Loren Howard is the founder and President of Prime Plus Mortgages, private money loans company. Loren, who is a serial entrepreneur, loving father and husband, boasts a portfolio of multiple successful companies, world records, and a decorated football career. He is the coveted world record holder for indoor rowing in the 500M, 100M and max distance in 1:00. Additionally, Loren proudly serves as the President of the Valley Guardians, a 501c-3 charity that runs on a $0 dollar operating budget, and that offers mentorship, leadership and educational opportunities to underprivileged children in Phoenix, Arizona.
- CEO Hack: A good morning routine
- CEO Nugget: Recognise some unhealthy practices that might deter you from success
- CEO Defined: A journey of knowing yourself
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and have a very special guest on the show today. I've Lauren Howard of prime plus mortgages. Lauren, it's awesome. have you on the show.
Loren Howard 0:39
appreciate you having me really excited to be here.
Gresham Harkless 0:42
No problem. Super excited to have you on as well too. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Lauren so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Lauren is the founder and president of prime plus mortgages a private money loans company. Lauren, who is a serial entrepreneur and loving father and husband boasts a portfolio of multiple successful companies, world records and decorated football career is a coveted world record holder for indoor rowing and the 500 meter 100 meter and max distance in one minute. Additionally, Lauren provides serve proudly serves as the president of the valley gardens, a 501 c three charity that runs on $0 operating budget that offers mentorship, leadership and educational opportunities to underprivileged children in Phoenix, Arizona. Lauren, are you ready to be to the imcl community?
Loren Howard 1:28
Absolutely. I like that.
Gresham Harkless 1:34
You're doing so many awesome things. It's hard to keep up with everything that you're doing. But I love how you're you're putting a dent in the universe, so to speak. On one day at a time. Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story, we'll let you get started with your businesses.
Loren Howard 1:55
Sure, um, you know, growing up, I always been an athlete, I played football. So I was, you know, I was an all American in high school and a blue chip and then went off to play football at Northwestern in college. You know, kind of got their thing and I go to Northwestern because you know, I had offers all over the country and they're going to Miami to kind of Nebraska could have gone to Michigan, USC but you know, I certainly football to my high school, so I didn't really know I'm going to be leap of faith, you got to get a good education and then play some big 10 football. But I got there I started on day two in camp. You know, as big 10 defensive Freshman of the Year freshman all American. I was all I was all St. Mary's clear. It was a big tin off as a Freshman of the Year. That was a big 10 deep as a Freshman of the Year. And it also took off and you know, football was was going to be the ticket from there out. And my sophomore year came out as all conference just dominated did really, really well. Going into my junior year, Dale Cooper had me being the rank of the second DND on the draft isn't preseason, obviously, right was the same class as Mario Williams, and Matthias nuco coming out of Boston College, and I'm going to intent Mario and I'm going first in the draft and then I am getting hurt. And I got hurt. That's Conan the week, I came back six weeks later, try to fast develop that knee tendinitis that never healed up, play the last six games and then my knees never really got better. I tried to get healthy and I came in the camp The following year, couldn't play enough surgery again and transferred to the issue. So all of a sudden my my football crew thought that I would do anything. And so I was gonna start a business with a friend of mine and we decided to start a supplement factory in line with the sexual enhancement product and I kind of call that my MBA we borrowed about five grand from from from two different three different uncle's and so we both put 15 grand into the pot and you know, keep mine I never had a sales job before my life. I talked very fast and mumble I was not that I was a smart guy. I was driven guy, but no business background. My mom was a teacher, substitute teacher, dad wasn't really around a whole lot. We grew up pretty, pretty humble, pretty humble. We you know, I mean, and so, you know, basic background money background, so I decided to go start a business a little bit of a ass backwards way of doing things. You know, usually you get out into the business world in the sales world kind of figured out but it wasn't a path for me. And we learned a lot. I didn't learn. So we were thinking we're gonna sell this thing online. Kind of like the enzyme model. Remember that Milan Hansen probably ends up back in the day with a free trial rebuild. And so we thought well, once we launched the website and send make it go live. We did that. Built a guy in India, oh, you own the story I could give you a company that's building the website. And I became really close with him and actually hired him away. He actually got he left the company because the I guess the the head guy was an asshole and rehabilitation. So he kind of dark on me, I hit him up and asked what was going on, he told me a story. So I sent him like 250 bucks just to take care of because a good friend of mine, he was down and out. And we became really, really tight from that. And so from there, we decided to partner up and he would set up an office over there and, and I would get out there and try to sell the website packages and SEO packages, right. And so that's kind of my first my second venture business. And really, I got to do a DNI networking group there, which is how and it was one of those deals where you just like you crack a