From Rags to Riches Immigrant Story, $50 million in Assets w/ Kosi Stobbs - The RAS Project 058

Ivan Temelkov

05/08/2020 · 30 min read

A fairy tale of a story. From rags to riches and living the dream life. An immigrant who made his dreams who come true.

On this episode of The RAS Project I speak with Kosi Stobbs. He is the CEO of Specific Mechanical Systems and the Director of Property Owl Investment Solutions. As a teenager, he worked at Burger King to support himself for college. He graduated at the age of 22 where he also bought his first property.

He dreamt of helping and inspiring other troubled youth to find another way and now is the owner of over 10 properties by the age of 30. Now he owns a market cap of over $50 million in businesses and real estate and has over 100 employees

The RAS Project is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. You can also watch in video on my YouTube channel and Facebook Watch. 

Ivan Temelkov [00:15]
What’s up everyone? You’re listening to The RAS Project. My name is Ivan Temelkov and I’m your host. On this podcast we discuss entrepreneurship, personal development, family tech and marketing. Why should you listen to this podcast? This podcast is for those of you are looking for life changing advice and ways to thrive digitally with your business as always, all content is 100% real, raw and unfiltered. 

Ladies and gentlemen, today I bring you another special guest who I’m very excited to dive into a convo with in just a second but before that. Kosi Stobbs is the CEO of Specific Mechanical Systems and the Director of Property for Property Owl Investment Solutions. As a teenager, he worked at Burger King to support himself for college. 

He graduated at the age of 22, where he also bought his first property you dreamt of helping and inspiring other troubled youth to find another way now as the owner of over 10 properties by the age of 10 now he also owns a market cap of over $50 million in business and real estate and has over 100 employees. Kosi! Welcome to the show, man.

Kosi Stobbs [01:33]
Thank you very much for having me. Like right we had a little pre talk before this and right before we had a pre talk we said I said to him, you know, I, I’ve got a really good feeling about this one. You know, like every so often you just you start chatting, you get a really good feeling. I got a really good feeling about this one, I think if you’re honest, is going to enjoy what we have to say today and we have to bring to them so.

Ivan Temelkov [01:56]
Absolutely. Well, you know, when we were chatting before the show, I was very direct and said, You know, I’m so looking forward to our combo because as a fellow immigrant who has gone from a zero to 100 I mean that’s that’s the ultimate rags to riches story, right that I think everyone wonders about because let’s face it, we live in a day and age in a society especially now with what’s happening with COVID-19 where a lot of people are desperate for that when they’re looking for that instant gratification. 

They want to succeed overnight Some are putting in the work, some are not so let’s spend a couple of minutes you know, let’s take us all the way back to the Burger King days, man. I you know, I want to hear what was going through your mind back then. Like you were this youngster hustler. You know you want something but here you are flipping burgers and you’re like. 

Where the fuck am I gonna go from here? So tell us in a couple minutes like what was happening during that time of your life. Life and was there something that really got you thinking about you know what there’s more to life there’s more than what I want to do.

Kosi Stobbs [03:08]
You know, I you know, I worked it as I think back I worked at Burger King I also worked at Walmart as well. When they were setting up new Walmart’s and they were kind of like a summer job they brought us in to like put all the shelves together right in the Walmart’s and I remember working there and one of the ladies that had worked there for like, 30 years.

I was having a conversation with her. And it was in that conversation where I said to myself, Holy fuck, I don’t I don’t ever want to do that. I don’t ever want to live in that world, where it’s like paycheck to paycheck. And you know, like, I don’t want like, I want different. I know I want different. And I became like I very early on America just became a student of shit, right, like so I’d pick up books, read books. Reach out as much as I can absorb on people who had reached places that I hadn’t reached. You know, my parents. 

They’re huge inspiration for me, right? And my mom came to Canada as a nanny. And that’s how we’re able to come to the country. She came literally on a lottery to come to Canada as a nanny, right? And she used to tell me how, because she could only come by herself first before my dad could come over. So she would tell me how she just like, stand in the mirror and cry, look out the window and cry while she’s taking care of other people’s kids. With hopes that you know, in the future, her family would be in a better spot, right? So it’s shit like that. 

