Generations Of Wealth

Generations Of Wealth | Brandon McDonald | Multiple Million Dollar Businesses


How does one manage to operate multiple million-dollar businesses by working just 20 hours a week? Just managing one business seems like a gargantuan task for us, mere mortals, but people like Brandon McDonald have found a way to pull it off. Like most of us, Brandon started by building the proverbial sweat equity, but he soon figured out the true formula for running several businesses with minimal effort: a clear vision plus the right people, systems, and processes to make it happen. Together with his long-time partners, Brandon has used this formula to become successful in the niche that they have chosen. Tune in for an episode that promises to be chock full of actionable insights!

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Operating Multiple Million Dollar Businesses 20 Hours Per Week With Brandon McDonald

In this episode, I’ve got a good buddy of mine. His name is Brandon McDonald, not to be confused with Old MacDonald, although he’s getting there. Tell everybody a little bit about yourself and who you are. This is going to be a lot of fun.

I’m with the Nashville Money Guys out of Nashville, Tennessee. Derek and I met years ago on the Generations of Wealth cruise. We’ve known each other for a while. We existed in the same education ecosystems. I started real estate investing in 2006. I was flipping houses. I’ve partnered up with two guys in 2009. We bought a bunch of rentals through the downturn in Nashville, Tennessee. I started flipping with those two guys and buying rentals in 2012.

We shifted over to doing some new construction, which became our primary focus as far as buying something, building it, selling it, and using that money to eat. It was converting some of those to Airbnb. We’ve got a decent-sized Airbnb portfolio and still have rental property. We’ve shifted into hard money lending and larger development stuff in the last few years. That’s the quickie.

There’s a lot to unpack there. We’ll start at the beginning. Of you and your two business partners, which one is the most intelligent?

That’s a very obvious thing for me to state that it is not me. I know you are. This is an interesting thing. We have this dynamic with three partners total and we’ve been partners for several years that we found different types of intelligence in different circumstances. I have a lot more emotional fortitude than Brandon Rumbley does. I’m much more confrontational. That has served us in circumstances but Brandon Rumbley is better at chess and has a higher IQ than me.

Who’s a better poker player? We can’t go down that road.

I don’t want you to embarrass yourself with all the stories of you losing thousands of dollars over time, Derek. We probably ought to shy away from that.

I do get beat quite often by you, Brandon, and Jason who we commonly refer to as BB&J. Every once in a while, I do win a hand and maybe rub it in a little too much.

When you win, you’re a very sore winner and it’s funny.

15 Years Of Partnership

It doesn’t happen often. I have to be. We’ve known each other for a long time. You know what Generations of Wealth is all about more than a lot of people who are starting to explore and learn about our show. Talk about your journey a little bit. You had an interesting dynamic. Having these business partners for years is a long time to have a partnership. You told the evolution in the quick story. A little bit more detail, how do you go from flipping houses to being a very well-renowned builder and developer in the Nashville area and getting into the lending space?

First of all, it’s like getting married in high school and staying together forever. You get super lucky because you have no idea what is required at the different stages of life to exist with other people. Honestly, it seems a little miraculous that we’ve been able to maintain a partnership that we still enjoy each other. If we’re talking about what it takes to make a partnership successful, it takes core characteristics that are similar as far as integrity, ethics, and willingness to sacrifice and constantly be in a state of granting other people grace.

We’re all making mistakes all the time and we have to recognize that these are tolerable size mistakes, given the circumstances. Another thing that was interesting is you get married in high school and you don’t know what’s going to come up in the future. If you have one partner who outspends and has a lavish lifestyle compared to another partner, that can create a lot of rough dynamics.

Jason, in the group, tends to be more fiscally conservative. He’s our CFO. He’s the guy that’s controlling the money. Rumbley and I are like, “We’ve got all these ideas. What if we go do this?” Jason’s like, “Let’s pull it back here a little bit.” Luckily on the personal side, Jason put in a nice pool at his house and built a pool house over a four-car garage. Rumbley’s building his ridiculous house out in Mount Juliet or Lebanon. Jocelyn and I, my wife, bought a farm. We’re all expanding our lifestyle steadily together at a similar pace.

