Hello and welcome to The Business Secrets Podcast. My name is Robert Kanaat. Thank you so much for joining me here today. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve, and that you are listening to me right now and right here. Whether you’re joining me from home or you’re on your lunch break at work, or you are at the gym or even driving in your car – I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be here with you today.
Now a little bit about me. I have been an entrepreneur my entire life. Literally since I can remember, since I was a little kid. And now this is called The Business Secrets Podcast, but at the end of the day the secrets to running a great business all starts with the entrepreneur. And I wanted to share a lot of the insights that I’ve reached over the years.
Now a lot of you know me from the blog called wanderlustworker.com. You know I am the founder of that. That blog reaches millions of people, and I’m honestly grateful for the opportunity to serve all those people and to be a sounding board – and to be able to relate everything that I have learned in this journey that we call life.
So in this, in this first episode of this podcast – I really wanted to kinda share with you my origin story and how I got here today, and kinda where I came from. So I have been an entrepreneur my entire life. And since I was a little kid, literally. I was trying to figure out ways I could make money. That all evolved into making money online.
But I started out as kind of the geeky introvert. I was the kid in the basement trying to build websites – and even BBS, if any of you kind of remember that? The Bulletin Board Services, which was kind of pre-internet. I had convinced my parents to run 8 telephone lines into the house, and it cost them a fortune every single month. Just so that I could run a – basically a membership based chat board way back when.
So I have, I have deep rooted beliefs in entrepreneurial lifestyle – in calling your own shots. And that’s kinda why I wanted to start this podcast. Was to really relate the journey of, of everything that we call life. Because at the end of the day, the entrepreneur who runs the business is the business.
Especially in the very beginning when you’re just starting to scale. Going from zero to a million dollars, it’s all about the entrepreneur. And it’s what will get you from a zero to a million dollars, is not the same thing that will get you from a million to ten million dollars. And then from ten million to a hundred million dollars. Of course those are opportunities of scaling.
But what I wanted to relate with you here today is how I came from kind of like that geeky introvert kid to networking and calling some of the most successful people that are really on this planet my friends. And I want to share the things that I’ve learned from them. This last year I’ve spent going from mastermind to mastermind. Literally to all of them, and kind of collaborating with some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs on this planet. And what I’ve learned in that entire journey has seriously blown my mind.
A friend of mine, David Sharpe says – always says, “Your network is your net worth.” Now I know that he’s not the guy who came up with this. But he’s kind of the first person that I really heard this from over and over again, and I’m still inspired by it. Because back way, way back when I didn’t consider my network to be my net worth – I didn’t spend any time networking.
Literally I was just – I just wanted to be the kid or the guy that’s literally behind the computer building really cool stuff. Now whether that was coding or writing or whatever the case might be, that was me. That was me. At my core, I am still that introvert. I’m just like the shy kid who grew up really, really self-conscious and really, really self-aware of myself. Really embarrassed of a lot of things. Always wondering what other people thought about me.
Now my name is Robert Kanaat, but if you could imagine my last name is spelled K-A-N-A-A-T, and that kind of sounds like cannot or can be pronounced cannot. And as a kid growing up, it was always Robert cannot do anything. So maybe that’s where kind of like this passion grew from inside of me, to prove everybody wrong. And that’s been my whole life. I’ve just been an entrepreneur my entire life.
But I went from the introverted kid to kind of being a person who was collaborating with incredible minds. And today, to being one of the co-founders of a company called Cribs, which is a real estate blockchain. All because of – I went out there, and I really helped other people.
And so, let me kind of explain to you – kinda date you back a little bit to 2011-ish. 2000, around 2011-ish, one of my businesses failed dramatically. And that was a time when I realized that everybody leaves you when you fail. Like nobody wants to stick around and hang out with a failure. As bad as that might sound, that’s the total truth. I lost everything. I lost all my friends. My relationships, my marriage, my business. I mean everything.
Like all gone in a puff of smoke. Like it evaporated, and I had nothing left. I literally had no one left. Only person was immediate family, my mom. I would probably have been homeless if it were not for my mom. Because I spent six months locked up, myself, in a spare room in her house writing.
And there were some epiphanies that I reached during that time. I had this pretty high flying company. I was making a lot of money, but I was also spending a lot of money. And I stopped paying attention. I’m that geeky kid that loves building cool stuff, software. I love, I just love creating. I love building businesses. But not so much the actual maintenance of that business. So I’ve always tried to find partners who are really good at the maintenance of the business. Because for me, I just love building really cool stuff.
