Updated: Feb 23
This week on The Millionaire Choice Podcast, Tony talks with Zack Boothe, successful real estate investor and Founder/Owner of Driving for Dollars Mastery. Tony and Zack discuss being broke, building wealth, and how Zack made $40,000 in 40 days starting with only $1,000.
Zack grew up in a humble family with meager financial means. His grandfather died with two teeth and a gun to his name. Zack’s dad grew up asking for food from his neighbors to feed his younger siblings. Zack is changing his family tree.
About Zack Boothe
Man, I remember what it was like when I first got started in real estate. I’d wake up every morning full of confidence and courage, ready to attack the day. I had a focused plan and I knew exactly how to find smoking hot real estate deals, and quickly turn those deals for huge profits.
Quite the opposite. In fact my reality was fear, doubt, overwhelm, and frustration. I worked my butt off but I was drowning in bad advice from gurus, and strategies that either didn’t work or just weren’t congruent with who I am.
Five years later and I’ve done over 300 real estate deals and have generated millions. Over the years I’ve made a lot of mistakes and have learned a lot of lessons (sometimes the hard way), and I’ve built a dream real estate business…and I’d love to show you how you can too.
Learn more about Zack Boothe, https://dfdmastery.com
Hey, welcome back to the millionaire choice show today. We're gonna have a really fun time with Zachary Booth. He's a 32 year old millionaire real estate investor and success mentor. And the host of the driving for dollars podcast. Now this guy, when you hear his story, you're gonna love it. How he went from broke to making over a million dollars a year in the real estate investing. He's gonna talk to you a little bit about how he did that. And, he's got some real treats for you at the end of the show today on how you can, get some of the information he's got available for you. So stay tuned. Zachary, thanks for coming on the show today.
Zack Boothe (00:33):
Yeah, thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Yeah, man, I love your story and people hear me say this all the time on the show. I love the story of people who grew up broke, just like I did. We were not born with a silver spoon. A lot of people believe millionaires are born with a silver spoon in their mouth and it's just not true.
Zack Boothe (00:51):
Some of them are right.
Yeah. Some are some are, but, according to the millionaire next door book, one of the biggest research books on millionaires, 80% the millionaires out there, like first generation millionaires. And I think Dave Ramsey also just did a research book too as well. It was everyday millionaires before I think he's repackaged that book, but the same statistics are out there, like first generation millionaires, people that grew up in, not wealthy families, but decided they wanted to build wealth. And, yeah, I just love hearing the different stories. And so share your story a little bit with the future millionaires listening to the show.
Zack Boothe (01:27):
Yeah. Well I kinda go back to what made me wanna make money, started when I was young. So I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. I grew up in the, Western valley there in salt lake city. The lower income area. My grandfather was an alcoholic and gambler, died with, two teeth and a gun to his name, pretty rough history in my family. my dad's side, my dad grew up asking for food from his neighbors to feed his younger siblings. met my mom in high school, high school sweethearts and were married. And my mom came from a little bit more of a stable family, hardworking blue collar family. And, anyways, they did a great job. I have four siblings, but we were raised to work. We were raised to be independent. I have one sister and, and three brothers. My sister's pretty spoiled. Rightly so with only, only, only daughter,
Hey, I know how it is. I've got three daughters of my own and I had two boys and then I got three girls and that first girl I'm like how in the world were girls born knowing how to act that? That way to get wrapped around their fingers so quickly.
Zack Boothe (02:48):
Yeah, it's crazy. I have a little girl that's gonna be three here or no, she is three soon be four pretty soon. It's crazy the difference between my little boy and little girl, but, anyways, my dad raised us to work. he worked his butt off always, very frugal, and, he was hard on us. It was his way or the highway, and I will always be grateful for that. I will always be grateful to being raised to learn, to respect and others and to respect your authority and, my father figure and he was fair but tough. And, we worked after school. At 16, he cut me off financially. He said, you're a man now you'll take care of yourself. And he covered food housing, and that was it.
Zack Boothe (03:36):
So, from the time I was 11, until I was 15, I worked for the family lawn mowing business. After school, after work weekends, we were mowing lawns and picking weeds and fixing sprinklers and all that stuff. So did a lot of that when I was 15, I wanted to do, I wanted to go do other things plus what they moved. And it kind of became inefficient for me to go back to salt lake when they move 45 minutes north, where all of our clients were. And so I took up a job doing finished carpentry and framing. By the time I was 17 and I started my first business, I had done handcrafted cheese. I did tax DMI. I had worked in a wood mill. I went to Nova Scotia, Canada for my last job. My junior year, summer worked 80 hour work weeks.