It’s crazy to think about that is not probably something that people would think about as important but it’s super important because if you have one person who’s constantly hammering the partnership saying, “We can’t reinvest in this next thing,” we can’t do that because I need more money coming in every month. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of thousands of dollars we have left in the system over time to do new projects and try new things like shifting over to this hard money lending thing. We are converting out of existing projects and rolling it over to this. It would be nice to take those distributions home but we’ve all agreed that we’re going to sell a bunch of these houses and move that money over into the hard money lending thing. It takes a consistency of lifestyle together to pull that off.

You have been a part of a mastermind that I host called Circle of Trust since its inception. The interesting thing for me was to watch you, Brandon, and Jason grow as a team and design a vision for your life, separately at first but then together. I want to have you tell the audience the importance of not only figuring out a vision for what you want your life to look like but the importance of knowing what your partner’s vision is as well.

A lot of people have a general direction of where they’re going like, “We’re going to go that way.” It becomes a lot easier to go that way a lot faster if you’re more specific. If you can hammer down what you want your life to look like in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years, it becomes easier to say no to certain things, which is a bigger deal. As you become more established in whatever business you’re doing, there will be opportunities that pop up that would be interesting. If you have the vision written down, you can say, “No, that’s outside of the vision. We’re not interested in doing this.”

A lot of people have a general direction of where they're going. But it becomes a lot easier and faster to go that way if you're more specific. Click To Tweet

We have varying degrees of a truly hammered-out personal vision. Jason is still a little more vague. He’s continuing to hone it and try to get a little bit more specific. Every week, he’ll probably name something else that’s a core foundational thing that he’s discovered about himself and his family that he wants as a part of their life vision. Even having it as a frame of thought as you’re walking through life and thinking, “What direction do I want to go in and continue to hone it to get more specific,” has been a big mind shift for us.

Rumbley is probably something similar. He’s a little bit clearer than Jason is. I have the most amount of clarity but it’s also because I’m willing to live with regret easier. That sounds crazy but I’m more willing to commit to a plan, even if the plan isn’t perfect, and say, “We’ll figure it out.” If you ask my wife, that’s a phrase like, “No, I’m an optimist. We’ll figure it out.” It lands you in some sticky situations but that’s probably the reason that I have my vision hammered down a little bit more.

Once we started talking about this within the group, we started bringing this into our monthly meetings and weekly meetings that we have. One thing was interesting. When we drilled down, it was like I wanted the prestige of having a big company. I wanted to say we have 50 employees and build $50 million worth of houses every year, or XYZ. When we started figuring out what we truly wanted and what our true heart desires were, none of us wanted those things. That was something to feed the ego.

We could have spent a lot of time building something that once you got to that location or destination, you realize, “This wasn’t where we wanted to go.” Getting asked challenging questions and something like the mastermind, especially Dave Peters who is so good at asking pointed questions about the vision in particular, has created a lot of that clarity, which has helped us transition from, “We don’t want to build or flip as many houses. We’re enjoying the hard money lending thing. It suits our personality so much more.”

As soon as we shifted over, we all felt like, “Here’s your role. Here are all the tasks that you’re in charge of.” It fits our personalities. In the flipping and building business, I feel like we were always a more complicated business. We were cramming square pegs into round holes a little bit. Maybe we’ll say oblong oval pegs into round holes, whereas the lending thing suits us. If we weren’t focused on vision, I don’t think we would have found it.

20 Hours A Week

There’s a lot to think about there. When you said building a big company to have prestige and feed the ego, I’m passionate about that because this show is not just about building financial wealth. I say this on the show often. It’s about time wealth, financial wealth, and spiritual wealth. I know that you’re an open book. How many hours a week do you work on average? Have you worked on average for the last few years while building several very successful businesses? Most people feel like they’ve got to work nonstop, 6 or 7 days a week, 24/7 answering the phone to reach these massive goals. What’s your experience been?

You could take those years, encapsulate it, and say that that’s what it took to get there but we did work our butts off in the beginning. When we started, I was 25. From 25 to 30, there were long hours. We were building a marketing team and figuring all that stuff out about figuring out a new business. As of a few years ago, we’re working twenty hours a week. That was the first stipulation when we started thinking about the hard money lending thing.

