And now I have that actual experience cuz I’ve done it rather than, you know, it’s just an accelerated, accelerated learning curve.

Whereas if you were just sitting there on the computer, um, you know, reading about all those things, yes, in theory they might make sense, but, um, you need to really have that practice behind it, uh, to really, uh, get good at the skill. And it’s just like the previous example of the overweight man in the gym, right?

Uh, in theory he might know how to do a [00:36:00] six pack, but the only way to get there is by actually starting to exercise. Right. 

Ismail Humet: You mentioned, um, hows to fund the trading account. Um, you mentioned fiber. I don’t know if you know that girl that was viral for making a lot of money on five or Alexandra Falo, the fiber girl on cnbc.

Um, she made over a million dollars in fiber. I interviewed her a couple episodes ago. So if someone’s listening to this, I know you have a lot of followers too that are aspiring traders. Uh, the main stumbling black people have is like, Oh, I don’t have money. Where do I get money? Are there any hustles that you did that were effective in, you know, making some cash to fund a trading account?

Simon Lerner: I’ll tell you exactly what I did. So from the age of 12 to 16, I was playing video games, but I, I, I, I never played video games for, for the aspect because I, I liked, you know, the video game itself or like shooting people on a virtual screen or something. Um, I was playing things like cs Go and like all those things, [00:37:00] um, through Steam when I was like 12, 13, all the way up to like, probably sophomore year of high school.

But I was never playing any video games from an early age because of the video game. I was playing it because of the community, the people that were I was playing with and the, um, marketplace system. A lot of video games nowadays have have, you know, some sort of digital marketplace. And I really got fascinated by that at the age of 12.

So from the age of 12 to 16, I was playing those video games, but I was never, you know, every day from school, I’d come back to, you know, play that game and talk to people online. Um, and I was never really playing it for the aspect of like, the game or just achieving something, a game. It was always like acquiring those virtual items and, uh, doing that thing in a game.

Right? And at the age of 16, I, I sold all that for about $15,000. It took me like four years to like, build that inventory and stuff and talk to people. But that was a very big pivotal point in my life. I think probably the most important point on my life [00:38:00] was when I cash out, you know, those items I acquired over four years in the video game for, you know, real money.

It proved to me that a business was gonna head in the online, you know, e-commerce, uh, space in the online world like, you know, really existed. Uh, , and I proved it to myself when I understood that strangers on the internet are willing to pay you money. Right. And that’s when I never looked back, right When I had that realization that strangers on the internet are willing to send you money.

That’s when I was like, like click, aha moment. I’m, I’m 

Ismail Humet: like nodding in my head because I’m, I’m glad I asked that question. I didn’t know that was gonna be the answer. I did the same thing and I’ve never met anyone else that did the same thing. Uh, I probably have never shared this before, and maybe it’s a little embarrassing, but I used to play World of Warcraft, uh, and it was the same thing where I would accrue, There’s like, there was like in game currency, gold or all these other, other materials that you built stuff with or these weapons.

And I would sell all that stuff and I was making money playing this [00:39:00] game. Uh, the other reason I played games was to learn strategy. I think that’s an underrated, like instead of playing, I don’t know, what do people play called duty or whatever Now I’d play a lot of these, uh, strategy, uh, games to learn.

Okay. What happens if you do this? What happens if you do that? So video games aren’t totally pointless. So that’s an, that’s an awesome anecdote. Um, alright, so you got the money. Yeah, go ahead 

Simon Lerner: quick. Another thing on strategy that I really think helped me in business was when I was growing up and actually on a Russian education system really quick, um, I was like, really good at chest and I still play chess just for leisure, for fun, um, Right.

Um, but I would have a person come into, uh, our apartment in Russia every weekend to play chess with me for like two hours. Right. And teach me chess and teach me strategy and all that stuff. And then actually in school from the second to the sixth grade, chess is a mandatory class that every student has to take, right?

So, um, you know, there’s English, math, science, whatever else. And then there’s chess, right? Which I find very fascinating about [00:40:00] Russian school cause a lot of Russians are great at chess. So we have a lot of grandma masters, uh, in our, you know, country carpa of, uh, Casper. Like, uh, all those people are either from Eastern European descent or.