Zack Boothe (04:19):
And I did that because of my dad. Wouldn't co-sign a loan for me to get my first truck. He said, if you want a truck, you'll get the cash if you want it bad enough. And so I got the cash, and, I did it. And at that point I was sick of working for other people right at 17 years old. And I remember when I was 14, I was mowing lawns late at night with my dad and mowing lawns. And these John giant, giant mansions in these neighborhoods up above the capital in salt lake. And where all the jazz and the Larry H. Miller, the owner of the jazz lived. And I used to wave at Larry H Millers he'd drive by this, billionaire. And I'm like, man, like, why am I? And I remember asking my dad, I was like, dad, why are we mowing their lawn?
Zack Boothe (04:59):
Like, why are they rich? Why are we not rich? And I remember my little brain at the age of 14, I was already trying to comprehend why, what is it that makes them different? And, I asked my dad and I would bug him. And he is like, Zach, I don't know, ask my rich friend. So he told me to talk to his friend, Clint. I was like, dad, Clint's poor. What are you talking about? Right. And he's like, no. he's like, he's just cheap. But he had a lot of money. He's not poor. He's just cheap. Yeah. I was like, he has a beat up truck, and I was like, he doesn't even have a nice truck dad. And he is like, I know he's just cheap. And so anyways, I called up Clint. I was serious about it. I called him. Clint, what do I do?
Zack Boothe (05:39):
And he gave me rich dad, poor dad, the book at 14. So I read that book at 14. And, my little brain started working. So at 17 I was hungry to go and do my own thing. And part of it was financially, I was trying to play high school basketball. I was trying to take girls on dates. I'm a, I'm a big time outdoorsman. My mom was pregnant with me when she shot her first deer with a bow and arrow. Right. So like we're always in the mountains together as well. And that's an expensive hobby, a very expensive hobby. And, now I get to hunt in six, seven different states. I'm going to hunt Hawaii with some investor for friends of mine next month. Like, you're gonna have a lot of fun and like a ton of adventure now, but I was like, how do I have all of it?
Zack Boothe (06:22):
How do I have my cake and eat it too? And so I wanted to have my own business. So at 17, I went to Novas Scotia, Canada, worked those 80 hour work weeks with, I had the cash to buy my truck, my first cell phone. And, I had to go with cricket, cuz didn't have credit. Cricket was the only carrier that would take me. Bought this little candy bar phone, you know? And, uh, this, the iPhone came out the next year, that'll age me. And then I bought a bunch of cleaning equipment. I couldn't afford everything. I went down the street to the construction site and got a paint bucket, cleaned it out and used that. I did whatever I could, but I was pretty much outta money. And so I went door to door from my parents' house. I'd walk to the the rich neighborhoods and go door to door. And, until I could get some jobs, I'd walk back and drive my truck. Cause I don't wanna use the gas. It was that tight. And I grew that business for almost a decade. And that was the beginning of my entrepreneur story. That's kinda why I, I was where I was at. Great parents. Yeah.
There's a lot of good details in there that I wanna touch on for just a minute. Like that sounds pretty, wild about your dad as young guy, just trying to have to beg for food to feed his siblings and himself. How many siblings did he have?
Zack Boothe (07:41):
Two and then a half sibling, a half sister. So his parents got divorced, I think when he was about 10 or 11 and it was very bad divorce. My, my grandfather alcoholic gambler. Kids were going hungry. My grandma was having to work. There was a lot of resentment there. So when, when there was that separation and then my, my grandma ended up getting remarried. So my dad's stepdad, was a Korean war vet saw action. I'm sure. PTSD and everything else that comes with it. Very abusive, very angry, very high hard on my father. Father felt like he was betraying his real father.
There was a lot of psychological stuff that goes on in families. It sounds like it was a recipe for it. Right?
Zack Boothe (08:31):
Yeah. So when my step-grandfather stepped in, he was able to provide financially at least, and feed the family. But for those few years, between probably 12, 13 to about 15, my father stepped in and would borrow food and work and help his mom feed the rest of his younger siblings. And, yeah, I mean, it's, I look at my father and I look at what he went through and there's more that happened, but it's very personal. And I look at who he is , and who he's become from how he was raised. And I have nothing but love, respect and admiration. He knew no other way. And it's funny now he didn't even, he's not even like the same person. He's just a grandpa, you know? And, and our kids are and our spouses are like, what are you talking about?