It was the funniest thing. When we sat down, we said, “What do we want this business to look like?” Every single person on their list said, “I’m not willing to give more than twenty hours a week to it.” That was the first thing on the list. It had nothing to do with how much money we wanted to make and how many loans we wanted to do. It had to do with how much input of our time were we willing to give to the business. Twenty hours is the answer.

We don’t run the best business but we’ve run many multiple million dollar businesses doing twenty hours a week worth of work. It’s because we’ve delegated certain things out that are handled adequately enough. The more people I meet, the more I realize the different talents within our team are special. The three of us finding each other in the dynamic is a bit special because the three of us add up. We are more than the sum of our parts, for sure.

With the conversation from Gary Vee, Alex Hormozi, and a bunch of these people that you’ll find online, this hustle culture thing is something that you can choose to shift into that gear and put the hammer down if you have clear goals and things that you want to accomplish in a timeline. You say, “I’m ignoring everything else and I’m going to get to this goal.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that if you create a business because you weren’t paying attention.

We want $50 million worth of revenue and build a team of 50. What we would have done is create a thing that forced us to be working at that pace for the duration or it would fall apart. It’s a very easy thing to do if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want your life to look like to end up in that spot. A lot of people would look at it with envy.

You’re driving the fancy car and living in the big house but you go home at night and you’re gutted. When you’re old and laying on your death bed, you’re going to look back and tell your grandkids who don’t know you, “I’ve had 50 employees though.” They’re like, “That’s cool. Thanks, Grandpa.” They’re squandering their inheritance before you’re even gone potentially.

These conversations don’t usually happen on a lot of shows, at least that I’ve listened to. It’s always about working bigger and harder. Put in the hours today and someday you’ll have this massive nest egg and then you can enjoy life. We’ve been buddies. We go on vacations together, hunting trips, and other things. We have conversations that most wouldn’t have with each other, most likely.

It drives me crazy when I listen to some of these other people with some names. I won’t throw names out there but they want the general public to see their social media and pump up their ego. When you know them personally or their backstory, a good majority of the influencers that you see or hear are so full of their phonies. They’ve built this business that is a monster. You have to consistently keep feeding that monster. It’s got so much overhead. When you have a black swan event like COVID hits, for example, all of a sudden, you can’t feed the monster. You’re done. You can get wiped out in seconds.

I don’t have an issue though with intentional people. That’s what they want to do. If you want to do that, you have a reason that you want to construct that, and you want to put that together, I have no problem with that at all. I feel like there are a lot of people who want to do it because they think it’s going to bring them fulfillment and happiness. They think that that’s what’s required to get fulfillment and happiness. For very few people, is that the case?

There are a lot of people who have built big social media brands around this type of thing. It’s cool if that’s what you want to do. I would like somebody to be honest. If they say, “I want to make $1 million a year. Here are the reasons,” and those reasons add up to stuff, that makes sense to me. If I wanted to be a world traveler and do it in a certain way, and it required that I made $1 million a year and paid $400,000 a year in taxes to do it, I don’t have a problem with that.

When you go away from this world, what did you leave behind? Who did you help? Who did you influence? What type of influence were you in their lives? What does that look like? It’s a big American thing as well. We’ve built this culture of success and comfort. It’s funny. I was thinking about this. You go out in a canoe on water and you’re like, “This is awesome.” You get in the water and swim around.

I’m pretty happy in my canoe but I can also go out on a $400,000 speedboat. I would say that the $400,000 speedboat is better and more enjoyable than the canoe. Is the ratio of $500,000 canoe versus $400,000 speedboat worth trying to bridge that gap? The answer is no. For us with building a business, there’s a deep satisfaction to building a business that you feel runs well. You’re trying to put the parts together so that everything is like, “This gets handed off to here.”

There's a deep satisfaction to actually building a business that you feel runs well. Click To Tweet

We’re also networking with people and meeting new people, making new friends, getting to go on trips that we probably wouldn’t have before, and getting indoors that we wouldn’t if I were in the canoe. The truth is the $400,000 speedboat does open some doors that you wouldn’t necessarily get in with the canoe. It’s about being intentional and deciding what the vision for your life is and what is important to you and your family.