sale, and you can like pay your rent that month. I mean, it's just it was a struggle. You know, he's on the other side, young guy in India, set up an office and try and manage that I'm on the front of here, and it was the CEOs, they just struggle, but it's fun. To this day, he actually, I never met him personally. But we were like brothers, and he actually came out to my wedding. Four years ago, I got to meet him for the first time. And we haven't done business together probably 10 years. But we chose a kindred spirit. Since I'm from from there, I met a guy that kind of taught me to lead the lead generation business. And so start generating leads through call centers. So I would broker I go find call centers on LinkedIn or on Skype in the Philippines in India. And then I would go there, we're generating like call verified leads or live transfers, right. And I would go and find buyers and I link them up, but I make $1 or two bucks a lead. And then I found a guy who let me licensed his lead exchange platform. So I kind of became a lead brokerage. And that's kind of where I really started making good money made my first million bucks, that's part 2627 years old. And you scale the business to about two or $3 million in revenue out of my, my guest, my guest room by myself and all my employees were virtual, you know, in other countries managing these things, and then that I got involved into a compounding pharmacy. And the compound pharmacy did really, really well, we didn't, you know, eight figures in like 15 months, and he owes a, so then from there, I start investing my money into real estate and, and sort of lending it out into the hard money space, I learned about hard money and when the compounding world kind of disintegrated, because I stopped paying for compounds and got into the lending space and into the real estate investing space and into the day trading space, which is what I do now, I came from having 170 employees and 40 states in a 10,000 square foot facility having layoffs every day, which comes with sounds a lot of stress comes with a lot of responsibility. And, you know, like I work from home, when my employees are virtual, you know, the, it's I got this business is really systematize. So, by the time you know one year old son now and so my family's from my wife, and to really live the lifestyle that I want to have the time that I want to which I think is important for me at least that's kind of where we're at. That's my journey up to up to now. So I kind of packed in on low good 15 years and to everyone that was in a couple minutes,
Gresham Harkless 8:11
I definitely appreciate you for for synthesizing that again that down, you know, so that we can hear you know, the journey so many times we don't see, we just see the finish line or where a person is we don't see the process that it takes to get there. And so I wanted to ask you now, for like, a little bit more about your business? Could you take us through, like how you serve your clients? What exactly that process is, and what you feel kind of is your secret sauce of the thing you feel kind of sets you or your organization apart?
Loren Howard 8:33
Yeah, sure. Good question. Um, so for me, you know, hard money loans, just usually really, it's an asset based loan, right? It's a short term asset based loan that people use to acquire investment properties. So they want to go buy property from a wholesaler or a pre foreclosure and they need to close in a week, they come to us and we don't pull credit. We don't we don't want background checks. We just purely based one on the asset value, and it's holding on investment properties. And so what sets us aside a little bit is it is a little bit of a commoditized business. But we're very quick, right? Like I'm the owner company, I have one partner is 25 partners, it was 5050 partner in the bank, but we have two lending arms, one of them I own and then he owns half of the other one. And so so yeah, but um, you know, we make fast decisions, and we're able to get an answer within an hour, hour and a half, we tend to be a little bit more aggressive sometimes on terms because we really know the wholesale values of the properties. And we want it's customer service. We want to get know our clients and follow up. And I think I think when you're in a business that can be slightly commoditize. The level of service and speed is what's going to usually set you aside I think, and I think that's what we do really good job of our systems operations. Our response times. Catherine, our SEO girl is an amazing job. We rank for all the top keywords in local here because we only live in Arizona. So I mean, it's kind of what what it says is, yeah, so another thing too is it's all our own money. me my partner's money or its bank lines of credit. So a traditional hard money lending fund typically has a right deep place memorandum, which they raise private funds, right. So they have investors to speak to that to deal with, you know, if you want redemptions, the raising more money deploying that money. So we tend to have a little bit be a little bit more nimble in that aspect, because it's all around cash, or it's our lines of credit banks that that we're personally guaranteed on. And so because of that, we can we can make faster and more efficient decisions and less management from us having to manage, you know, with a funder investor. So
Gresham Harkless 10:37
anytime you have so many more people that have a voice, so to speak, it becomes a lot more red tape. And it kind of reminded me of Madden, every time I played Madden, and we say speed kills, and that sounds like it's relevant as well, too, as you start to see every business commoditized, the faster and quicker, you're able to kind of communicate, provide quality service and do that at a quicker pace. That definitely provides a great way to kind of break through the noise. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a SEO hack. So this might be an app or book or habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?
