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Private Lending For Athletes And Artists With Adam Gamboa

October 12, 2022

chrisseveney

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CWS 221 | Private Lending   Athletes and entertainers often invest in loans so their money can still work for them during off-seasons and slow gig days. Using his connections around these circles, Adam Gamboa built a private lending company targeted at this niche market. Sitting down with Lauren Wells and Chris Seveney, he shares how nine months straight of cold calls in sports and entertainment industries gave birth to AE Lending Solutions. He explains how they help lenders manage bank and individual private money, as well as how they exercise versatility in consistently modifying agreements according to clients’ needs. Adam also opens up about maintaining a healthy work-life balance and dealing with limiting beliefs that mess up his internal thoughts.

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Private Lending For Athletes And Artists With Adam Gamboa

Welcome, everyone, to the show. My name is Lauren Wells and I am here with my co-host, Chris Seveney, and our special guest, Adam Gamboa. Adam is the CEO of AE Lending Solutions, which provides professional athletes and entertainers with custom and traditional lending. Prior to starting AE, Adam was a top-producing private banker at various financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, California Bank & Trust, and PNC. Before getting started in the banking industry, Adam played poker professionally, playing at various poker events in multiple countries. Welcome, Adam. We’re happy to have you here. Thank you, Lauren. Thanks for having me. I’m excited. I’m excited to have you. You and I met through a mutual friend who introduced me to AE Lending Solutions. You and I have worked together on a few loans. Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself a little bit? I gave the bullet points, but tell us a little bit about what you do at AE Lending Solutions. I want to know if you’ve been in the World Series of Poker and how did you do. That’s what I want to know first. I did play in the World Series of Poker. I played several times. I didn’t do anything exciting in the World Series. I had a couple of cashes, but nothing major. I didn’t win any bracelets or anything like that. At the time, when I was playing professionally, I was young. I started playing at eighteen years old online. The bulk of what I was doing was online, and then I would travel for the bigger events. I played in Australia and there’s an event called the Aussie Millions over there. Back in whatever year that was, they ended up shutting down online poker. This was after I had dropped out of school because I was playing professionally. I was like, “What do I do now?” Either I could travel and play tournaments all the time, which was not my thing. I didn’t enjoy sitting in that casino for fourteen hours a day, but I was good at math. I was naturally good at it. I had to decide, “Do I go back to the real world and get a job or what?” That’s how I ended up in the financial industry. You went first into private banking. How was that? What happened was my poker career ended. I decided I wasn’t going to continue anymore. I was like, “What do I do now?” I had savings built up, but I dropped out of school. I had no real plan. I had a friend at the time that was working for New York Life Insurance Company. He said, “If you come and work for us, it’s commission only so you won’t earn a salary, but if you sell enough life insurance, we will pay for you to get your investment license.” I was 23 years old. At that time, nobody that I knew wanted or needed life insurance. The only way I was going to succeed was by cold calling. I was cold calling 200 people a day trying to sell life insurance over the phone, which I got good at cold calling. It’s what helped me in my banking career. I ended up hitting the President’s Club and I was able to get an investment license. When that happened, this was right around the time when private banking was becoming popular with banks. It was big in Europe and then with the super ultra-high net worth in America, but they offer it to the masses, the typical $5 million type of banking client. It was getting popular and that’s when people started calling me because of my license saying, “We’ve got these banking spots open, but you need to have investment credentials as well.” I took a job with JPMorgan Chase. I worked my way up to the ranks and learned all about banking. I had very little background in lending, in general, but that’s where my skills set me apart from the other bankers and the fact that I would cold call anybody under the sun after doing it for so long. Through private banking, I kept getting better and better. I got more experience. My network kept growing. The next thing I know, I was getting those golden handcuffs. It’s what we call them in private banking, where you’re like, “Is this what I do forever now?” It was almost hard to leave, “If I leave, I don’t get this bonus.” It was a whole thing. I had those in the software as well. I feel like the golden handcuffs are a real thing. How was AE Lending Solutions born? What you do is pretty niche. How did you get into that? I