Um, not Russian, right? And, um, chess is like a mandatory, uh, you know, class and it really develops a young human being’s mind on strategy, on thinking ahead, not just thinking for today. And I feel like in American society, this is something that’s lacking because people are so short focused on just, what am I gonna do today?

How am I gonna, you know, get to work, get it back from work? And, you know, maybe not even there. Like, what am I having for lunch? That’s the FARs their mind expands, right? 

Ismail Humet: So I definitely think, uh, video games get a bad rep. I think I learned a lot, like the whole gamification. Even going back to college, I actually finished college.

I did it quickly. And the gamification that I did was that every day, the first day of your class, the professor gives you a syllabus and they tell you exactly how your grades calculated. And I would look at that sheet and I’m like, All right, 25% is attendance, 25% is submitting [00:41:00] your homework and whatever, right?

And I’m like, All right, if I just show up and submit my homework, I can literally get like a 30 on every quiz exam and still pass the class. So it was like a. Barrier of effort for me to continue to finish it. Um, so that’s what I did personally. Um, but I’m always interested to hear from people that actually dropped out.

All right. So that’s fascinating. You got the money for trading. Um, how did you, first of all, I know you, you went through the Star stock market lab experience with Omar. You learned a lot, but you were trading before that, right? You said you were learning on your own. And I know from interviewing people, um, literally almost everyone blows their account at least once, most often, multiple times.

It’s like a big learning curve. Everyone thinks it’s easy. Why was it worth going through that educational experience, even though you were already doing yourself? 

Simon Lerner: For sure, and I’ll just quickly again, give you summary. Took me 18 months and five loan counts and over $30,000 of loss to get to a point of just no [00:42:00] longer, uh, you know, losing money.

Uh, by the way, I 

Ismail Humet: love that transparency because everyone makes it seem easy that that’s the reality that it really takes to get 

Simon Lerner: there. And finally, you know, getting out that depressing 18 months. So, and finally seeing the, you know, your equity curve start climbing back up. That was, um, inspiring. So, um, here’s the thing.

I, um, started learning, you know, before, um, SML or any other, uh, courses from YouTube. I’ve bought many programs of courses. You know, I love investing into myself and investing into my own education to date for, for 2021 in our company, we, uh, many my employees, we’ve spent, uh, close to quarter million dollars on, um, you know, development, coaching, uh, you know, and things of that nature, Uh, to work with mentors who are, you know, doing, uh, better than us to implement systems and processes, uh, that can, you know, help us achieve more.

And there’s just constant reinvesting into yourself [00:43:00] and your, um, growth is what, uh, is making you more valuable and. Helping you, uh, you know, really achieve, um, new heights, right? So we always see an roi, uh, and for, I guess a golden nugget for people listening, if you have a thousand dollars, $2,000, $3,000, I have people reaching out to me like, I have 2000, $3,000 to my name.

What should I invest it in? The best ROI will ever get is investing in yourself. There is no stock, no crypto, no chip coin or all coin that you can put $2,000 in that will produce you a higher ROI than putting $2,000, um, into yourself, into learning a skill, into developing yourself, right? So if you know you have under $10,000 to your name, please invest the least half of that into yourself, right?

And you’re gonna, uh, hopefully thank me for that. But here’s what happened. I was learning from, um, YouTube from a bunch of courses, and, um, you know, I took sml and after sml I still blew two accounts. So it’s not like you. Uh, that, that was the miracle thing that saved [00:44:00] me. Uh, you know, a lot of time, money, and energy.

Like I still obviously, uh, blew counts after it. So I don’t want to say that, you know, if you’re gonna take one course, you’re gonna be successful right after that. Um, and I don’t credit my trading, uh, success to any one particular person, right? I don’t say like, um, or Tommy Trading, or Ricky Guttier, Tommy Trading, or, uh, Ismail, you know, helped me with trading.

I guess for me, I borrowed elements, uh, and foundations from each and every course, each and every book I read, each and every mentorship I borrowed, the things that worked for me, I implemented, would’ve worked for me. I discarded things that I thought were either silly or just didn’t align with my trading strategy or personality, cuz all of us trade differently.

