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Mike "C-Roc" Ciorrocco Explains Using Setbacks to Build Strength

Updated: Aug 29


www.themikecroc.com IG @mikeycroc


C-Roc is the CEO of People Building, Inc. He is a performance coach, author, dynamic public speaker, visionary, and thought leader. He has been featured by Yahoo! Finance as one of the Top Business Leaders to Follow in 2020 and is on a mission to build people. At his core, he’s obsessed with success and helping others achieve greatness. C-Roc is a guy who had a fire lit in him at an early age. That fire has led him to inspire others to see the greatness inside of themselves using past life events to fuel their fire.


Set backs in life, business and health can be devastating to our mental psyche and overall mindset. This podcast episode will discuss how to use setbacks to grow stronger and how to motivate your mind during these difficult times.

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0:00 - Intro

1:31 - Mike C-Roc Ciorrocco

5:29 - Grant Cardone 10x Rule

7:57 - Mike's business's

10:55 - Purpose

12:11 - Problems with Education

15:15 - Solution to Education Problem

18:37 - Take Responsibility

21:43 - The problems with Politicians

23:43 - Multifamily property vs. Business's

26:37 - What people should do

28:22 - Contact Mike

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The Passive Cash Flow Podcast is for beginner or experienced investors. Subscribe today to learn how you can diversify out of the stock market, own a part of an apartment building & start earning Passive Cash Flow!


Peoples Capital Group has been helping passive investors build wealth in NJ real estate for 10 years. Visit www.PeoplesCapitalGroup.com to find out if you qualify to start earning passive income and pay less taxes via investing in real estate. IRA's and 401K's are accepted.

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Aaron Fragnito: We're going to get started here with the Passive Cash Flow Podcast. Ladies and gentlemen I'm your host Aaron Fragnito and we have C-Roc with us. How are we doing Mike?


Mike C-Roc Ciorrocco: What's going on Aaron? So happy to be here, fired up, ready to go on this Friday.


Aaron: Awesome man. I love Fridays. Nothing like it. Nothing like my favorite day of the week, feeling of accomplishment, the feeling of getting a break in the next few days, doing the things I love. I'm going to go ATV-ing a little bit, get my four-wheeler out. You ever go ATV-ing before?


Mike: Yes, man. As a kid I did. I don't do much anymore though, I'm more of a golfer, so my free time's on the golf course.


Aaron: [laughs] That's good. My golf game is a little left to be desired I'd say, but I'm working on. I'm working on it day in and day out.


Mike: Yes. It takes work to get good at it, otherwise I don't think I'd play because it's really difficult when you're not hitting the ball well to stay with it.


Aaron: Yes, absolutely, but I do want to get some more days in golf before the cold weather comes. I think I got a few months though, I should be all right. I should be all right. Absolutely


Mike: Where are you located?


Aaron: I'm in New Jersey here.


Mike: Okay. I'm in Ocean City, Maryland.


Aaron: Okay. Good stuff. You do a lot of different things Mike C-Roc. What do you do? Talk a little about yourself.


Mike: Well, really, Aaron, I'm a people builder at heart, and what by that is, I've always been around broken people growing up mindsets, alcoholism, drug addicts, suicides. I've had an upbringing that to say the least, was not the easiest. Now, I'm sure there's other people that had worse, but at heart, because of that, being around that all the time, I chose instead of run from it to attack it and try to help fix things. Right now, currently I'm on a mission right now to help build people. I started a company called People Building Inc. to come off of the podcast and movement that I have which is called What Are You Made Of? We're just on a mission right now to go global with this and help hundreds of millions of people fix themselves and help-- That want to. Not everybody wants to fix themselves and not everybody's going to admit that they have broken features, but we're looking for the ones that want help and we're on a mission to make it happen.


Aaron: I like that. It's really a positive message, and I think it's so important when your business has a mission statement like that to really try and actually value helping people, helping the community. That's so important today with entrepreneurship. Really business has changed, your business has to have purpose for people to want to do business with you, a bigger purpose than just making a profit or becoming more wealthy and that's great. You were inspired from some experiences at a young age there, so now when did you get started with this mission?