I wasn’t trying to downplay people who want to build that big business much like you said. What I don’t love is the people who are fakes or phonies about it. If they’re putting on a facade to make people believe that they’ve got it all together, the reality is everybody I’ve met, and it doesn’t matter if they make 0 money or $100 million a year, we all have very similar challenges.

They may be larger or smaller in scale based on your financial scenario but we all have the same problems. We could all get cancer tomorrow or get hit by a bus. Anything can happen at any time. What I enjoy is meeting people and building a network with people like yourself and your business partners, knowing that we’ve got the right network around us to be humble and always helping. I will start winding this down with one of my favorite questions. What should I be asking you that I haven’t asked you?

It depends if we are talking about finance or how to make you a better elk hunter or archer.

We’re not going down that path. It’s what I’m not asking you that can help the audience.

50 Cents On Life

This popped into my head. I don’t think this is the end all be all. This isn’t the most amazing answer for anything. Recognize the difference between shiny object syndrome and an opportunity that could present itself and be worth diverting the path from. The way you do that is to create a clear vision that has broken down pieces inside of it that you can filter that new opportunity through.

Recognize the difference between shiny object syndrome and an opportunity that could present itself and actually be a worth diverting the path from. Click To Tweet

We were at Master’s up in Kentucky and I was talking to Brad Simmons’ son who had done van life. He lived in a van for a year and felt like a failure because he hated it. He was like, “It wasn’t what I expected at all. I was lonely. I grew up a bit of a social media following but it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.” He was disappointed that he’d taken that journey. I said, “No. I think that you discovered something about yourself that as a man in your 40s or 50s, you would always wonder about.

“You may regret having never gone on that adventure and learning something so deep about yourself. If you hadn’t then chosen to divert off that path that you were so certain was going to bring you fulfillment and happiness, you may have lived with regret, always look back, and may have in your 40s or 50s had a weird midlife van life crisis thing.” Recognize the value in failure and something that potentially you thought was shiny object syndrome that is a good path diversion based on the vision.

That is so deep. I’m shocked that you came up with that. That’s great.

I did. I’m a genius. I’m probably the smartest guy in our group.

I probably said that to you at some point on a hunting trip when I was educating you.

You’re a deep well there. You and I are deep wells.

Brandon, how can people hear more about you and find you? Talk a little bit about Nashville Money Guys.

We’ve been doing a podcast a little bit. We filmed some episodes. If you look at Nashville Money Guys on YouTube, that’s the primary place. We’re doing video podcasts, a little higher quality, good mics, and that whole deal. We’re going to keep those going. If you’re interested in hard money lending in the Southeast, not in Derek’s region in the Southeast, then hit us up at

I appreciate having you on the show. We always have a good time no matter where we are. I’m sure the audience is going to get a lot out of your words of wisdom.

Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

Until next time. Thanks for reading. Go out there, live your vision, and love your life.


Important Links


About Brandon McDonald

Generations Of Wealth | Brandon McDonald | Multiple Million Dollar BusinessesDive Into The World Of Real Estate, Hard Money Loans, And Creative Deal Structures With The Nashville Money Guys.

Brandon Mcdonald, Jason Dodge, And Brandon Rumbley.

With A Combined 50+ Years And 400+ Successful Projects, These Seasoned Experts Bring A Unique Blend Of Practical Insights And Captivating Stories To Every Episode.

From Brandon Mcoonald’s Global Bowhunting Escapades To Jason Dodge’s Outdoor Pursuits And Brandon Rumbley’s World Series Of Poker Invite, Their Podcast Is A Genuine And Adventurous Conversation. Covering Topics From Traditional Real Estate Investing To Creative Finance And Market Trends, The Nashville Money Guys Deliver Timely And Engaging Content For Your Audience.

Join Them On A Journey From Hands-On Construction To Hard Money Lending, Showcasing Adaptability And Resilience. Their Relatable Personalities Transform Each Episode Into A Friendly Conversation, Making The Nashville Money Guys The Go•to Source For Behind-The-Scenes Insights Into Hard Money Lending, Real Estate Strategies, And The Secrets Of Their Successful Partnership.Explore Key Real Estate Topics With The Nashville Money Guys, Covering Everything From Hard Money Lending And Tax-Free Investing In Self-Directed Accounts To Renovations, Partnerships, New Construction, Airbnb, And The Ins And Outs Of Raising Money.

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