So I stopped paying attention, and I lost my business. And it was really traumatic. And it was probably one of the worst experiences of my entire life. I went through so much pain during that period of my life that I cannot even begin to describe to you. Now if you know anything about failure, that’s kind of where the genesis of the blog actually started. It was back then. Now I didn’t start blogging back then.
But that was kind of the genesis of it. That suffering through that failure, and kind of coming to certain realizations of why I had to stop repeating patterns in my life. And that if I kept repeating the same patterns, then I was literally crazy. Because I couldn’t expect different results. And I think it was Einstein who said, “The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” And that’s exactly what I was doing.
So I stopped doing all that– All of those things that I had been repeating. I buckled down and I focused. But it took me a couple of years to kind of find myself. It was 2011, 2012-ish when everything kinda came crashing down around me. And I still kinda stopped paying attention, but it wasn’t until around the summer of 2012 when I really got my head on straight. I had been travelling non-stop. Going from place to place, literally trying to just avoid my life.
And because one of the things that I love to do is absolutely, is to travel. And so I ended up kind of locking myself in my mom’s spare bedroom and writing. And the first book I wrote was a book called, “SEO Black Book.” I’m pretty good at something called SEO. Which is organically ranking search terms on Google’s search engine. Now I don’t know whether or not Google’s going to be around forever, but I got really good at this. So I started to teach people about it.
And the cool thing was, I just sat down and I wrote. And it just started coming out of me. It just started spilling out of me. It was like, literally like a river gushing out of me. I have no idea where it all came from. I had never written anything before that. I sat down to write that, and then I sat down to write another book called, “How Not To Give Up.” And then it just consecutively went through writing book after book. I wrote a book called, “Move Mountains,” Called, “The Art of Persistence, the Millionaire Method.”
A ton of books. And many of you know that I write under the pen name R.L. Adams. And those books have literally been read hundreds of thousands of times. Sorry, purchased hundreds of thousands of times, along with the audio books. And that’s just been an incredible passive income for me. So I greatly appreciate that opportunity, but I just knew that I needed to do something where I could earn passive income.
Because I was sick and tired of being at the mercy of an active income. And when an income stops and you’re literally, your whole life is traumatized. Because you’ve just lost an income. So how do you pay for anything? So I learned things maybe the hard way, and it was pretty traumatic. So the great thing was, I got addicted to passive income. So I got addicted to like writing books and creating audio books and courses and stuff like that. And it’s been so rewarding to me. Because it’s taken me out of that proverbial rat race.
And the blog was just a succession to the writing. The blog launched, I think it was in – kind of sometime in 2014, I want to say – or 2015? Early 2015 or late 2014. And it’s just, it’s just grown immensely. I share a lot there. And I really try to, I really try to reach insights into – not only business, but also into the entrepreneur. How you could overcome failure and stuff like that. The crazy thing is like, so many people shy away from failure, just like I did.
Like I was so embarrassed in the failure. I wouldn’t go on Facebook. I literally deactivated my Facebook account. I wouldn’t talk to anybody. I didn’t want anyone to know the pain that I was going through. I literally just wanted to hide. And that’s what I did. I just hid. And I knew I needed to create something. And it was like– I just like, I just lurked in the shadows. And I wanted to, I wanted to do something big. And I was sick and tired of kind of what I was doing.
But it was just in that period where I had immense growth. Not just like, not just mentally but emotionally and spiritually. I literally, I have always been a believer in God, but I got so close to God during that time that it was just, it was just incredible. And I’ve learned so much and I feel like – I feel like I was meant to serve. I was meant to create that blog. The things that happened to me were meant to happen to me. And no matter the amount of success that I attain or achieve afterwards, I always come back to that – to that feeling. To trying to relate that journey, because I think it’s so important.
And so I went from literally like this geeky introverted kid. And when I had my high flying company, like I was the extrovert, I was travelling around and like meeting new people. But at my core, at my heart – like I’m just the introvert. So when that business came crashing down, I went back to my introverted self.
And sometime in 2014-ish, around the same time that I started and launched that blog, early 2015. I started building a platform. A software, vacation rental software. So I’m a coder. If you ask me kind of what is the one thing I could do for the rest of my life, if I could only just do one thing – it would be writing software. Literally I’m that geek.
So I started building this platform. I was intimately experienced in the rental business. So the home rental business, the vacation rental business. And so I started, I reinvented the platform, I reinvented the software. I started coding it in kind of more of a – current standards – php mysql, if you know anything about programming then you understand that. It’s kind of more of a widely adopted, open source platform for coding. A lot of the biggest websites are built in that platform.