And then I put together what, you know, my own thing that is like, Simon, that works for me, right? So what, 

Ismail Humet: what, um, 18 months of failing and now you’re killing it. What do you, if you had to boil it down to like the main thing or the main couple things, what was the difference now versus then? [00:45:00] 

Simon Lerner: Uh, consistency.

I’ll tell you that. Uh, and and self-awareness, right? Self-awareness is, uh, I love trading because trading is that one profession where it will show you so much about yourself that no other professional career will, will show you about yourself. It will tell you, you know, everything about your greed aspects, your hope aspects, your fewer aspects, how you make certain decisions when you panic, like where you lack, you know, things, why you make certain decisions in your head looking, you know, in hindsight, why did I take that trade?

Oh, you know, I got too greedy, Right? Or whatever it is. Um, that’s number one. Number two is, um, let’s see. Could you rephrase the question? I was, 

Ismail Humet: I was basically, yeah, basically trying to get it like it was 18 months of hard times and failure that a lot of people listening may be going. , but now you’re on the other side.

So like, what are the most critical things to know, or like what are you doing differently now that you weren’t doing [00:46:00] before? Mm-hmm. . 

Simon Lerner: So understanding your personality is obviously is something that trading will help you with. Um, with me, I know that I’m the most persistent person. I know myself, right? I’m very persistent, but I’m fairly inconsistent, right?

Uh, persistent is pretty much meaning that if something doesn’t work, you will keep at it until it worked, right? But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, right? So with me, I know that I had, I don’t have any issues in any aspect of my life or, you know, trading, just getting out, trying get, getting out, trying.

Again, if it doesn’t work, you get up and you try again. You try again, you try again. Hopefully it starts working, right? The other kind of aspect which I was lacking is the consistency aspect, right? Consistency, um, you know, in your routines and showing up to the market consistently, whether you made money or last night you show up anyway, still looking at the charts.

Even if you’re not trading, you’re still looking at the market, right? [00:47:00] That consistency aspect for me personally is my number one weakness that I experience in business, that I experience in, in life. And obviously a lot of people think that with trading it’s just all about the charts or the screens or buying and selling or click just clicking the two buttons, but it goes so much deeper than that, right?

You know, clicking the buttons, buy and sell is probably 2% of the entire equation, right? Um, and for you to have great consistency in trading, I feel like you need to have consistency in your other aspects of life because your personal life and trading or business. Go hand in hand, right? If you don’t have consistency in your personal life, you will never have consistency that you want to have in trading.

And I promise you, it’s so much easier to wake up and go to sleep at the same time consistently and eat well consistently, and meditate consistently than it is to trade consistently well, right? Uh, and how you do one thing is how you do everything. And if you can do the small things correctly, you, or, or, or consistently, you will never be able to [00:48:00] do the big things.

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All right. Let’s get back to the show. I can speak from personal experience. I think some of the worst trades I ever made was at points in my life that fall on that category. Like you said, where I just had a baby climbing up my leg or there’s people crying, I’m not sleeping. Those are the times where [00:50:00] I didn’t do as well.

Trading, I think you have to mental, It’s a mental and psychological game more than anything else. It’s not just looking at charts, like you said. Uh, one final thing with the trading, it’s this, let’s say like it’s the 17th month, you lost $30,000. You blew five accounts, like you said, I would think most people would give up.

Mm-hmm. like, What about you? Is it just, like you said, there’s a persistency, like why did you think, Hey, I’m gonna figure this out. It clearly was not working for a long. 

Simon Lerner: Well, some of it is, uh, you know, again, just my stubborn personality. Uh, some of it was, um, really like fear of what some of the other hand, uh, what’s, what’s to come if I don’t figure it out?

Your back is kind of against the wall. It’s like, you know, you either figure this out or you go back to school and your, your parents’ little age sort to say, Right? But, um, there was that, and there was also that [00:51:00] desire to prove something to yourself. Um, you know, that, you know you can do it. And then the reason that I kept going is because I proved my, to myself early on that it is possible because, um, I’ve seen, you know, people that are successful with it and are making it happen.