Mike: Well, I've been on this mission my whole life, but didn't really become aware of it until about a year and a half ago. I'll take you back a little bit to see where this fire got lit. First of all, I came from a broken home, I don't remember my parents together and I decided to live with my dad for 3 years from the age of 8 to 11 and dealt with a lot of conflict between the parents, my step parents, the custody battles and the child support. All this jazz, and as a kid you don't really understand what's going on. I just thought it was ordinary first of all, but meanwhile I'm being built into this animal, this machine. I look back on that stuff that I went through, and some people would play the victim role and and go to drugs and alcohol, play all these excuses in their life. To me, I decided to make it the reason that I'm successful.


When I was 11 I decided to leave my dad's house and go back to my mom's and he wasn't very happy. He decided to take this route here of basically telling me my future, which was, he thought I was going to need money and I wasn't going to be able to provide for myself. He takes this wad of hundred dollar bills out-- My dad was my hero. I always looked up to him for that wad that he had in his pocket with the rubber band around it, man. Something that we always looked at. He decided to peel one off, crumple it up and throw it at me when I decided to leave and said, "You're going to need this when you're living on the streets with your mother one day." How someone could say that to a kid, 11 years old, still blows me away.


Today, it's not to bash my dad, I tell the story. I want you to know where I came from and how this fire got lit, so at that moment when that happened I thought to myself, "First of all, I'm not going to need that money. I'm going to prove you wrong. Number two, I'm going to help people. I'm going to be a person that's a shining light for people to show that you can come from being given up on and you can absolutely do great things." Being a role model to people and then from there into my 30s and 40s, I started really working with people to try to help them with psychological resilience, I call it.


Aaron: Wow. That's incredible. That's an incredible story. Then also you teamed up with Grant Cardone or you teamed at some point as well. I saw you did a podcast with him, I was listening to earlier today and that was some pretty cool stuff. How'd you end up teaming up with his group?


Mike: Grant, I read his book a while back. My little brother gave it to me. I saw The 10X Rule before, I didn't know what the heck it was. I had seen Grant on pictures and things sitting in a nice car or a plane or something. I had no clue what was going on with it. I read the book at a time in my life where I actually needed it, where I was making a transition from one company to another with my whole team, and I felt like we were struggling at that moment. I read The 10x Rule and it just spoke to me. The 10X Rule actually reached out


and it was like Grant punched me in the face in a good way, so I'm like, "This guy speaks to me, man. This is my kind of guy. This is the life I want to live."


I, for some reason was living with an animal inside of me, but it was caged. I was worried about what people would think if I go nuts and act unreasonable with my actions. I was always worried about telling people what my dreams were, because I was worried about what they thought, or what they would say. What Grant did for me was he basically gave me validation to act like the animal, to let the animal out and understand that people are going to say things no matter what. They're going to look at you and and try to pull you back, but use that as fuel. I got on board with that and got my whole team on Cardone U, which is a training platform that Grant has. It's the number one sales training platform on the planet, and our business shot up 800% in the mortgage business that I run.


Aaron: Wow.


Mike: Now, when that happened, I saw those results and then the more money I invested with Grant, the more money I made and my team made. I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, but I know enough to know that if you put money somewhere and it multiplies you keep going to that well. I decided to become a licensee with Grant so that I could teach his material to other people along with my content, and how I'm implementing it, it works well together and proximity's power. Aaron, when you get around people that are doing things you want to do or they're on the place of journey where you want to go, you get around those people you, hang out with them, you immerse yourself in their content and then sit back and watch yourself take off.


Aaron: Yes, absolutely. I'm a big fan of that. I like to surround myself with other successful people, like-minded individuals, mastermind groups are always good. I've been meaning to get into Grant stuff a little more. He's all over the place. He's a lot. He's definitely an acquired taste, but I do want to read his book there, I want to check him out, and I've heard a lot of good things about it, so that's interesting. You have a mortgage business, you have a coaching business it seems here. What other businesses you own?