So I started building the software about a year in. I brought in a business partner. And we started building the business together. Started getting contracts for home owners, building up the inventory, building up the system, building up the platform, automation. And then we launched it after kind of two years of my dev. And we started making a lot of money.
And a year into making all of that money, my business partner and I had a big dispute. And the business came crashing down. So that was another business that came crashing down all around me. And that wasn’t too long ago. I’d say that that was maybe just a little over a year ago, maybe even 18 months ago. And I said to myself when that happened – literally when the business was taken from me, that I could no longer just be the guy who sits behind the computer screen. Like I needed to get out there and like meet people and learn from people.
So one of the things that happened along in this journey of being a writer and being a published author, was – I became one of the most popular contributors to platforms like Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine. Literally driving the most traffic. Because I was really good at SEO and I could rank almost anything. So if you know anything about SEO, you know that those platforms have a lot of authority. So creating any content there, it’s like super fuel.
So I started to reach out to people and offer to literally write about them if I could learn from them. I just knew like if I could learn from people who were super, super successful – then I could gain some great insight. Now the cool thing was, when the business – the recent business came crashing down, I wasn’t relying on an active income. So I had my passive income, so I was good. So I could reach out to people and I could write about them and share their kind of journeys.
But in exchange to network with them, literally. And learn from them, and try to get like – even if I could get like one little gold nugget of advice, I’m talking about people like Russell Brunson, like Dean Graziosi, Joe Polish, John Assaraf and all these other people that I get to call my friends today. Because I just wanted to learn one, like one thing that could move the needle for me. And even if it was just one thing, that was big enough for me.
So I started reaching out, and I started doing all of these articles about these people. And then eventually we just, we became friends. And I ended up meeting Kent Clothier through Roland Frasier, who is the brains behind the company called DigitalMarketer, which is literally one of the biggest digital marketing companies in the world. He’s also from Traffic and Conversion Summit. I’m sure most of you know about it.
And Roland introduced me to Kent, and Kent is in the real estate business. And I was showing him the platform that I had built. And I told him the story of what happened. And the coolest thing was he was like, “I want to do something with you, like let’s figure something out.” And he said something to me that I will never forget. He said, “Rob,” he said, “You know what I was thinking when I was looking at this platform?” He was saying, “I thought, immediately thought, what if we can use this to remove the real estate agent from the transaction?” And a little light bulb went off in my head, and I was like, “Wholly crap, like that would be absolutely incredible to do.”
So that started the evolution of Cribs. And so it’s me, Kent Clothier, and a guy named Howard Panes, who is the – was the founder of a company called Logic, which sold to Japan tobacco. Massive, massive company. He effectively invented the disposable electronic cigarette. And so the three of us joined up and we started a company called Cribs. And it’s a real estate blockchain to effectively remove friction from the real estate transaction.
And so but my point in telling you this story is that if you can imagine getting knocked down and getting back up again – and I’m sure like you’ve gone through your own failures and your own successes in life. You know kind of what that feels like. That’s a pretty traumatic experience. But to actually pick yourself back up again, that takes some grit, right? It takes not listening to other people.
Like my mom was saying to me, I still remember this like very, very clearly. Back when, back in around 2013, when I sat down and locked myself in her spare bedroom. And she said to me, “Why don’t you just get a real job?” And man that, like that hurt. And I know that my mom meant it in the most endearing and sincere way, like any other mom would mean it. But that hurt so much, and that instilled something in me.
Because it pushed me. It gave me this drive. Like this sense of determination. I have this stubbornness about me. But I haven’t always been very disciplined. And even if I had been disciplined for a short period, I’d lose that discipline over time. But really that lit a fire underneath me like you can never imagine. And that really pushed me.
And so the genesis of this podcast and the reason why I’m relating this origin story to you is because I want to share with you all the things that I have learned. Now I gave you a really, really brief snapshot of what happened, and in the next episode, I’m going to dive deep. And I’m also going to be bringing on some really interesting entrepreneurs who have achieved the craziest things in life and in business. And I’m going to relate to you what I have learned in my journey, and what I’ve discovered from hanging out and talking to these incredible people.
And remember your network is your net worth. So if you take something away from this very first episode, and I hope that you continue listening to this podcast. I hope that you take away the fact that you cannot do everything on your own. As entrepreneurs we always try to do everything on our own, and we cannot do everything on our own. We have to collaborate and meet with other people and join forces. And that’s literally what it takes.
So thank you so much for joining me here today, and I really hope that you tune in to the next episode. And I can’t wait to share, continue to share this journey with you. Talk to you soon.