Right? People like, uh, yeah, Omar, Ricky, who, whoever it is, um, right. I looked at that and I said, If they can do it, I can do it right. And that was my, kind of like North star, because once I have proof that it’s possible, then it’s just a matter of how and what right. Goes into the equation. Right. Um, and just adjusting, uh, and constantly course correcting from there On 

Ismail Humet: h how do you trade?

Cause another question people have is they’re so busy with work and jobs and whatnot. You’re obviously involved in a lot of projects that we didn’t touch on yet. How do you, like you’re doing closing calls, you’re on this interview, I saw that you did a trade this morning that worked out well. How do you trade while balancing, doing all these other [00:52:00] things that you’re doing?

Simon Lerner: Sure. It just ha you know, it comes down to time management and having routines. For me with trading, I have, uh, two trading blocks that I respect, uh, religiously. And, you know, anything that goes outside of that, uh, you know, just doesn’t happen. So with me, I trade from nine in the morning, 30 minutes pre-market to 11:00 AM.

Uh, and then I trade from three 30 to 4:00 PM I, I rarely take trade center. I just look for possible swing trades over something along those lines. But typically, you know, for me it’s two hours a day. So nine to 11:00 AM I, I work, and then, you know, during that time, it’s just trading time. Meantime, me and my craft, anything else gets scheduled afterwards.

There’s no team meetings, there’s no bookings. There’s no showings. There’s no calls allowed, right? My phone is either in a lockbox that I can’t access it in or in a different room, locked on a drawer. Um, you know, and, um, you know, I like to, for the first four hours of the [00:53:00] day, prioritize myself, uh, before I can give to other people.

Right. Um, it’s that again, uh, I guess abundance thing. And I feel like you need to be, in a way selfish in order to be selfless, Right. Um, I can give, you know, time, energy to my employees and uh, to my girlfriend, to my roommates, to my clients, to my, uh, the people I look up to if I haven’t had enough myself.

Right? So for me, the first four hours, um, of, of the day from, you know, 7:00 AM when I wake up to 11:00 AM it’s my selfish time. That’s time undistracted. I don’t talk to anybody. I don’t, uh, communicate with anyone. No one has access to me. I, uh, I don’t use my main phone. I have a different phone where, um, there’s only two phone numbers saved, like my mom and my dad for emergencies, right?

Um, there’s no social media apps. There’s only Spotify and meditation apps. So that time is for reading, meditation, gym, trading, bettering yourself in aircraft at four hours, right? Um, [00:54:00] is just selfish time, right time for Simon. And then after that is when I open up to the rest of the world. Cuz as I said, in order for you to.

Give and give quality to other people. You need to take care of yourself. 

Ismail Humet: Earth. I love anecdotes like that where, for lack of a better word, most people will call it weird. Oh, you got another phone, or you lock it in a lockbox. Like, but I find most successful people have weird things they do, and I think that’s why they’re successful.

Um, and one of quick plug is I, I know you did a small, uh, small account challenge recently, which I was really excited to see because you I’m 

Simon Lerner: doing right now actually. Yeah. The trades that I took. Hey, that wasn’t, 

Ismail Humet: I was gonna say, uh, I was really excited to see do that because you’re one of the few people who’s very transparent, whether you make money or lose money, and you actually show all the fills afterwards so people can really learn from it.

And I think, correct me if I’m wrong, it started at 10,000 like a week ago. You’re to like almost 15,000 now. It’s like a 15 50% gain very quickly. Mm-hmm. . I strongly recommend everyone follows him and follows [00:55:00] along with that challenge. Um, so the final question from trading, what’s a realistic. Target goal, like you just made 50% in a week.

Let’s say someone has like two grand, three grand they wanna invest. Is there any realistic goal of how big it, can I get this in a month or two months or whatnot? 

Simon Lerner: Yeah, So I’ll, I’ll I’ll say this in an anecdotal re reply as well. I, I, I think of money the same as I think of cats and I think of women, right?

If you chase it, it runs away, right? If you sit there patiently, it’s gonna come to you and it’s gonna ask for attention, right? It’s just like a cat. You sit there, you know, you chase it, it is gonna run around and just run away from you. You’re gonna sit there patiently on the couch reading a book, it’s gonna come asking for attention.