You’re like, fuck Look, I wish my parents did for me to get me here. Like, I gotta make the most of this today, man. It’s like yeah, I’m looking at you like the gun so much. I got to make the most of it. And it’s like How do you do that? How do you how do you keep pushing and there’s so that they were such good parents to them. Have they always told me you know what cosy, you can do whatever you want to be in life, you just have to work towards it. My parents told me that too, right? Like, just because of where we at, we’re at. 

And you know, my mom was a nanny, my dad came to the country as a basically working with his hands got to take it was working, sometimes laying off sometimes working sometimes lead off sometimes. So that whole cycle of like, you know, your parents looking at you say you don’t have this doesn’t have to be your future, your future can be different. And for them, they were just like, you know, like, we just want you to have a good job, and a solid job and a solid future. to them. 

That was success for them. But I was like, fuck it if I’m gonna dream might as well dream big. Right? Like, if you’re gonna take a swing, like, you might as well go for as much as you can go for as big as you can go for. Because, you know, like, I’ve heard stories of people that had done it before and what’s common about them, so I just became a student of the game. Yeah, and when you become a steward of the game, you just learned a lot of stuff. 

You pick up a lot of shit like Kayla You know, like it’s a it’s, it’s, it’s doing things consistently over time. It’s learning about this is being disciplined discipline is massive. So my burger king days I was very disciplined where I said, Okay, pay yourself first, right? Right. hundred dollars a month every month that’s going towards my future, right? And future I was talking about like I had to pay school tuition but on top of that I $100 for my future, so I can invest that money and that money can make me more money. Right? And that was where my head was at, even at that age, right? Because I was I’m fucking wired different. 

Like, I can’t be like, there’s not a lot of 15-16 year olds where their heads are wired this way. It’s just sometimes you’re wired different and wired differently. And I just what are different took me to learn and read enough stuff. You pick up enough stuff and then I’m like, Okay, if I can save eventually, over time, that amount of money at He, by the time I’m 6575, it’ll be a lot of money. Right? If I invest, it’ll be a lot of money and how I kind of I zoned in on real estate specifically. 

Yeah, the only reason why I sold into real estate was because my dad said one day at the dinner table, he said, the best investment I’ve ever made in my life was put enough together enough money to buy a place. And even though it was a modest place, you know, that place went from like, 50,000 to like, $80,000 that’s the most money we’ve ever had was investing in a place I said, fuck if that was the most money that you had, I’m going to do that. 

But like me, I’m like, let’s do a big toe like Dude, a big hit like by 10. So like, my top three is gonna buy 10 so you just set those wild goals and at the time was a fucking wild goal, because because think about it, man, like I was making $4.50 cents an hour, right? You do the math that equates to $10,000 a year. Like that’s about like, you’re talking about, like owning 10 pieces of real estate, when you’re Your when your your mother went from a janitor to went from a nanny to a janitor, like and you’re talking that’s reckless speak for most people’s reckless. Yeah.

Ivan Temelkov [08:14]
Yeah it is absolutely. I mean as you’re as you’re sharing this story, there’s so much irony in it, honestly. Yeah, I mean literally so much irony because you know not to go into the depths of of my own story but my father immigrated here in late 1990 worked three full time jobs before he brought my mother and my sister across the pond in mind, you had to literally jump through hoops that most fucking Americans or most people even in the Western culture would like look at and be like, what the fuck like you actually did that? 

Well, that’s risk that sacrifice, not as easy. It’s probably one of the best things that has happened, you know in my life besides my two kids that has been the the one of the best things that has happened in my life. And so when you were talking about Burger King in the mindset, it really got me thinking because I think nowadays these these youngsters, these young hustlers have app salutely no fucking idea of like, what to do I feel like a lot of these youngsters that kind of go with the flow, you know, like they’re not so hyper focused on like, like you were talking about Burger King, like you knew you wanted better. 

