Scott: I’m excited to have our buddy Dan Deppen on. He’s the head honcho at Fusion Notes and fellow Note Mastermind member joining us from the Rocky Mountain high, Denver, Colorado. How are you doing, Dan? Are you doing well?
Scott: We were visiting a little bit. Dan was in Austin for the Note Mastermind and I’m excited to have you back on as a follow-up to your previous episode. Dan put in his notice and left his full-time job. We had him on to talk about what he’s focused on. It’s a cool, fast forward now and seeing, “How’s everything going?”
Dan: Everything’s been going well. It’s definitely been a busy ride since then. Quitting my job, it doesn’t have any working less hours than I did before that, that’s for sure.
Dan: My background was as a mechanical design engineer in the aerospace industry. I had done that for ten years. I worked on satellites. In the very beginning when I was still in college as an engineering intern, I worked for Lockheed on the space shuttle. I got to do some really cool things. I enjoyed it. I did my MBA at the University of Colorado. I became a Product Manager and worked for Oracle for several years. I traveled around the world doing that. I liked it, but I had always wanted to work for myself. When I was looking to move money out of stocks, I’d always done a lot of stock and options trading on my own.
When I had moved some of that into real estate, I had looked at that not just doing traditional rentals and around here the Denver area, that’s tough to do right now. I was looking for other kinds of real estate related investments. That’s where I came across notes. I ended up really diving deep in on notes. I had started to build up a business on the side and decided to go ahead and do that full-time. It’s at the point where I understood the business. I felt like there was a lot of potential in that, was able to find deals, was able to find funding and at that point dove and went full-time.
Scott: You’ve got a lovely wife and two little ones as well too.
Dan: I have two daughters, ten and twelve.
Scott: Let’s recap the conversation that you had with Jennifer.
Dan: She was always very supportive. It was funny because she was still an engineer in the aerospace industry. In the past, I had written a book on poker. I used to be big into online poker years ago. I was always more of a gambler. I was getting more into notes and that was obviously where my passion was and we were starting to have conversations around at some point I’d like to do this full-time. Her comment was, “You should go ahead and do it.” You should be less conservative and go do it. She’s a pretty conservative person by nature so when she said something like that, I was like, “Maybe it’s time to get going on that.” She’s been super supportive throughout.
Scott: You’ve spent some time, you’d closed on some deals, and you bought some deals in your IRA. Let’s talk about that for the readers thinking like, “That’s awesome. I’d like to go full-time at some point.” It’s nice you’ve got Jennifer still working and still bringing home money and stuff, but that didn’t mean you sat around playing golf all day or playing online poker.
Dan: No, I did the opposite. When I went full-time, I had a reasonable number of deals. In my LLC Fusion Notes, there were maybe around ten or so at the time, but with nonperforming note deals, those things take twelve to eighteen months to pay off. I knew that once I left my job, it was going to be a little while until income started showing up. We had discussed that. My wife is an engineer. Basically, she could pay the bills on her own if really push came to shove and I had some other money and other assets scribbled away. I made a plan. I knew I could run for twelve months and even if I completely flubbed and did nothing over those twelve months, I could go back to work.
That wouldn’t be fun financially, but I wasn’t really going to hurt myself. I wasn’t taking a giant risk. If I was the sole income provider and we’re depended on me for health insurance, it would have been a different animal. I would have had to wait longer before I could do it. The idea was if I can start going full-time now, I can build the snowball for the business because the earlier I can build that, the better off I’m going to be in the long run and just planned on that dip. Now, I basically come out of that dip, which is nice. I’m starting to get some exits, certain base notes that are reperforming. There’s a steady base income coming in and that’s been nice.