The same thing with money. The first 60 months or so, if my trading, my only objective was I need to recoup my losses. I need to, um, you know, make money in trading. I need to prove this to those people and myself. When the mental shift came from, I need to make this amount of money to. [00:56:00] How about, you know, it was like Simon last year, you spent, you know, losing money, gambling, improperly managing risk.

How about the next year? You just take to figure out the training thing. You’re not gonna care about how much money you make or lose. The only thing that matters for you is the process, right? Uh, of getting better at training. I don’t care if the next year I’ll make a single dime or I lose my entire trading cap.

All I care about is figuring this out and learning how to trade, right? And the same thing like till today, I don’t care how much I make a day or a week. Um, I don’t attach myself to the monetary aspect. I never have, um, a daily or weekly or monthly goals or targets for how much money to make. Um, I’ll, I’ll talk about it, What’s realistic, what’s unrealistic, But I don’t think that anybody should have a daily or monthly, you know, target of how much money they need to make because you’re focusing on the outcome rather than the process you’re focusing on.

You know, I need to make X amount, otherwise, you know, I’m a failure. I didn’t, you know, hit my targets. It’s, you know, I’m bad, but sometimes you don’t understand [00:57:00] that the market is not gonna present yourself with opportunities to make that money. And what’s gonna happen is if you have, let’s say, daily goal of $500, you wanna make $500 profit every single day.

Some days there’s just no opportunities. The markets are choppy or, you know, you’re tired or there’s no marketing direction or no trade setting up that will allow you to meet that. But having a subconscious outcome that you’re chasing, which is that $500 you’re trying to make, will subconsciously make you make certain decisions and, uh, trade when you’re not supposed to trade, uh, to try to hit that outcome.

And that’s how you burn through accounts. You were chasing an outcome rather than following your process. 

Ismail Humet: Right. That was a great answer. Um, a lot of, like, I think even Kobe Bryant talks about this as some of his interviews. The, the process, you gotta focus on the process, not the outcome. But I think the way you broke it down was perfect.

Um, so you’re also now investing in real estate. Um, mm-hmm. , I know you’re doing a major rehab on one of them now. I’m just curious, uh, I’ve also flipped properties, so I’m curious how you thought about [00:58:00] the rehab flipping route versus the buying and holding and renting 

Simon Lerner: route. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll tell you the thing.

So I’m actually not in the rehab, um, route. That was just a hard money loan. I did some of these since, Yeah, I have money. I found it, uh, you know, a close friend of mine that, um, I have developed a close relationship with. I’ve seen his works. I found to him he needed money for AF flip, so I lent that to him.

Um, and obviously for me it was, you know, I’m making money because I’m lending some money. I’m getting interest on it, but I’m also getting a learning experience, so I’m getting paid to learn pretty much. Right. And, uh, for me, that was like the best thing ever. Um, if you can, you know, learn for free, that’s great.

If you can get paid to learn, that’s just, you know, the best opportunity that you can, uh, possibly have. That’s like paid internships in a way. Right? Um, but for me, my. You know, with real estate, you have to understand there’s so many ways to make, uh, money with real estate, just like there is in trading or any other, um, you know, scale.

Um, you know, you can, you can day trade, you can stop, you can swing trade, you can trade penny stocks, options or stocks. You can make money and all those [00:59:00] things. Same with real estate. You can, you know, wholesale, you can flip, you can be a real estate agent, you’re showing properties and getting commissioned.

You can build and develop and just, uh, picking a niche and figuring out what works best for you. So for me, that nature’s actually new construction development. And, um, you know, rather than rehabbing or flipping, I go with, you know, uh, buying tear downs and building or just buying land and building. Um, and for me that’s most appealing.

And because, um, of everything else I have going on with my time allocation, I wanted to make sure that number one, my time allocation can still be spent trading in my business. Cause that’s my, you know, uh, high income scale and my highest revenue generating activities come from this. Right. Real estate is great cuz it’s, you know, passive.

I get to diversify. Then also it was appealing to me because, I want to get involved in things that are old, so to say like, Oh, you know, you bought the slip or this house some, someone lived there before. The sink’s broken, the roof’s leaking. You know, the foundation’s crap. The home’s 40 years old, whatever it [01:00:00] is, it needs a new wall, it needs new stuff.