Zack Boothe (09:20):
All these stories of Steve, he's a gentle giant, he's super built big dude. And he's like, yeah, you didn't know Steve, when we were kids, he was definitely ruled with an iron fist, but it was so good. It was so good because it, there was a lot of tough love. There was a requirement to take ownership and responsibilities for ourselves. he drove me nuts, but he'd always yell at me. He says, Zach, I don't want excuses. I want results. And it drove me nuts. Right. Like, cause I totally felt like I had a fair excuse, but it, it, it made me resourceful because I knew if I went to my dad, it was the end of the world, you know? Yeah,
Yeah. I figured out. I picked that up. I probably didn't pick that up young. My parents had great work ethic, but I think, when I, the word excuse, kind of got scratched off of my vocabulary was when I got my first job outta college. I was working at a manufacturing plant, Bennett Tool and Die and great family owned business. And there was something I didn't get done. As I was talking to the president of the company I started making excuses about something. He's like, why isn't this done? And I started telling him all this stuff. He goes, I don't want excuses. And I'm like, oh, and the light bulb went off in me at that moment. It's like, oh, like, he's right, right. Like, I can talk about all these reasons why I didn't get something done, but it just still, the bottom line is I still didn't get it done.
And, in our minds, I think even in our children's minds, that's what happens. We wanna have all these reasons why it's not our fault and it is. And I kinda, I go through that with my kids all the time. Cause I I'll tell them, why didn't you have this done? Oh, I didn't have time. I didn't have time. I said, well, did you have time to do watch youtube? Play games? Sit in your room? The reality is we have, we always make time, myself included. We always make time to do the things we want to do. But unfortunately the things we want to do are not the things that we should be doing that are the best for us. And definitely not for somebody who's trying to build wealth or become successful cuz there's so many things that just kind of steal our time from us. And we don't realize how precious and important that asset is. That's one of your most important assets. Your time and what you can do with it. Well you, I mean you turned the corner there somewhere. What, how old were you when you started turning the corner from being broke to, making some money and getting ahead. It sounds like 17 was a big turning point for you. You said you read Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It's kinda like the Bible on building wealth for a lot of people.
Zack Boothe (11:43):
Yeah. Yeah. It was, it was a very influential book to me in my life. And at 17 I started washing windows, and I did well. I had my first employees at 17 on my 18th birthday. I went and got my first business license and got insurance and workman's comp and everything that I could get when I was 18, my dad wouldn't even sign those, papers and be a partner with me cuz he didn't want the liability of it. Like he wouldn't even sign those papers. So that's what I did for my 18th birthday. So I get the larger contracts, banks and credit union and so forth. So I was very much invested into it. My senior year of high school, I actually quit playing basketball because I was so excited about entrepreneurship. I was so excited about the success I was having with my business.
Zack Boothe (12:25):
I actually wrote off a lot of work release hours with my own signatures, for my own work hours and got credit for in school for it. and I, I fell in love with entrepreneurship and when I didn't have housing and children and wife I was doing well, I, I did that for a couple years and put away like 10 grand. I actually put away like almost $20,000. I had two vehicles, completely paid off, had a couple employees. And then I decided to serve a Christian mission. So I actually ended up going to San Paul Brazil for two years. I learned Portuguese and dedicated two years paid 10 grand to go do that. So wiped out most of my savings, put my business on hold and came back from that experience fell in love with Brazilian people.
Zack Boothe (13:11):
I actually have a bunch of Brazilian immigrants that work for me. I sponsored him and like I love him to death. I ended up marrying a Brazilian girl. but yeah, Brazil has a special place in my heart because of that. But I came home from there immediately went to work and, and really pushed to build that business. And throughout the process I was dealing with, immigration for my wife. I was dealing with trying to go to college. I was dealing with, trying to grow a business and trying to scale that making mistakes along the way. Ultimately from the outside, looking in, I was super successful. I had a business generating about a half a million dollars a year in sales, but my profit bar in was maybe 10, 15%, very, very minimal. But then I brought on a partner to make the profits even less.
Zack Boothe (13:56):
And I remember the day my son was born, seven years ago and I remember seven and a half years ago. I remember how am I gonna pay these bills? at this point I had dabbled in real estate. I had bought a duplex and was house hacking my second investment property. And I was trying to get into that space of financial freedom. I'm trying to invest, but I was just struggling to really make it. I was, I just felt stuck and it was so extremely frustrating to me the day my son was born, it was supposed to be the most beautiful day of my life. And it was, but all I could think about is how am I gonna pay the medical bills?