Mike: Those are the main things and then the podcast itself monetizes as well. Those are the three things I'm focusing on right now and then the next step is, I have a book that's coming out at the end of the year called What Are You Made Of? The Art of People Building. Oh, by the way, your audience can get that for free if they go to themikeroc.com, if you want to put that in the show notes, they can go there and get the book for free when it comes out, because I want as many people to have this as possible.


The other thing that we're going to be working on is a clothing line. Clothing lines, if they're good quality, they sell better when they have a story behind them. What Are You Made Of? is a movement and when you have that and the C-ROC brand-- My name is Mike Ciorrocco, but people call me C-Roc, but we have a brand, C-Roc brand, that is going to work with clothing and we're just fired up to get that going in the next year or so. I look at it as Under Armour did it, Kevin Plank can do it, I can do it.


Aaron: [laughs] Hell yes, that's the right attitude. Absolutely. Right now, you can really start a clothing brand without actually buying the inventory. You don't need to start a factory, so really that's a great way to build your brand. It's a great way to get out there, and of course every t-shirt that sells is a walking billboard. That's a perfect way to market your company in a way to keep your guests engaged as well, your fans engaged, so I love it. I love the brand you're building.


As I was saying before, it's so important to inspire people. I run a real estate syndication, I raise capital to buy buildings like the one you see behind me, but that's not really what I do. That's the asset class, that's the infrastructure, but at the end of the day, my job is to guide people, find out what their financial needs are, see if we're a fit for what they're looking to do and just help them diversify into an asset class that we know how to do very well and have a great track record in. It's really about inspiring people to actually make that leap.


I was speaking with an investor yesterday and he was saying, "Well, I'm worried about a recession and I'm completely invested in the stock market", and saying, "You probably want to diversify out of the stock market." It's amazing how scared people are to diversify or to take any type of step, which is really the right step, to always be diversified, or whether it's deciding to start a business that you're going to inspire others, or telling your story, or not being afraid to be yourself. That's so necessary to be an entrepreneur.


People say, "How do you be an entrepreneur? How do you run your own business?" Well, it's not being fearless but it's being able to handle fear, being able to wake up every morning and say, "I'm going to do the things that challenge me, do the things that I'm a little scared to do, that maybe I'm not great at right now but I'm learning how to do them. That's something that I think we need constant inspiration to keep doing, whether you're running a business or not. Who do you find yourself working with the most? Is it business owners or people trying to get out of the rat race or both?


Mike: It's mostly salespeople and business owners. Similar to me, the mortgage is what our vehicle is and that side of the business or that industry that I'm in, but really now mortgages, I like mortgages and all but it's not what I'm passionate about. It's really the vehicle that we use to accomplish our goals of people building. Similar to what you're doing, you're in a form of people building. You're covering the financial literacy and financial help part of people building because people need money. You can build people via helping them get money or making their money multiply. You're in the same thing. I relate to that 100%.


Here's the thing, man, at the end of the day, you said something about purpose. Purpose is not just to get customers and have a story to tell that helps you get customers. That's important, but purpose helps you get through the tough times. It helps you get through the setbacks, the negativity. That's the thing. Or when you don't feel like doing something that day. You know you got to raise some money. You have a property that you guys, going forward, you need a certain amount of money off that. Some days you might get up in the morning and just not feel like it. Purpose makes you get your ass up. That's what purpose does for me.


Aaron: Absolutely. That's what it's about. Because it's a tough business, it's a grind. There's always another building. There's always another relationship. There's always someone new to educate. You really have to find your deeper purpose. It's not just the money. I don't just want to be a millionaire and be wealthy. I want to actually transform the way people think about wealth and the way people understand wealth.


It's funny. I got a degree in entrepreneurship at Rowan University. It was a good school. I learned a lot about how to show up on time and work hard and do things like that. I learned a what a debit was and a credit. I learned what a franchise was. I learned nothing about wealth. I didn't learn how to build wealth. I didn't learn why the 1% are so much more wealthy than the other 99. That's crazy because I was an entrepreneur major. I paid $150,000 to learn how to be someone who creates wealth and creates value, solves a problem.