was in private banking and I have probably a similar mindset to you guys where I was trying to figure out how I build wealth. How do I escape the rat race? Through that process, my answer was, “It’s probably real estate,” but it wasn’t happening fast enough for me. I was saving money, buying a property, and whatever. To make sure that I wasn’t bored and desperate to quit my job, I tried to figure out a way that I could enjoy it. My answer to that was finding an industry of people that I find interesting that I want to work with, which at the time were professional sports and professional athletes. Using my cold calling skills, I started cold calling people in that industry, which if you know anything about that industry, it’s a very velvet rope. If you’re not on this side of the rope, no one will give you the time of day. I called enough people and eventually, I had a few people give me a shot at helping their clients. From those few referrals, it continued to grow. This might be too much detail, but within banking, every bank has its sandbox of the types of loans they like to do. If it doesn’t fit inside that box, they don’t want to do it. I would get a lot of requests and I didn’t want these requests to turn off like, “Adam can only do X, Y and Z.” I would call around to other banks and find a home for these particular loan requests I was getting from the agents or business managers. With that, it turned me into the first call for a handful of people in that space I had connected with. It got to the point where they had started asking me, “I know it’s going through another bank. Can you handle it for us anyways because we trust that you’ll get it done?” At that point, I was already thinking about how do I monetize my connections in this industry and my knowledge of lending, and figure this out. That gave me the confidence to break away from the bank. It was probably six months where I was managing both bootstrapping the business and handling it all. I had to optimize my day from sun up to sundown because banking was a full-time job. I still had to show up to meetings and still had to meet with clients. It was a challenge, but that’s how I got into that space. I transitioned once the business was making more part-time than I was as a banker. There are so many points I want to make there because you are a dad of two boys. Showing people that you were doing both, and also being a dad of two boys because they’re wild. I have two boys myself. That’s awesome. How many cold calls did you think you made? How long did it take you to get through to that other side of the velvet rope? It was a while. It was probably nine months to a year when I would make calls, emails, and follow up with people. I would get through to some people. It was like, “Thanks for calling.” I’m continuing to drip on them and follow up with them to the point where I happened to make that call that day like, “This guy got a loan decline, can you figure this out?” There was a lot of perseverance to get to that point. Once you know one person and then they vouch for you with somebody else, it just took off. To take it a step further, once I left the bank, my network in that space grew exponentially which I wasn’t expecting, but because I was now the guy that could do anything, everybody was referring to me. Nine months is a long time. I come from a sales background where you’re cold calling. Nine months of cold calling to getting through, good for you. It wasn’t easy. No. That is not something people talk about. It’s that actual persistence. People say you have to be consistent and persistent. To quantify that as nine months of cold calling, if anyone doesn’t know what that’s like, it’s brutal. There’s no instant gratification. You got to constantly remind yourself, “I’m taking the necessary action that is going to pay off in the future.” Even though I don’t know what it’s going to look like in the future, you got to keep pushing. There is no instant gratification in hard work. You must constantly remind yourself to take the necessary action to pay off in the future. Click To Tweet What was your first deal? The first referral I got was from an NBA player that had a contract that only had a year and a half left on it, and he needed money. I had my bank take the collateral of his contract to issue him a short-term loan. One of our bigger niches is we do something called contract lending. Nobody knows how to do it, but it is not something that’s easily accessed by the masses. Let’s say you signed a contract for your show, your first thought might not be, “How do I get loans based on solely this contract?” A lot of people don’t know that exists, and then on the flip side, a lot of bankers don’t know how to help their bank take collateral of those contracts. Once I learned how to do that, that was a space that took off first. You had the people who needed the loans. How did you find people to fund the loans? I was in banking for roughly ten years. I worked for multiple banks. A lot of bankers hop around. Every five years, it seems like bankers take another signing bonus or something with a new bank. I had a pretty big network of bankers, to begin with. When I was saying that I wanted to make sure I was that first phone call, I was essentially cold calling banks and bankers to find out what