You weren’t gonna flip burgers, always. But you had to plan your, your action plan, like, what am I going to do? Okay, set money aside, that money is gonna make me money. So you were just wired differently, but you’ve always wanted more out of life. And that’s the difference that I think most people don’t understand is, let’s face it. 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, but they’re insane enough to get up every single fucking day. Get in the car, waiting traffic, go to a job they fucking hate. And guess what putting 4050 maybe even six Do hours per week and then be fucking broke? 

Like, yeah, the logic behind that is insanity. Now, yeah, it’s crazy to think that Alright, I’m gonna focus in on something that I’m really good at something my strength, something that I want to accomplish, but there’s no there’s no gratification. Like there’s no immediate gratification, like what I mean by that is when you were young, you knew you know what this is gonna make me money one day when I get to be 6570 years old, but you know what, that’s the fucking long game. 

Like you got to play the long game it’s like you have to you know I’m a golfer and use the poorest of analogies and stuff. You got to drive the fucking ball down the green so you can get the chip and fucking plot because chipping and putting in itself is not going to fucking win your game you got to go the distance and going the distance is resilience risk. Yeah, sacrifice planning likely. You know when most people look at an option partnership. It’s like, Oh, yeah, like, does that mean you don’t have a job and you’re like holding on to a poor idea? 

Who knows is gonna come to fruition? I think society has a huge misconception, huge about entrepreneurship. And it’s because they see you at the bottom. Usually they see you, they don’t see what happens from bottom of the barrel to when you get to the top of the barrel and the journey in between. They don’t see the struggle. They don’t see the risk. They don’t see the light nights, they don’t see the tiredness, they don’t see the hoops. You got to jump through life to get to what you want, or what they do see, is Oh shit, he’s driving a $500,000 car and living the fucking $2.5 million mansion. That’s what society sees. And so and

Kosi Stobbs [11:46]
go ahead. Yeah, and the funny part about that is, today’s social media has fucked everybody up in terms of mentality. Yep, you have a bunch of people who are broke. broke, telling other people come do what I’m doing. And they’re broke. Right? And that’s the worst part. It takes very little for someone to just say, hey, look, I’ve got a, I rent a fancy car, stand in front of it, take a couple pictures, you’ll take my like, and they’re like 1920 years old, made a little bit of money and they say, by this, this some bullshit course, and learn how to be rich for the rest of your life. 

You know, quit your job and blah, blah, blah. And that gets confused with with entrepreneurship. Right? The foundation of wealth. Fuck anything, foundation of wealth is saving. It’s a foundation. And if you’re going into something where the very first thing they tell you is fuck saving, make more money. You’re you’ll forever be broke. Because when you set 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, all those 80% they all make a different amount of money. 

Yep, right. Some make 1000 a month. Some make two thousand a month. So I make 4000 a month. So I make 8000 a month, they all make a different amount of money, but they’re all broke. Why? Because it’s our natural tendency human need is we always want more than we have. So as soon as we get a little bit we spend more than we have. That is natural. That’s a natural inside you. And if you want to get wealthy, you need to break that fucking cycle and say.

No, I’m putting aside some of this shit for later. Because I’ve seen a lot of people make a lot of money, but they’re broke because they lose it very quickly. Right? And those Burger King, I’m grateful to be honest, I’m grateful I was born without money. Because it taught me that when I had a little and I had to save it, it taught me that I could what I needed to manage so that as I made more money, I was still budgeting myself the same way. 

So the difference is is when I buy $100,000 vehicle Right, it still fits in my budgeting of when I was catching the bus because I couldn’t afford a car. Does that make sense? So it’s like it’s a different type of money. Right? And it’s like, what if you buy that? It’s very easy to buy $100,000 car, right? Yeah, even if you make 50 grand a year, you can go and buy 100 grand, but someone driving at 50 grand a year as someone driving when they make $2 million a year is a fucking different thing. Right? Yeah, very different. 

Is because because they both look like they got money, but one person is broke. And, and and the reality is, is even at a high level when people start making 10 million a year, while they’ll be like, Yo, I’m making 10 million a year I can buy a yacht, I can buy this I can buy that I can, you know, Jeff Bezos spent 100 million dollars in a house. He’s a fucking billionaire. 