A lot of the people I learned from were people that learned from books and never actually ran a business. I realized that the education, this whole system is outdated, and that's why there are so many people out there like you, like all these people teaching, Grant Cardone, all these guys out there that are making millions teaching people how to build wealth because there's such a need for it and it's not taught in schools. If you think you're going give $200,000 to a university and learn how to build wealth, you're dead wrong. You're dead wrong. They don't teach you how to become rich. They teach you how to work for someone.


Mike: I have a theory on that. That's exactly it. I think it's on purpose. It's not by accident. A lot of people think it's by accident. They're like, "Oh, man, it's just, they don't teach you that there. They don't know any better." It's not that. Basically universities started to train workers and give them skills to be beyond just the labor for the people that have to do with wealth, that build wealth. That's what happened. I think it's on purpose that way.


It's designed also with the student loans to keep people in check, keep them down, so they can't build wealth. If you look at the amount of money universities costs, it's a business. Also, the student loans that people come out of school with, obviously, that's another topic. It buries you. There's doctors and lawyers that come out of school and they're buried. Unless they know how to start a business and scale it, they're going to be buried working for someone else. It's on purpose. My thought is it's no accident.


Aaron: I agree 100%. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist or anything but I was amazed that I went to a blue ribbon high school. I went to a great college. I did everything. I checked all those boxes, Dean's list, and I came out of that, and I said, "What the heck am I-- I have no idea how to be an entrepreneur." I had a landscaping business. I had a painting business I did an internship with, which is a bit of a pyramid scheme. I did learn how to sell a product or service I didn't know how to get, which was interesting.


Really, I thought what I want to create is a school where half of your tuition goes towards starting an actual business. The first two years, you learn how to actually start a business from guys that actually started a business, and you have more of experience-based learning, and then the second two years, that that tuition goes towards an investment in your company because it's a lot easier to start a business with money.


It's almost nearly impossible to start a business with no capital, any serious business. I would love to see universities go towards actual experience, hands-on learning. Listen, if you lose money, if you lose your tuition, in the two years starting that business and it's a failure, great. That's money you would have thrown away to a university anyway.


Mike: The lessons learned are probably more valuable.


Aaron: The things I've learned from my losses in real estate are not even comparable to what I learned from my wins. My wins are great, the taglines, but the losses are what makes you a real businessman, a real leader in the industry, and learn how to how to come back from that stronger. What do you think about that idea, two years tuition goes towards experience-based learning and two years goes towards actually starting the business.


Mike: I don't think you're going to see that in the current system. If you create something outside of that, I don't know if you can get accredited that way. I think it's a fantastic idea to do outside of that. I just don't know what universities are going to buy into that. Because remember my theory is the fact that they're doing it just to create workers for the people that are building wealth. Now think about in high school, that's all they talked about, was, "Man, we got to get your college-ready." They basically brainwash you into thinking that you need to go to college.


There are some people that should go to college. There are some people that have purpose of helping people in medical field or want to be attorneys or what have you, and you have to go to school to learn those things. If you're not going to go into a specialized field like that, obviously, they should really look at that and talk to people about, "Hey, college might not be the best for you. Listen, there's nothing wrong with that." Don't make the people feel bad. Don't make the kids feel bad if they're not going to be a doctor or a lawyer. Teach them, "Hey, I'm going to teach you how to go get money, how to collect money, and then how to multiply that money."


Aaron: I remember my buddies in high school that didn't go to college and ended up going to vocational schools and learning crafts and now they're HVAC techs. They're doing great. They're making a ton of dough doing that because there's such a demand for contractors and service providers. First of all, they were out in the workforce two years earlier, with a fraction of debt. I don't even think they had debt. The cost of vocations was so much less.


I remember thinking they're the less smart, the less fortunate, almost like feeling bad for them. Now I have friends that got a four-year business degree and they owe $200,000 to a university, and they're making $55,000 a year, the base level of a corporation going into Manhattan. It's such a shame to see us think that way. It's so wrong. Now there's a shortage of contractors. There's a shortage of people that want to work with their hands. We need to really change the educational system.