If I’m building a new house from scratch, I know that there’s builders warranty for five years, so if anything goes wrong, it’s gonna get replaced. Number two, I know that it’s brand new and I will never have to really worry in the short term about new roof, new sink, new bathtub, new garage, new like doorknob.

Like everything is new. So I, there’s a very little maintenance. Right. And also, you know, like for me that makes sense. And for me, I’m not selling those things. I’m holding them in my portfolio and either doing Airbnbs in the long term or uh, rental. , uh, Right. For, um, so that makes sense for me. I don’t wanna sell those.

Um, because for me it’s a tax, um, tax cut. I’m not gonna get into too much taxes. Right. But obviously real estate helps you lower your tax brackets in a way, and then also, um, you know, you get to depreciate it. Um, and also I don’t need a short term capital gains if I sell those properties. Right. So I’d rather keep that in my

Yeah. 

Ismail Humet: I think I have the same general concept where I use things like trading and flipping real estate to generate cash that I then throw [01:01:00] into longer term passive investments or, or things that I have like a lot of conviction on for the long term. Uh, one other thing that you do is the eCommerce that I’ve seen you post about, and we interviewed Roman a couple episodes ago from empire e-com.

Uh, is there anything that you can share with, like, how that’s going? Um, if anyone else is considering, uh, like I have a friend that started her own, uh, econ business, so people that are like looking in that field, is there anything that you’ve learned from that experience or how that’s going? 

Simon Lerner: Absolutely. I just wanna clarify to a lot of people, cause they, they think, you know, Simon does everything.

He has time for everything. You know, he is this crazy, you know, beast as Joe Joshua, as you said, mentioned that that just, you know, has time, money, energy, and efforts to trade, make money in trading, make money in real estate, make money in stocks, make money in crypto, make money in e-commerce, and he’s just this guy, right?

Obviously that’s not the case. I want to point out that, you know, my, my, I have my one or two things that I’m really good at and I focus all my time and energy into those crafts for me that’s, you know, trading and the [01:02:00] businesses under netcom that I run. Everything else is just a, you know, something that doesn’t require a lot of time, energy, or attention for diversification purposes, right?

So my highest, you know, like 90% of my money is made from my condom trading. Um, and then all of that gets invested into other asset vehicles, which can then multiply that money, right? And I obviously, um, want to hedge against inflation, hedge against risk. Rip is obviously I wanna have all my, you know, money that I make from, you know, trading or, um, neon in the long term stocks or all, or all of it in real estate, right?

Because of, you know, 2008 happens again or something like that. Or we print more money. I wanna have different asset vehicles which can, um, hedge against that and also appreciate, So with the money I generated with Trading Neon, that gets invested into like, you know, five buckets, long term dividend stock portfolios.

We have, you know, more so speculative stocks, which like the stocks and crypto, which like the 10% of it [01:03:00] have real estate, which just like 20% of it, you know, 20% of it goes towards, you know, other businesses, um, that I’m funding. Whether it’s, you know, that, uh, real estate flip that I funded, uh, somebody, um, I collect interest in that, whether it’s e-commerce stores, whether it’s, uh, something else.

But I want to make sure that whatever it is that I invest in, it doesn’t require a lot of my time. Right. Um, Yeah, not so much passive cause obvious, see, needs to be managed, needs to be set up. But if I know that there’s ways for me to put automation systems and people in place to make it as, you know, less hands on as possible, then that is gonna be, you know, what I optimally look for.

And one more thing that I want to kind of bring out is like, you need to be, you can’t be e jack of all trades. You need to be a master of like one craft. Uh, if you need to pick your industry and dominate, right, you need to, you know, for me that’s trading. For some people, that’s real estate. For some people that’s e-commerce.

You need to put, you know, [01:04:00] disproportional amount of time to that one skill to get cut of it. And then everything else that you know, all. Outcomes that come from, from that skill monetary, you can then put into other a, um, asset classes, right? So don’t go out there and start, you know, an e-commerce store while you were learning how to trade and while you’re trying to buy your first property, right?