Yeah, many times over. Right. So it’s a difference between him buying a house for that and someone who makes 10 million a year that goes to the bank and convinces them to get them a $10 million house. That person although them Making money they don’t got it like that, right and then not work. And so so I say like, I’m so grateful that I was started off broke. And I started off budgeting when I was broke. Because I, because the number for me the money will never go away.

Ivan Temelkov [15:13]
You know, a couple of things you mentioned in there that I wanted to touch upon, is, and I actually did an Instagram post on this where someone actually reminded me of this is this, that when you’re poor, when you come from, and as an Eastern European, I mean, we were like, you know, low to mid income. You know, my father was a musician back in, in Bulgaria. My mother was a secretary. 

I mean, my father is an entrepreneur now has a thriving business goes to 20 years, but he wasn’t always that way. You know, the mentality of, of being broke. And I think Daymond John has a book of “The Power of Broke” or something along those lines is this that when you get to wealth, and you achieve something monumental, which you know, wealth and success can have multiple definitions. 

They’re not just money. Monetary is that you have a much bigger appreciation for the fact that you know what? I used to fucking flip burgers. I used to fucking live in the projects, you know, because and now you’re like, you know in the fucking suburbia gated community, you know driving a nice car. Oh, that’s like the ultimate but you’ve got like you said money set aside. 

Now the other thing I was going to mention is the reason credit card debt is the highest in the United States is because, like you said, People get a taste of money and their spending habits increase, because they think that they tap into a credit card, which is usually an allotment of cash, which you get charged interest on. And I think Warren Buffet even talks about it and says, you know, in ideal world, don’t get fucking credit cards. 

They’re a fucking burden. Always pay cash, if you have it and you got to have more cash. So the two things you were taught about There’s a difference. And honestly, in today’s society Yeah, you see people on Instagram, fucking, you know, renting lambos and taking pictures, or seeing one in the fucking parking lot standing next to it, taking a picture of it and posting on Instagram. I’m like, I’m a fucking entrepreneur. I make $250,000 a year, blah, blah, blah. 

And I’m like, it’s it’s so deception. There’s so much deception on social media. And I know this because very much like you, I’m 26 years 100% self taught in everything that I do. And I’ve seen this shit, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen what it actually takes to get to where you want to be, and the fabricated version of society and people on social media. Nowadays, especially, literally, every time I run across a profile, especially on Instagram, or even Facebook, or even Twitter, and I’m reading through the profile. 

I’m like, okay, I want to get an understanding of this person, like if they’re following me or a friend requests Whatever I’m looking on there, I’m like, there’s bullshit. Like I can I can catch it in the fucking profile, and so hard to find genuine people. It really is. And then, you know, what’s really cliche is that when you come across someone that’s very genuine like yesterday.

I had a Zoom call with someone, she was just blown away at the fact that there’s still people who are fucking real out there in the world. Because there’s, there’s so many fake people in the world now. And like when you stumble across someone, because this is kind of the essence of this podcast, and, you know, that’s why I’m so excited about having you on as a fellow immigrant because I think the work ethic has has to speak a lot of it also, work ethic is just different. 

And a few years ago, you know, this was lucky as part of my enlightenment to I think it’s part of my own entrepreneurial journey is that I ran across an article I think was either on Forbes or ink magazine. I can’t quite remember Talking about how some of the most powerful businesses in the world were started by companies like Google, for instance. Right? Well, 40% of the Fortune companies, over 40% of the Fortune companies in the United States companies like Google, were started by immigrants or children of immigrants. 

And the reason for that, one of the key reasons is because we’re fucking hungry, dude. We’re so fucking hungry. And we’re willing to do what it takes no matter what, there’s no time for bullshit. You just keep doing keep executing. Keep fucking doing it until 20 years from now, you wake up and you’re like, You know what? I spent 20 years of my life chasing the one thing that I thought was the most important, and I got as close as I can. 