Mike: I believe so. Here's the other thing. You're trained all through school to work for someone and rely on people. Everything changed in my life when I realized that I'm responsible for creating my own economy. I'm responsible for creating wealth. I am responsible, not anybody else. I'm not going to put the finger and rely on anybody else either. I am responsible. Once I've learned to really operate under 100% responsibility in my life, everything changed.


If you're thinking of things right now and you're going through your day and you ever point the finger at someone else for anything, you need to stop and remember what I'm telling you right now. For your own sake, if you take 100% responsibility, you become the puppet master and not the puppet. I've never met anyone that wants to be the puppet. Something to think about when you blame someone. We all do it. We catch ourselves sometimes like, "Wait a minute, what could I do differently?" You get to control. Everybody wants control.


Aaron: Individualism, being responsible for yourself is becoming less and less popular, I feel, in the mainstream media and just everything we see. I think it's really frustrating what people are being taught in college, just to hate success, hate America. You're responsible for yourself. You're not part of a group. You're not an oppressor or a victim, you're responsible for yourself. You have the opportunity to be whatever you want in the greatest country in the world. If you don't think America's the greatest country in the world with tons of opportunity, then go travel, go check it out. That individual responsibility actually goes down to our roots of what this country was founded on, our founding fathers saying, "You have opportunity to do pursue happiness." In fact, you have the right to pursue happiness. It's not, you have the right to a $1,200 government check. You don't have the right to $600 unemployment. You have the right to pursue happiness. That's what we have the right to do.


I came out of college thinking that America was a bad place that oppressed people and had a terrible history. I wasn't necessarily taught that by my professors, I'd say, but just like the media, the YouTube videos, my friends. The whole mindset of a cocky 22-year-old who thinks this country's completely backwards, but hasn't actually worked a full-time job in his life. That mindset, it was crazy.


Towards my late 20s, when I started really running a business, I tried to get a building permit, realized how hard it was to deal with local government. That actually, when you have tons of government regulation, it slows down business and stops jobs from happening. Getting in the real world, I realized that I was actually a little brainwashed in college. It was very interesting. Did you go to college or [unintelligible 00:21:37]?


Mike: Yes, I played football at Salisbury University in Maryland, right down the street from my house where I live now. Not to get into politics, and I have a problem with both sides of the aisle, so to speak. When you enable people in general, if you enable someone you're not helping them, but it's a great way to get votes. People don't understand that there's nothing wrong with a handout as far as helping someone and helping hand and helping them up.


Aaron: Sure.


Mike: When you continuously do it and pour it on them, you're putting them into a prisoner situation, where they're relying on it and they get held back by it. It's a great way to get votes. That's the problem that we have. What happened is there are certain people in politics that have gotten really good at manipulating people, and figuring out what they want to hear and telling them what they want to hear just to get the vote. Then once they get the vote, they don't care about those people. That's a problem, man.


It happens a little bit on both sides. I'm not going to get involved with that, but it's a problem that I see, is that, number one, people need to take 100% responsibility for your actions. Stop blaming other people, stop playing the victim. Number two, do not enable people, unless you're really just trying to get elected and just want their vote and that's all you care about. Which is very, very obvious when that happens.


Aaron: Politicians are so backwards. I remember a day when I wanted to be in politics, I wanted to be a politician. Then I started to study politicians and learn more about them and see our current-day politicians. They're probably some of the most disgusting human beings in the entire planet. If you actually sat down with most of our political leaders and really got to learn their principles, you'd find they really have none. I don't want to speak about every politician, but for the most part, from what I can see, it's whatever the current is, whatever the tides are, "This is what we're going to do now." I don't want to get too political here.


Mike: No, I’m with you though. I agree.


Aaron: It's not a political show. We're talking about Passive Cash Flow podcast. How did we get onto this here?


Mike: Let's talk about that for a second, because I've got a question for you. This is your show, but I got to ask you a question, if you don't mind. I'm used to asking questions.


Aaron: I like it, go ahead. I like talking.