they could do. At the beginning of the business, I was calling bankers with mock scenarios, “I’ve got this client that needs X, Y and Z, can you do this?” They would tell me yes or no and I would make notes, “This guy at this bank can do these types of loans.” With my experience, I knew the right questions to ask so that even though they were telling me they could do it, I know that they could actually deliver and fund those loans. On the flip side, we do private lending. I would call them private notes. It wasn’t part of the business, but it just developed. With that, I had a lot of connections in private banking with a lot of wealthy people who invested in various things. Once I had those setup and knew exactly how I wanted to structure them and underwrite them, I was able to go to those people and say, “Here’s a 12% return in six months. Are you guys interested?” I built that network as well. Chris, do you have a question? I’m absorbing all of this. I’m thinking you must have a rockstar attorney to figure out how you can collateralize contracts. That must have been very interesting. I’m also curious based on that, have you consistently modified your agreement because it was in a gotcha in a certain situation where something turned to the worst or something didn’t work out? I do have a great lawyer that I like working with, and is very honest and very good at what she does. That was my big fear when I was first leaving my job. As Lauren said, I had two kids. My youngest son was one year old. I was like, “I can’t mess this up and get sued for something silly or break a law,” or whatever the case may be. Speaking about taking the contract of collateral, it’s fairly simple. Have you heard of filing UCC or UCC-1 filing? Yes. It’s essentially as simple as that, but calling out very specific things, referencing the specific title of the contract, the date of the contract, and essentially the income derived from the contract. There are certain ways of structuring that loan to make it additionally secure for the lender, particularly, for banks where we’ll have insurance taken out on the athlete a lot of times to pay off the bank in the event of they get kicked out of the league or their contract gets violated for some reason. Our service agreement has been pretty airtight since day one. We haven’t had any issues with it. I’m set up as a consultant. I’m different from a lending broker. We operate similarly to what a broker would, but we don’t get paid by the banks. When I take a $5 million loan to a bank, they’re not kicking me back anything. I’m not putting my points on their closing statement. My agreement is specifically with the borrower. They pay me at closing outside of the transaction. What that allows me to do is put all of my interest aligned with the borrower, not because XYZ bank is going to pay me a fee. It also allows me to go to any bank or any lender I want to fund this loan without restriction. Can you give us an example of what one of your loans looks like? What’s the typical length? Who are the people that are funding these loans? Why would someone want to fund these loans versus another type of investment? I look at this as an investment. I look at it as a guy who’s probably making $5 million a year on his contract that needs a short-term loan. That was one of my first questions when we were introduced. I was like, “They’re making a lot of money. Why do they need a loan from little old me? That’s a very common question we get. Why do these professional athletes need loans? To answer that question, in general, there is a wide range of reasons. It could be something as very specific and creative as they’re trying to take a private equity stake in a company and their business managers or business advisers say, “You should use somebody else’s money to facilitate that. Use smart leverage or smart debt.” It could be as simple as they want a mortgage to buy a house and maybe that player is twenty years old. Even though his contract is $5 million, he’s only earning that $100,000 at a time every month or whatever it may be, and they want to buy a $5 million house. The easiest way to do that is to usually finance the majority of it. To the point of why they are borrowing from private investors, let’s say we have a nineteen-year-old kid who gets drafted to the NBA. They have no credit yet. They may come from a background where they have no financial education. No one has ever told them about getting a credit card or anything like that. They say, “I got drafted. I have this money coming. I signed my deal in June. I don’t get my first paycheck until October, but I want to get my mom out of the living situation she’s in. I want to put her in a house,” or “I have this dream of buying my own house or buying my car,” whatever the case is. There are a million different reasons why they might want the money. Sometimes it’s to pay off the debt they took as high-end prospects. There are a lot of people who offer money and prey on these types of people. They’re paying 30% on private money so they can train at nice facilities. Whatever the reason might be, there are so many different options and types of requests that we see. To answer the question of why would somebody want to fund this, usually, it’s a very short-term note with a very high return. The