But you know what? I’m not done yet. Because that’s what a real winner does is. They keep fucking going. They’re always improving. In fact, one one thing that I heard from a millionaire Recently is this that the most wealthiest people in the world are constant learners. They’re always learning every day, something new. There doesn’t come a day where they’re like, Well, you know, the average CEO reads 60 books per year. So I read 60 this year, or maybe 61. 

So I’m done. No, I read 70 if I can, or 80 or 90, if it’s even possible to do that, they just keep going, keep going, because they know that you can never be truly the best version. There’s always an opportunity out there. And you know what, now with the marketplace with COVID-19 there’s two things happening. There’s people who like, I’m fucked. Because I’m losing money. My business is going down the toilet, and there’s people who are like, this is a tremendous opportunity. 

Like really to hone in on my craft my skills, sharpen that axe, because you know what, when the shot is over, I’m going to emerge victorious Lee One of those people is like, I’m just gonna sit here back to the bus, you know, just work on my craft. And then when the shit is over, and everybody opens up for business, I’m gonna go fucking dominate the way I have been before. 

And so I wanted to touch upon a couple of things, you know. So it was really exciting you sharing about your childhood and growing up, and the immigrant mentality. That’s very, very important. So as you were evolving as you were growing up, what was perhaps the one thing that you can think of, that was like your driving factor, like every day you woke up and you’re like, you know what, that’s my why that’s my purpose.

Kosi Stobbs [21:37]
It changed over time. Right when I was I keep it 100 all the time. Right. When I was young, it was it was monetary, right guys. It’s like I wanted to be rich. I wanted to make a lot of money. I wanted to be rich. I didn’t want to be broke, that I didn’t like that. I didn’t just not want to be poor, because we were poor. I didn’t even I didn’t want to I want to skip middle class. I wanted to get to money. And I just want read the books of people who had done that. Right. 

And the only thing that was common between them was that they had a habit of persistence and work towards something and the ones that kept it long term. budgeted. There’s some people that made it, they lost it, made it lost it, but wasn’t kept it long term budget and made sure they put certain money money aside. So I follow those principles. So that was my that was kind of like my, my why. And then something happened. As I was on that journey of building, it’s kind of 2006 my brother passed away, right? And he was three years older, and he was involved in not great things right. 

And I always thought to myself, if I was the older brother, I wonder if he would have done something different because I had the right mindset and the right working mentality, but I was younger, right? And and then that’s where my wife shifted. Right. And it became not so much about the monetary but it became twofold it became number one, I wanted to build a legacy for my brother, because although he did bad thing, he was a great person. 

And I want to do something that he can remember by that was massive. And then the other part was it was I wanted to help other people that were in similar situations that he was there and that we were, who kind of looked at life at a young age and said, Look, I gotta do this stuff to survive and teach them that there is another way. Right? There’s other ways that you can not even suggest survived, but you can thrive. Yeah, right. 

And and if more people understand what I understand, way more people. There’s way less other types of crime that exists. Because the reality is, is when you grew up in a poor area, and that’s what you see around you all the time. And that’s the only focus you’re not reading these Different things are getting different. Your view of life and it changes because that’s the lens that you see it through. 

Yeah. And and it’s not until I got to the stage where I could see it from a different lens like if you like if I was a people say like, you’re a millionaire, if you were to lose everything you have today, how long would take you to make another million dollars? Right? And I my answer is gonna take me seven to eight months. If I had zero dollars today, it would take me seven, eight months. I know I can do that. I know how exactly how it would do it. You know what I mean? 

I can acquire a company. I can take a percentage on the acquisition, you know, you buy a company for $50 million. You know, one, one to 2% of that is a big number. Yeah, right. So yeah, I know exactly how I do it in six months. So but you know that that is a progression of knowledge over time to know how I can do that today. Right? So it’s letting people know that if you aggressing your knowledge in a, in a, in a field in an area that you too can learn how to properly monetize that in a way that’s scalable. And right. 