Mike: Here's the thing. When you have a multifamily property to invest in and or you have money to put into a business. This is what I go through my mind, why would people stop investing in businesses and invest in multifamily property, when businesses, to me, the return on businesses can be upwards to about 50% to 100% or more? From what I've seen with my money, that's what I've been doing. I have other investments, don't get me wrong. I just want to hear your opinion on that, of when do you make that change? When do you think, "That's enough with the businesses right now, let me shift some money over to real estate?"


Aaron: I think it's good to be diversified. If there are good businesses to invest in, that's obviously good opportunity you want to take advantage of. I think what we're a good service for our people that are looking to diversify into something more long-term, something more stable. If you're investing in a startup company or a business of some type, there's inherently a lot of risk to that. I think it's a little more complicated as well. It really depends, of course, what the business is, who's running it. There's a really, probably a more risk too, and more moving pieces to that than investing in an apartment building in a high-demand market that for ages has been collecting rent. There's a high-demand to live there within an hour as you commute to Manhattan in less than an hour. It gives you a ton of tax benefits, so you actually get to write off all your cash flow.


Then we refinance every few years and eventually do a 1031 tax difference and trade into a bigger building. There's other investments that might put pie in the sky numbers, like better returns on paper. In the long-term view of real estate, and we're very conservative on our projections as well, is that just over time with the tax benefits and the cash flow and the refinance capital, you do very well. Really, around mid-teen returns, for a lot of our investors year-over-year, which is pretty aggressive for a completely passive lower-risk investment.


I always tell my investors, "Be diversified. You should probably have a third in stocks and bonds. You should probably have a third in cash and businesses and things like that. Then probably a third in real estate." Is what I suggest, but everyone has their own recipe. I love the idea of investing in cash flow businesses. I also know that I've seen businesses have good days and bad days. You've got to really do your due diligence. You've got to really pick and choose. Quite frankly, most people probably aren't qualified to really underwrite a business, or fully understand a business. That's the challenge.


Mike: I love that answer, man. I love it.


Aaron: I love to talk as well, if you have any more questions.


Mike: Man, I can come up with plenty, but really at the end of the day, man, people need to figure out, "What should I be spending most of my time on?" Collecting money and figuring out ways to do that so that they can invest, is what people should be spending most of their time on, but the problem is people get caught up and they focus on all these different things. They don't focus on the money-generating ideas and principles and activities to be able to invest.


Aaron: Exactly.


Mike: I love what you're doing, man. I'm invested in real estate. I love the idea of multifamily properties, especially when you find the right property. At the end of the day, you can increase the rent on the property as well, if you take care of the property and do some minor upgrades to it.


Aaron: We lower the expenses. We find more ways to make income on the property, laundry storage, and we renegotiate leases higher. We set terms and leases, so they increase over time as well. What's crazy about real estate is, if you increase the cash flow by $1, it actually increases the value by exponentially more than that, just like a business. Real estate is exactly like a business. When I buy an apartment building, like the one behind me, I'm buying a business and I'm improving the way the business runs with my in-house management. There's a business of real estate and collecting rents. Quite frankly, this tough time, we're at 90% collections. We're doing okay, interest rates are phenomenally low. It's a very good business to be in through this tough time. I think in the long-term, it's good as well.


All right, Mike, we usually do about 30 minutes here, so we're getting towards the end. How can people reach you?


Mike: The best way is on Instagram. I answer my DMs all the time. I got a great following there and a great content that's put out there. It's @mikeycroc with no K. Check it out. If you want a copy of the free book that's coming out, themikecroc.com.


Aaron: Awesome, Mike C-Roc. Very cool stuff. Be sure to send me that information. I'll make sure to put it in the show notes. Guys, my name's Aaron Fragnito. I'm co-founder of Peoples Capital Group. As you know, if you listen to our Passive Cash Flow podcast, we buy apartment buildings in New Jersey and work with qualified investors. To learn more, go to peoplescapitalgroup.com, where you can watch our webinars and our other podcast episodes, and check out some of the buildings we own. If you want to qualify there, fill out the application to qualify that's right on our website, peoplescapitalgroup.com. That's it for today. Thank you so much for joining us. Have a good day, Mike.


Mike: Thanks for having me.


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