average return we see on these notes is probably around 15%. The average return length is probably about six months. It’s not lending money to somebody who can’t afford something. It’s somebody who has maybe timing or a cashflow situation as in, “I signed a contract here. I don’t get paid for 4 or 5 months, but I want this thing now.” We help facilitate that. The clients are more than happy to pay, which is probably considered a very high-interest rate to most people. They pay that interest when it’s getting them something they’ve desired for a long time or something that they’ve been striving for and that in the long run, it’s not going to be that much money to them, essentially. Does that answer your question? It does. I’ve read in the past that most professional athletes don’t get paid during the off-season. NFL players only get paid during the season. In certain parts of the year, they’re not getting money. When money comes in, they could have it tied up in another investment. That deal comes through that they might have some cash, but why not leverage it? What most people are taught is to use other people’s money if you can. If you’re a high net worth individual, the difference between 10% and 15% on a loan is probably inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. The other nice thing about the way that we do loans specifically when they’re tied to contracts is we can customize them in any way we want, especially if we’re going the private route. We’ll give the player no payments due through the off-season. You can repay with a signing bonus you’re getting or we’ll negotiate that you have interest-only during the off-season, and fully amortise payments for the remaining nine months with the contract loan. We can be flexible with that. We do that with banks as well. Your lenders are both banks and individual private money. Correct. We use everything from a big bank like JPMorgan to small banks you guys probably have never heard of like Wilmington Savings Bank and Susser Bank of Texas. These small regional banks will facilitate loans for us too. It depends on the situation because a lot of times we’ll fund let’s say a contract loan for a player who doesn’t have credit yet and has very little financial experience. The big banks don’t want to take that risk or touch them yet, but the smaller banks know that the way that we structure them with insurance and the repayment schedules we do that they’re very secure. Knock on wood, but since we’ve been doing this, we haven’t had any player default on any of their loans. I can dive in if you’d like a sample of how we would structure that with the bank to make it secure. I don’t know if we’re going to get into this, but one of my questions was this player that’s being signed or resigned who is going to pay our loan, what happens if he gets hurt? How do you mitigate that? There are a couple of things. Number one, we always want to have a backup repayment source. We try not to issue a loan in an instance as we talked about someone in dire need of this money, and the rest of their finances are going to fail. We try to issue to people who have maybe a shortfall for timing or another aspect. The way that we structure it is we’re going to take collateral of something very important to them. It’s usually their NBA, NFL or MLB contract. We’re going to make sure that whatever we’re taking collateral of has a guaranteed portion of it. In some instances in the NFL, their contracts are not guaranteed. If that’s the case, we’re very upfront with the investors on that, “There are no guarantees. This player could get cut.” With that, we’ll increase the return for that lender. On top of that, we’re going to make sure they have secondary sources of repayment, whether it’s sponsorship money, savings already, an investment portfolio, maybe real estate or something that we know we could go after in the event of default. We then typically will have the players get what’s called DDD Insurance which stands for Disgrace, Dishonor or Death. Let’s say the player passes away, that covers death. Disgrace is a big one. This is when the player tweets something offensive, goes to jail for some reason, gets in a fight with somebody else in the league, and gets suspended for a number of games, that insurance will kick in if they miss a certain number of games. That guaranteed portion is huge. Let’s say they get paid out $10 million this year, I get the insurance to say, “If he misses X number of games, then we will step in and pay off the lender.” If he doesn’t miss 40 games and he only misses 25. We’re going to underwrite it to how much he gets paid over this specific amount of games that he can miss without the insurance kicking in. If we can underwrite it to that guideline, we’re covered in both instances. The third thing is we make a player sign an agreement that says, “In the event of default, you authorize us to go directly to your professional sports league and request that they assign direct deposits to us or to our lender,” which is unique. Signing that for a lot of these kids hits home like, “If I don’t pay this, you’re going after my paycheck. I’m signing saying, ‘Yes, someone can hand it over to you.’” With banks, what we often have them do is an interest reserve comes in where we say, “We’re setting aside this $60,000 