Um, you’re not gonna be able to sustainably do that, right? And how do I, you know, put disproportional amount of time into, uh, let’s say trading, right? Cause in, you know, right now, even now, like, you know, I’m trying to level, level the big accounts that I trade to, you know, be able to take on seven figure trades, you know, to, to have a, a mental capacity to really level up.

That requires me to put disproportional amount of time into trade, right? So I follow, um, a process of eliminate, delegate, and automate, right? So I eliminate tasks that are not serving me in this particular del, you know, direction. So everything that’s not stock trading way, it gets eliminated. [01:05:00] If it can’t be eliminated, it gets automated, right?

With systems, processes. Um, automations, right? Certain software, um, on the computer or whatnot. And then it gets delegated. If I can’t eliminate it or automated, I delegate it to other people. I bring on and hire people. And I recommend for anybody that’s a business owner, even a stock trader, to delegate everything out to other people that cost you less than you make an hour.

So, for example, if you make $250 an hour, anything that costs you less than $250 an hour should be delegated to other people. So just to give you an example, like yesterday, I had a house cleaner for six hours of my, uh, for six and a half hours in the house. Uh, she did my laundry. She, uh, meal prepped for me and she, uh, cleaned the house, right?

Um, people are like, Oh, sign me lazy. Well, I know how to do those things myself, and I could do them myself, but I know that rather delegated to somebody who is gonna do it for number one less than I make an hour, right? I can pay $25 an [01:06:00] hour and I know that I can make $2,000 in an hour of doing what I’m good at.

Um, Right. You know, if I, I’m pretty much buying back time, right? Um, poor people trade their time for money. Wealthy people with an abundance mindset always try to trade their money for time to get back, time, to put that time into things that, uh, the, uh, value the most, right? And it’s not that, you know, I can’t make my bed or do laundry, it’s just that it’s gonna take me more time and I’m gonna do less quality work than that professional is because for that person, she’s a professional at that skill of cleaning and cooking and whatnot.

And I rather delegate everything that I’m not good at. And I’m not an expert into other people who are experts 

Ismail Humet: in the field. I often quote, I forgot who said this, but there’s someone who said, um, he was Mona’s Lawn and that it got to a point where he couldn’t afford to mow his lawn anymore. Like you, you’re actually wasting time and money doing it.

You better off just paying someone else to do it cuz you’re making so much like you have to give up other opportunities to spend that time on the lawn. Uh, that to me was, was a major shift. And I, I like that we’re ending it on the. Time [01:07:00] because I know you have a time is limited tattoo on your arm, right there it is right over there.

And I’ve heard you, I’ve heard you mention, I think you called it non-refundable minutes, right? So this whole thing of maximizing your time because it’s, it’s a very limited resource, I think is a very important thing. Um, I don’t know if you had anything you wanna say about that, cuz there’s two wrap up questions that I have before I let you go.

Simon Lerner: Go ahead. I mean, just to add on that, uh, you know, two assets that you can never get more of is time and energy, right? Those are like your nonrefundable assets, you know, um, energy, it’s, you know, kind of like on a fence with that because you can sleep in, replenish it, but still, you know, if you drain your battery, you can no longer your mental battery.

You can, no one, you operate on a high level or make high quality decisions, right? And that’s why, um, you know, there’s mental fatigue that we develop throughout the day, right? Your, your brain is very similar to a phone battery where, you know, in a morning you take it off, you know, from the charger. It’s of a hundred percent every decision you make, every person you talk to, every trade you.

Every little, you [01:08:00] know, uh, task you do, uh, like folding your laundry, cooking meals, right? That drains that battery. And the more you drain the, the less high quality decisions you can make. And that’s why I delegate all those things. Um, and, uh, Sam Ovens, I’m not sure if you, if you know Sam Ovens is, uh, he calls, uh, those concept of, um, a def by a thousand cuts, right?

Because of small things. Um, you know, they seem very small and tiny, that’s why you reverses as a thousand cuts. But over time they add up. So, you know, picking up your phone because you got that one text or, uh, you know, folding that one t-shirt or cooking that one meal, it seems insignificant. But when you go at the end of a day, you add up all the minutes, um, that have been wasted on those small, um, activities, right?