Loren Howard 11:09
Well, that's a good question. And I think a lot of times, it depends on where you're at, in your SEO journey. But I definitely think like having a good routine, a good morning routine, like for me, I get up and I meditate, I have a hyperbaric chamber that's sitting for an hour, then I work out like, and in the past, you know, when you're going through stressful times, or using a startup environment or your you need to have the right routines and qualities, you need to read the right things in the right things for your mind your brain, because that's gonna that's going to be your fuel man, it's hard to get through tough times and situations, and even good ones without your optimizing your, you know, your your, it starts with your with your overall physical health, right? It's what you put in your body. You know, just sleep, it's your meditation is your reading, and it's having that balance to be able to fuel you for the day. So I would say is get in the habit of evidence, you know, your your Tony Robbins calls your power hour, there's plenty of words for it, but just having that routine in the morning that that feed you energy you need for the day to be able to check that day.
Gresham Harkless 12:10
Yeah, absolutely. I think he says, in order to win the day, you got to win the morning. And a lot of times when you win that morning, you understand what exactly success looks like, it empowers yourself, you know, through that day. And I think that's absolutely powerful. So I love that hack. And so now when asked me for what I call a CEO, nugget, so this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. If you were to happen to a time machine, you might tell this to your younger self,
Loren Howard 12:33
you know, it's a little bit of a Jim, Jim Rohn had a quote that always stuck with me that was, you know, a lot of the times more often than not the qualities that get you to where you're trying to go, are not the same qualities are going to help you enjoy it while you're there, if that makes sense, right? So, you know, I see a lot of guys that it's good to be ambitious and continue to go for bigger and better and greater goals. But I also think it's important to recognize maybe some of the unhealthy characteristics that might lead you to success, the unbalanced The, the neglect of other areas of your life, the you know, because you could develop these habits, and then you get to a place where you're successful, and you have the money or the resources, you have the time. But you but you don't have the skill set mentally or psychologically to enjoy it, you know, I'm saying. So I think sometimes you can always kind of reassess where you're at, where you came from, where you're trying to go and you know, the mentality and still says, I kind of got you there because I think those you know, you want to be you want to be able to enjoy your life and have balanced and sometimes I know for me, I mean, I was super unbalanced and subasio fine and super, super focused on where I was going. And I was selfish in the sense and, and, you know, I had to reflect on that and figure out now I'm, I'm where I want to get where I wanted to go, to be able to enjoy that and smell the roses is
Gresham Harkless 13:58
awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different clinical CEOs on the show. So Lauren, what does being a CEO mean to you?
Loren Howard 14:07
I think being a CEO kind of is knowing like really is it's a journey of knowing yourself, right? Knowing your manager. So knowing your leadership style, and then be able to play into your strengths, knowing your personality style, knowing what drives you and then Awesome, awesome, awesome
Gresham Harkless 14:20
well Lauren truly appreciate your your definition. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is passionate Mike so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things your team are working on.
Loren Howard 14:35
Uh, you know, just think of you know, one thing always comes to mind is I've never known a successful entrepreneur that did like read all the time, it always on on a constant quest for knowledge. So I would recommend to get in the habit of reading daily and not use a statement that we can generate in school boy, I hate to read but really get out there and educate yourself because you're going to turn on a light bulb As far as things that, you know, I run a charity started with some friends down here we've raised like about $1.4 million in the last four years. And we have all the money we raised to different kids in need here in the Valley of Arizona. And that's kind of my, my passion project and my operating business, which I'm really enjoying, and it's called Valley guardians. Go to Valley Guardian in order to find out what we're all about. Now, you can find me on on Lauren, Howard six, six on Instagram or on our on Facebook or on Twitter. But yeah, it's really cool. I love coaching people, I love giving advice. I love taking advice, too. So I'm very approachable person. And I'm always trying to improve and get better and help others do the same. So even once he wants to reach out, I'll be very responsive. And I'm always here.
Gresham Harkless 15:51
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. Thank you again, Lauren. We will have those links and information in the show notes for the organization as well as your social media links and for your company as well. But I appreciate you again for coaching us up and you know, giving us so much words of wisdom and insight. And we will have all that information in the show notes as well too. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.
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