to make sure that on-time payments are always going to be made through the off-season.” A lot of times, we’ll have them set up a deposit relationship with the lender. If it’s a private lender, a few of those things are going to be missing. There’s no deposit relationship set up, but we still try to mitigate as much as we can. In our UCC filing, it’s very detailed to where we call out not only the contract but all of his assets now or in the future. We list the most common things like artwork, jewelry, vehicles, homes, and any other sponsorship contracts, so we know that if in the event of default, once we win that claim in court, we have this promissory note. We can garnish his wages or take collateral off that house or whatever it is. We have a claim at stake against it. Are the lenders responsible for collecting the payments? How is the servicing of the loans take place? Unfortunately, for the private loans, I’m doing all that servicing myself, which is not something I enjoy doing. Lauren and I talked about this. What I do is very unique. There are not a lot of people doing it. There are a lot of aspects I don’t feel comfortable handing over yet because I don’t know that everybody fully understands, “Why isn’t the payment being collected this month? Why are two payments being collected?” There are so many different unique circumstances because it’s so customized. I’m afraid to hand that off. On the banking side, when we have an institution as the lender, they’re going to service that loan for the most part, but we still stay involved. We have a process that once we book a loan with a particular lender, we make sure that athlete, entertainer, their business management team, financial advisor or whoever it is has access to the online banking set-up. They have access to getting what they need to set statements. We also have a set to follow-up where we make sure that the first payment and the second payment are getting made. We stay in touch if we know that this player should probably refinance at this point to pay off that lender. We track all that data. We also have very good relationships with the lenders we use because we’re sending out so many loans. If something isn’t going right or this guy’s two days away from his payment being due and we haven’t heard from him, they’re going to call me often enough and I’ll reach out to the business manager and make sure it gets handled.
CWS 221 | Private Lending

Private Lending: Private lending companies must have good relationships with lenders so they can easily reach out to them and make sure loans are handled properly.

  How many loans do you do a year? It keeps going up. When I first started going full-time and quit my job, we were probably averaging about 4 to 6 a month. Now, on average we’re doing about 12 a month and some months maybe up to 16 to 20. It might not sound like that many but it’s very intensive. What’s your volume? In dollar amount, we’re probably closing north of $20 million a month. That’s a good amount. Most bankers that we deal with, we have good relationships with because a lot of times, that’s what we’re making a year. If someone is doing a good job and we know this mortgage is going to work for them, they know we only bring them loans that are going to get done because I’ve underwritten it myself. I already know what the hurdles and guidelines are. I’m telling them, “This loan works. All you have to do is stick it through your banking machine and you’re going to get a bonus at the end of the quarter.”
CWS 221 | Private Lending

Private Lending: If a lender is doing a good job, they deserve only the best loans that are underwritten well and designed against all kinds of hurdles.

  Those bankers are happy that they’re connected to you. How many of the loans that you do would you say are underwritten by a bank versus a private lender or private money? Now, somewhere between 20% and 25% are going the private route. The rest are going through institutions. That could be through a large bank or a mortgage brokerage firm if they have a unique product. If we’re doing 20 a month, 4 to 5 a month are going to be private. My brain spinning in a thousand directions because it is interesting. What I love about it is it’s a niche industry and a niche market that you took a large amount of risk on. You’re cold calling for nine months, which I can only imagine. Lauren, after three days of phone calls, if she’s not getting results and people get upset in nine months, I would be in a psychiatric ward. That is patience and persistence. I feel like people typically have one or the other. Patience isn’t my strong suit, so I am super persistent. Even for me, nine months, that’s a lot. I’m super impressed by that. As someone who’s made a ton of cold calls in my career, that’s impressive. Thanks. I must love punishment. I love being told to “f off” over the phone. You saw the vision. You knew that it was there and needed to break through. That’s awesome. How do people find you? How do they hear about you? We were connected through a mutual friend that I went to high school with, which is so random. Is that typically how it worked? How do people find you? On the borrower side or investor side? On the investor side. Initially, it started with me using my private banking network. There are a lot of