And it’s, it’s teaching people that because, you know, people say that that stuff’s easy money that sucks hard money. You know, like people have to, they’re fearful for their life at all times. Right? It’s a different way to live. And I and I just know that if people got onto my train, that it’s a different world. So my part of what I do is, is getting on podcasts like yours people hearing my stories, people hearing what’s happened and they come back and I say, 

Oh, fuck you do that. Right? How did you how did you do that? And then I keep answering and it’s, it’s disguising a lot of hard work. But if people start on the train with me, they can they can get there we can get to the destination. And the reality is, is it’s not quick, like it’s not gonna it’s not gonna like a year from now. You’re not gonna like bang Fuck, I know how to do it. Right. Like for me You know, it’s taken 20 years to figure out how to make a million dollars in 16 months jumps. And so like it’s taking that long. So it was a, it was a journey. 

And and there’s no shortcuts to that journey. And even if I say okay, here’s a way to make money blah blah blah, you make the money that you lose it with the fuck supporter that we need to figure out ways how do we make that money? And how do we keep it so that it’s not only here for our lifetime, but it’s here for our kids lifetime and our kids know what to do and they can pass that knowledge on and that’s what that’s where the cycle breaks, right? That’s how we get people out of poverty and out of like, these handout men, this handout mentality of like,

Kos Stobbs [26:41]
government give me this government gave me that word. survive, right like I get there’s that that is not the only way don’t give a fuck yeah

Ivan Temelkov [27:08]
are you there? Hello All right um, so cozy. I mean that was you know a really really powerful story man. You know I look at what can I say? Are you still there?

Kosi Stobbs [27:57]
Can you hear me? Yeah Never weirded anything. Let me just check something here. Yeah, I can hear you. Good.

Ivan Temelkov [28:04]
Awesome. Well, Kelsey, that was an amazing conversation. I really, really enjoyed it, you know, you shared so much and there was so much irony and everything that you mentioned. I’m, I’m first of all, congratulations on all your success. That’s amazing. everything that you’ve done. You know, it’s not just about, obviously yourself, but it’s about the impact that you’re creating in the world by creating more jobs. 

I think in your bio, you mentioned that, you know, you have close to 100 employees now. And so these are all people that are, you know, feeding families. These are people all, all people that are being able to pay, you know, for the things that they use and get by in life and as a result, invest in and do things that they want to do. So, let’s share with the audience, how can people find you social media, what’s the best way to contact you and reach out

Kosi Stobbs [28:59]
the best way to get to me is actually on Instagram, right? My handle is @thepropertyowl. So the word “the” and the word “property” and then the word “owl”. So @thepropertyowl. That’s the best way to find me. And that’s where I’m most active, right? So I post every day, three times a day. And I post a lot in my stories, I answer a lot of questions. And the way that my page is designed is I try to give people as much information as I can on daily tips and tricks that I use to build wealth. 

And I try to share as much as possible, and I have opportunities for people ask questions, and I respond to those questions. And I’ll do like a weekly live where I’ll review a book, right? Because we talked about earlier about how important reading is and i and i read at least a book book and a half a week. And and then once a week, we sit down we review book and I give people my insights in the book and how I read and I see it. And I do that every Saturday morning. So like that that’s an important part of it. And like

Kosi Stobbs [30:10]
in today, it’s easier to read today to you know, like, you have audiobooks today you’re just like, you have the opportunity while you’re working out and exercising, you know, throw out an audio book, like, you know, you can listen to dance, dance 2000 or whatever. But you can also listen to an audiobook and educate yourself. Yeah, and different books are different. 

Not every book, some books you got to like read read, because they get technical, but some books, you just listen to the story. And while you’re exercising that, you know, 30 minutes a day, 40 minutes a day, you find opportunities to the audiobooks to get through an audiobook as well. Yeah, you can read a full book six hours on an audiobook and then a hardcover book. There’s a lot of ways you can consume knowledge and it’s taking the time to do that.

Ivan Temelkov [30:49]
Awesome. Awesome Kosi. Thank you so much again, man. I appreciate it.

Kosi Stobbs [30:54]
Nice. Well, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I said the start that this is going to be a good one.

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