Zack Boothe (14:36):
And I was mad at right. Oh dude. And I was mad at myself that's what I was worried about. So I was mad at myself cuz I was worried, you know what I mean? Like it was, it was hard. And I was like, man, like I was so frustrated too because it's like, I wanna be more, I've been pushing my whole life to be more and I'm not like, this is the moment I'm supposed to be. Who I'm not like my family depends on me. My wife believes in me and I'm failing them. I just felt like a complete failure. I really felt sorry for myself. And I wanted to change something. Yeah. That was really the big turning point. I was very much paycheck to paycheck. I had really no net worth seven years ago, but that moment, that pain was a major driver.
Yeah. And you were how old then you said 25. About 20.
Zack Boothe (15:29):
Yeah. Yeah. I was.
Yeah. Well that's interesting because that's about that's right when I made my millionaire decision was at 25 and I'm finding, there's kinda like there's different moments in time. Different reasons people have done it. I've had people on the show like JV, Crum III or Jerremy Newsom, who's one of my favorite guys. These guys were like getting into investing or thinking about becoming wealthy at like age five or six, there's some catalyst that happened to them where they're like, what is this? I can't get a candy bar. I'm broke. My family's broke. What, what's wrong? Why can't I get a candy bar? And they're like, they determined to be different. For me that happened at 25. Sounds like for you were kinda like from 17, it sounds like you were kinda dabbling with the concept at 25. It seems like that was a real big catalyst for you.
Zack Boothe (16:16):
The big thing that happened to me. So I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and that put me on this path that got me to become an entrepreneur, but it was the only education that I got. It was the only financial education that I ever invested into. And looking back, hindsight's 2020. I learned from Tony Robbins that I had a major limiting belief. I would tell myself secretly all the time you are stupid. So the only chance you have is the hustle, which, which helped me because I worked really hard. I put in a lot of hours in, and that thought served me for a time.
Zack Boothe (16:54):
It was a driver. You're dumb, dude. Sorry. God, didn't give you a brain. And so it also became, it became a roadblock because, because I struggled to retain information because I wasn't the best student. Like I know that I am not the highest IQ person in the room at all times. I know for a fact I'm not right. Like, I don't necessarily feel like I have learning disabilities, but I struggle. Right. I learned Portuguese. I'm fluent. I can learn, but I know that it's hard. It's hard for me. And it's probably hard for everyone. I just feel sorry for myself. Right. But I finally got to the point where I was sick and tired of just hustling and not really seeing results and making all the mistakes myself. So when that moment happened, I was like, okay, something's gotta change.
Zack Boothe (17:47):
And it took me two years to find the path and get on the path that I'm on now. But for two years I started washing windows. And instead of just washing windows and working as fast as I can with no, no headphones or anything to get my way, I had headphones in my ears at all time. And I was listening to books and I was listening to podcasts and I was studying and I started investing into coaching tens, thousands of dollars. And I started pouring into my success and my understanding of what I needed to do and who I needed to become, to find the success that I was looking for. Cause work ethic I knew was not an issue, but the work ethic alone wasn't enough. And I was like, it has been 10 years of grinding and it's like the bigger I got, the less money I made.
Zack Boothe (18:30):
And I had to change something.
Yeah. Well you got so many principles in there. I mean like, work ethics, a big one, right. So I picked that up from my parents and that's a such a good foundational item. I talk about that as millionaire key, number one, is you gotta develop strong character, but the whole concept when I was on my first job that some of the guys would always tell me as a young guy, right? You gotta work smarter young man, not harder. And I'm like, well, I think you gotta do both. You gotta work smarter and harder. So you gotta invest in yourself, the educational side of it. And it sounds like you put those two things together. So you had this good foundation from your parents and then you added this, secondary item, which is this intelligence, you know? And what I love about what you see right, was, I'm not that smart. And I think a lot of times people think that you have, the millionaires or people that are wealthier, are geniuses. Personally I've not met a genius millionaire yet. Not one.
Zack Boothe (19:25):
They're too smart for their own good.
Yeah. It's like, they're just, they're just average people who just follow the process, right? And that's what I love about your story. You're like, Hey, I ain't that smart. My IQ is not 130 or 140. I'm just an average Joe who learned a few things, invested in myself, worked really hard. And here I am making a million bucks a year and, that's pretty good. Right.
Zack Boothe (19:48):
I'll let you in on a little secret.