clients I was close to that I’ve been working with for years. I first started going to them and funding deals myself. Even to this day, my wife will tell me, “Where’s all of our money?” “All those other people have it.” I was going to do a lot of that. I was funding them myself. I was going to a lot of contacts I had already had that I knew liked to invest in various things. From there, it continued to grow. Maybe this person funded a deal for me already. They’re like, “I have a friend that would love to fund this for you,” just like how we met. I got introduced to the person that referred you. He did a loan with us and had a pretty good experience, and then he told you about it, and it grew from there. That’s awesome. How long ago was AE Lending Solutions founded? How many years are you in the business now? A little over three years. You started right before COVID. Did that impact your business at all? With the stock market crashing, are there more people from the private lending route coming and being like, “I’m looking for an alternative to having my money sitting in the stock market?” It made things a little more difficult on the private side. We had that initial crash when COVID hit. After that everything started ramping up, we had massive inflation and every tech stock kept going vertical. I was coming to people like, “This investment works. I don’t want to say it’s guaranteed, but it’s a very secure 15%,” which a few years ago people were like, “That’s 15%. Sign me up all day,” but everybody else was getting 20% a quarter investing in AMC stock or dabbling on Robinhood now at this point because everything was going one direction. For a while there, it was getting tough. Luckily, the business was successful and I ended up funding more loans than I wanted to with my personal capital because I wanted to keep growing my business. That’s a new loan that we want to do as an opportunity to grow because we continue to get introduced by somebody else to somebody else every time we do a loan. I put up a lot of my personal capital to that point where some people were waiting on these deals until the stock market crashed. Now that things have gotten a little more volatile, real estate is getting a little more tricky and most people have taken their foot off the gas a little bit. It’s not that hard now for us to go to these investors. More are waiting and willing to do it. A lot of them cashed out, took some chips off the table, and you have cash sitting around, so it helps.
CWS 221 | Private Lending

Private Lending: The market became a little more volatile after the pandemic, and most people have taken their foot off the gas. Nowadays, it’s not hard for private lenders to find investors willing to do business.

  Chris, do you have any other questions? I have one. With your contacts, was it agents that you were reaching out to versus the players themselves? How did that start? I’m guessing that trying to get the players’ contact information is probably a lot tougher with the agents and more of the firm that you probably could reach out to. I’m curious how that process went. Our clients are those agents and business managers because they’re the ones who make that decisions like, “You need a loan.” This player is not going to say, “I have these contacts.” The business managers are going to say, “I have these contacts. Here’s who you’re going to call.” They’re who we treat with that white glove service. It’s those agents and business managers. That’s who initially we got our foot in the door with to start sending those referrals over. We get various requests. We’ll get players that call us directly now because we’re a little bit more known or this agent who’s not even my agent said, “You helped a player with a similar circumstance. Can you help me out?” I would say 90% of the time, we’re dealing the majority with the agent, business manager, financial advisor, or something of that effect. We deal with the player when we need to talk through something specific or get them to sign something. The other 10% is we deal with the player directly. Some players are more involved. We have one music artist that’s like, “Don’t even talk to my business manager. I’m going to handle everything directly with you.” She likes to work that way. It depends but we’re willing to work with our clients however it suits their needs. Going back to you leaving private banking and going this route. My mind is still blown and I’m a huge extrovert here. I’m still like stuck on this 9 to 12 months of cold calling. Being a parent, working in private banking, and doing this for that long, was there ever a point where you’re like, “Does this make sense? Do I need to pivot? Should I quit this side project? Did you ever have doubts?” I still have those doubts. I was talking with my wife about this. I’m like, “I need to remove this from my mind.” It’s like a doomsday mentality. What drove me to work hard in the first place is I had a modest upbringing. My parents didn’t have a lot of money growing up. I was always like, “I’m going to make a lot of money.” That was going to be my goal. I have this mentality of like, “If you don’t keep making money, you’re going to go broke or your business is going to crumble.” That’s what drove me with the cold calling and everything. Once I’ve figured out