It adds up to a lot of time that was, uh, wasted, 

Ismail Humet: right? So, so the two final questions I usually wrap up each show with is, if I spoke to people, um, from your high school or maybe that first semester in college, people that knew you at a younger age, [01:09:00] would they be surprised at your success now or would they be like, you know, Simon, I, I always knew he had it in him, or would they be surprised?

Simon Lerner: I think it’d be the second one. Like, uh, always had an in, like, for me in school, I guess it wasn’t a full representation of my character because, um, you know, people really didn’t see a lot, you know, a lot of me in school, especially freshman, sophomore year, like, uh, after school, uh, I didn’t really have any like, close friends until senior year.

Um, of high school. I was very like anti-social or whatever. Like I’d, the bell rang at two 30, I’d be on the bus home and I’d be home at three o’clock playing my video games, making money online, and, you know, reading my books and watching my, you. Stuff that I wanted to watch on the computer, like, uh, Netflix or whatever else I was watching and people on YouTube.

Um, so doing that, right? But also if school in general, I never tried or gave it, you know, my all just because it was never of interest to me. Um, I always did the minimum [01:10:00] requirements to just get by, right? Like, um, I remember from the final exam, it was the final math exam, um, for I think junior year. And whether you did good in that or did pouring that would determine whether you’d go into pre-calculus or calculus, right?

Uh, the next year, and, uh, it was final exam, it was like, I think 50 multiple choice questions or something like that. But if you obviously get 50 out of 50, you get a hundred, right? So I, I was first to finish and I answered 45 questions. I bubbled in 45 questions, and I went to submit a test and the, the teacher looked at me, she’s like, You left five questions, blank.

Um, go fill ’em out. I’m like, I don’t need to. She, she’s like, What do you mean? Why? Uh, well, I’m like, I answered 45 out of 50. That’s a 90, 90 is May. That’s all I need to get. Right. She’s like, What if you get one wrong? I’m like, I know I did. Wow. And I got 90, I got a 90 out of 100 on that, on that test. Right.

Um, and I just couldn’t be bothered to read five extra more [01:11:00] questions, but we’re even bubble in a random, you know, thing, you lose my score. Right. I just handed in 45 out of 50 and I didn’t touch the rest. Yeah. That, 

Ismail Humet: that, I could definitely see why people say that you were destined for success after hearing that story.

Uh, what about, we talked about a lot of different things here. It’s not just about money. You talked about quality of life, outsourcing things. What is a rich life to you? I feel 

Simon Lerner: like everybody has a different definition of success. Right. And, uh, before you start, you know, going after that, Uh, pursuit of money, right?

Of like, Hey, I need to make X amount of money first. Determine what success means to you, right? Because for everybody it’s different. For some people, you know, um, success might mean making a lot of money. To some people it might mean having a lot of friends. To some people it might mean being the best father they can possibly be in spending, you know, raising their children world to some people, if, I mean, traveling the world, uh, and crossing off things off their bucket list, right?

To me, success means, you know, having the freedom and the, [01:12:00] the freedom of choice to choose who I want to be with, where I want to be, and, uh, you know, what, what I want to do with my time, right? That is the definition of freedom for me. Um, but ask yourself first to what you know, that definition of success is for you, because a different definition will require different actions to get there, right?

Ismail Humet: Perfect. Obviously I, I, I strongly suggest people follow you on social. Uh, I’ll link to everything in the show notes. Is there anything specific that you point people to that wanna follow you or learn more about what you’re up to? 

Simon Lerner: Absolutely. If you guys would love, uh, love to, uh, you know, talk to me or get connected, follow me on Instagram, shoot me a dm.

Would love to chat. It’s Simon underscore learner, that is l e r n e r. If you guys would like to learn a little bit more about trading and what we have going on with Net Con, you can go to net con.com, that’s n E C O n.com 

Ismail Humet: and I’ll link to all that in the show notes. I strongly recommend following him on Instagram, especially for that small account challenge, to see how that progresses.[01:13:00] 

Simon, thank you so much, man. Appreciate you with your time. Thank 

Simon Lerner: you for having,

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Until next time.