that as long as I keep pushing the envelope or keeping even my nose to the grindstone, I’m going to have success. When I had my banking job, I was 100% that this is going to work. It was awesome and I’m collecting checks. I have this other job. This is going to work. I have no doubts. You then quit your job and the second I handed my resignation, months 2 and 3, I can see what that income is going to look like. I can see what loans we’re going to close, but I don’t know what’s after that. What’s happening this quarter, you may have a couple of ideas like, “That loan is going to happen later in the year,” but you still have this underlying paycheck or that comfort of working for somebody. Once that was removed, every time I didn’t know what was coming in like month three, I would start to worry, “What if people stop calling me?” Over time, I’ve gotten more comfortable with, “You can go a little easier now.” People are going to keep calling. We haven’t had a month where we haven’t closed a loan. That being said, people mistake volatility for risk. A lot of people are like, “I can’t quit my job. What if I don’t make any money that month?” That’s fine, but what if you make three times the amount you made in your job the next month? That’s volatility. Over the last however many years, month to month, it may be a little volatile, but financially or income-wise, I’m doing a lot better than I was as a private banker. That gives me comfort. I have a bigger financial cushion now than I did a few years ago. I have some peace of mind in that aspect. As long as you’re trying to grow your business and you’re pushing yourself to maximize or reach your potential, you’re probably going to have a little bit of those doubts. You try to turn them off. Most people who are starting a new business, diving into investing for the first time, looking at investing, or doing something different outside that rat race, hamster wheel or mainstream are going to have those doubts. What do you do when those doubts creep in? What keeps you back? There is a handful of different things. One is when there’s a big goal that I have but I’m afraid, and I know that I’m going to start making excuses in my mind and try not to achieve that thing because it’s scary, I will write that thing down and I’ll say very affirmatively, “I will do X, Y and Z.” That’s what I did when I started the business. I knew the comfort of my banking job was always going to be there and maybe I want to push hard enough so I wrote, “I will be a successful lender to athletes and entertainers.” I then started the business AE Lending Solution. I put it up right next to my desk. Every day, I will say that to myself. People, in general, think that I’m a pretty confident person, but the internal talk in your head sometimes can run amok. These are the things that sometimes people will say, “This is an excuse. This is what’s happening to me in my life.” I try to be cognizant of the fact that it may be an excuse. If I don’t want to workout because my kids were crying last night or whatever it is, I’ll say, “I’m going to be healthy and going to workout. I have to go do it.” That’s the same approach I took with the business. I’m going to write this down, “A couple of months ago, I said that I will accomplish this. I’m going to do it. Even though I’m not seeing results and it’s not happening, I will keep doing that.” The other is reflecting on where I’ve been. I try to keep a lot of detailed notes. When I was starting the business, I was writing everything down, “I talked to this person. He told me to kick rocks. I talk to this person. This was a positive note. I got this paycheck from somebody else that we did a loan for.” I’ll look back and read those things and look how excited I was to make $5,000 off of one loan that month. “This month that I’m having isn’t that bad. The fact that no one called me in three days with a new loan isn’t that big of a deal.” I’ve got to self-talk myself and tell it to my wife and have her remind me that I’m being a baby for worrying for nothing and give me a kick in the butt. That’s probably it. That and blowing off steam. If I’m having a bad day, I’m like, “What can I go do to get out of this mental funk?” There’s a common phrase, “This too shall pass.” Whatever it is you’re going through, however difficult that day is, however much you don’t feel like working, it’s going to pass. Tomorrow, I’ll probably feel a different way, the day after, or the week after. However difficult your day is or how much you don't feel like working, it will pass. Click To Tweet That’s a good mindset for anyone who is starting their own thing. “This too shall pass,” but also making sure you’re reflecting on the wins that you have and remembering those wins because when you’re in it, you’re like, “This is amazing,” but then you move the benchmark and you’re like, “That’s not that amazing.” You have to remember that feeling of what it felt like to get your first payment on a loan that you closed. I have it right here on the board. That’s awesome. Mindset comes into a big part with a lot of people who are either entrepreneurs, starting their own business, taking a risk or leaping into a new business venture. It’s good to hear those tips and tricks that you do to keep yourself moving forward. When you are starting a new business, for example, you’re not just the strategist that knows how to do the actual business, but you’re the salesperson. You’re cold calling. That is a mental game in and of itself. That’s something too with poker. We say it’s the highest highs when you’re winning money and the lowest of lows when you’re losing money. There are times during poker that I’m like, “What am I doing? Do I even know how to play this game anymore?” There are so many variances in it because sometimes luck plays a factor. Luckily, I had some training early on in managing my emotions. Everybody is going to have those doubts. Don’t lie to yourself. Be honest with yourself. Are you working as hard as you say you are or as hard as you think you are? If I’m not getting the results, maybe I’m not working that hard. Maybe I need to get back on the grind. To wrap this all up and bring it to a close, two things, if you could give someone a piece of advice who is looking to take a leap and start something new in their investment journey or stepping away from mainstream building wealth or investing, what would your advice be? The second is people who say are interested in learning more about how maybe they can do a loan with you, how would they get in contact with you? In the first part, one would be to write things down. Write down what your intentions are that day because the motivation is fleeting. Write down so you can revisit it and say, “I said I was going to do this. Let me take those action steps.” Taking action is the most important thing. I’m not some genius. Anybody with a background in lending probably could have done what I did, but I kept taking those action steps day after day until I built the business. For most people, the hard part is taking those steps. Ideas are a dime a dozen, but to take the action over and over, day in and day out so you build something or get to the point where you’ve built it is a big deal. That would be the takeaway when you’re starting your own venture. People can get in contact with us through our website which is AELendingSolutions.com. There’s a Contact Us form on there, or you can email me directly at [email protected]. We have a fairly simple vetting system if the person wasn’t referred to us directly by somebody we know. If somebody wants to invest, we ask some general questions about their background. We will probably make them sign a formal document. We deal with sensitive information. You may be privy to some of it. We need to sign a non-disclosure on each deal we have. If people reach out, we’re always happy to talk to them and we’re always looking for new investors. We have investors that like this type of loan at this rate. We have investors that only like it if it’s 15% plus, and investors that only like to do MLB players, so it depends. We’ve got specific requests. It helps to have a big pool of people we can go to. Chris, any final thoughts? I enjoyed this, similar to a lot of the recent episodes we’ve had with people coming on who have been able to be entrepreneurial, but also create and build their own wealth. The consistent theme is most of us aren’t different from anybody else except for day-to-day activities and consistency, and continuing to move forward. When you take a step back, make sure the next day, you’re still trying to take two steps forward. That’s the constant theme that we’ve been hearing. Something that keeps popping up is motivation is fleeting and consistency is what you can control. You may be super motivated to be healthy and go to the gym, but the next day you may not be. It’s about taking that consistent action of getting up and getting yourself to the gym or getting yourself outside to go on a run. Focus on that consistency. There are always going to be days when you don’t want to do the work. You’ve got to show up and do something. Even if it’s a small victory, just keep taking steps. It all compounds. Thank you so much, Adam, for joining us. Thank you for having me. Thanks for joining us on this episode. If you guys enjoyed the show, please share it with a friend, subscribe or leave us a review. Until next time, thanks, guys.  

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About Adam Gamboa

CWS 221 | Private LendingAE Lending Solutions provides Professional Athletes and Entertainers with custom and traditional lending. They help their clients get the most flexible terms at the most competitive rates. Their expansive network of lenders, knowledge and experience allows them to provide lending that Athletes and Entertainers may not have access to otherwise – often with deep pricing concessions.
Prior to starting AE Lending Solutions, Adam was a top-producing Private Banker at various financial institutions including JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, California Bank & Trust and PNC. Before getting his start in the banking industry, Adam played poker professionally playing in various poker events in multiple countries.
Adam likes to spend time with his wife and 2 boys, being active, coaching little league, traveling, camping, playing sports, and being outdoors. Adam enjoys building his passive and “not-so-passive” portfolio with investments like real estate, stocks, private notes, and other alternative investments.

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