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IAM1622 – Founder Runs Private Money Loans Company

Podcast Interview with Loren Howard

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: One of the most impactful things I heard over, and over and over again was the importance of the morning routine and while it seems obvious it is often overlooked. When starting something new and thinking of planning and preparation, don't forget about the morning routine. Loren has accomplished so much and hearing about how impactful his career as an athlete was for him was awesome. He understood how powerful his “power hour” was in being able to feed his day. He also mentioned the Jim Rohn quote and understanding that you have to reassess and reevaluate yourself to get to where you need to go.

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Loren Howard 00:00

You know, we make fast decisions. I mean, 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 our terms. Cause we really know the wholesale values and the properties and we want customer service. We wanna get to know our clients and follow up.

And I think when you're in a business that can be slightly commoditized, the level of service and speed is what's going usually sets you aside, I think. And that's what we do, a really good job of our systems, our operations, our response times. 

Intro 00:27

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 00:54

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, and have a very special guest on the show today. I have Lauren Howard of Prime Plus Mortgages.

Lauren, it's awesome. Have you on the show. 

Loren Howard 01:02

Appreciate you having me. Really excited to be here. 

Gresham Harkless 01:04

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, loving father, and husband, boasts a portfolio of multiple successful companies, world records, and a decorated football career. He's a coveted world record holder for indoor rowing in the 500 meter, 100 meter and max distance in one minute. Additionally, Lauren proudly serves as the president of the Valley Guardians.

A 501c-3 charity that runs on a $0 operating budget that offers mentorship, leadership, and educational opportunities to underprivileged children in Phoenix, Arizona. Lauren, are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community? 

Loren Howard 01:46

Absolutely. I need to, I like that bio right there. I'm, not used to that.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:51

Exactly. 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 putting a dent in the universe, so to speak.

Loren Howard 02:00

Trying, man. Trying one day at a time. 

Gresham Harkless 02:03

Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit more on how you got started.

Could you just take us through what I call your CEO story, what led you to get started with your businesses? 

Loren Howard 02:11

Yeah, sure. Growing up I had always been an athlete like playing football. So I was an All-American in high school and a blue chip and went off to play football at Northwestern in college.

Kinda got thinking I'd go to Northwestern cause I had offers all over the country. I could have gone to Miami, could have gone to Nebraska, could have gone to Michigan, could gone USC. But I didn't start playing football until my sophomore in high school, so I didn't really know I was gonna have figured a good education, and then play some big 10 football.

But I got there. I started on day two and camp, I was a big 10 defensive freshman of the year. I was all, same year that Maurice Claret was the big 10 offense freshman of the year, and I was the big 10 defensive freshman of the year. And so took off and football was gonna be the ticket from there.

And my sophomore year came out. I was all-conference, just dominated. Did really, really well. Going into my junior year, Mel Keiper had me being ranked with the second DN to go in the draft. This is preseason obviously, right? It was the same class as Mario Williams and my new coach coming out of Boston College.

And I'm going hit 10th while you end up going first in the draft and then I got hurt. That's going into, I came back six weeks later, probably too fast developed with that knee tenitis that never healed up. Mm-hmm. Played the last six games. And then my knee never really got better.

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I tried to get healthy and I came into camp the following year, but couldn't play. I had surgery again and transferred to ASU. So my Football crew thought I would never do anything. And so I was gonna start a business with a friend of mine and we started what was supplement manufacturer line with a sexual enhancement product.

And I call that my MBA borrowed, I borrowed five grand, from three different uncles. And so we both put 15 grand into the pot and keep in mind, I'd never had a sales job before in my life. I talked very fast to mumble. I was an athlete, I was a smart guy. I was a driven guy, but no business background.

My mom was a substitute teacher. Dad wasn't really around a whole lot. You know, we grew up pretty, pretty humble, pretty humble. And I have a business background, money background, so decided to go start a business a little bit. Ask backward way of doing things, usually, you get out of the business world and the sales world and figure it out.

But that wasn't a path for me and we learned a lot through that process. So we were thinking we were gonna sell this thing online kinda like the insight model. Remember that mail on HandsOn, product enzyme back in the day with a free trial and we thought, well, once we launched the website and make it go live, with a guy in India building the website. And I became really close with him and actually hired him away. He actually got it, he left the company cause I guess the head guy was an asshole. And we build relationship so he kinda went on me, I hit him up going 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. and I would get out there and try to sell the websites, packages, and SEO packages, right? And so that's kind of my first. My second venture in a business and really, I got into a BNI networking group there and it was one of those deals where you crack a sale and you can pay your rent that month, you know what I mean?

It's just, it was a struggle. He's on the other side, a young guy in India, set up an office and trying to manage that. And I'm running the front end here and it was just a struggle, but it was fun, and my relationship with him, his name's Jay, to this day. He actually, I had never met him personally, but we were like brothers and he actually came out to my wedding four years ago.

I gotta meet him for the first time. And, we haven't done business together probably in, you know, 10 years. But we just had a kind spirit. And from, from there I met a guy that kind of taught me the lead generation business. And so I started generating leads through call centers.

So I would broker, I'd go find call centers on LinkedIn, on Skype, in the Philippines, in India. And then I would go, they were generating like call verified leads or live transfers, right. And I would go and find buyers and I'd link them up, but I'd make a dollar or two bucks a lead. And then I found a guy who let me license his lead exchange platform. So I kinda became like a lead brokerage. and that's where I really started making good money. I mean, my first million bucks, I was probably 26, 27 years old. And you know, scaled that business to about two or 3 million year revenue outta my guest room by my myself, and all my employees were virtual.

You know, in other countries managing these things. And then I got involved into, a compounding pharmacy. And the compounding pharmacy did really, really well. We did, you know, eight, eight figures and like 15 months. And yeah, it was from there I started investing my money into real estate and, and started lending it out into the hard money space.

That's how I learned about hard money and then the compounding world kinda disintegrated cause I stopped paying for compounds and we got into the lending space, into the real estate investment space and into the day trading space which is what I do now. I came from having 170 employees in 40 states in a 10 square foot facility, having to go to the office every day, which comes with a lot of stress, comes with a lot of responsibility.

I work from home and my employees are virtual, the business is really systematized. So I have the time, I have a one-year-old son now and spent my family from my wife and to really live the lifestyle that I want which is important for me at least.

That's kinda where's my journey up, to now. So15 years into how long that was. 

Gresham Harkless 07:24

In a couple of minutes now I definitely appreciate you, for synthesizing that and getting 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 how you serve your clients, what exactly that process is, and what you feel kind of is your secret sauce, so the thing you feel sets you or your organization apart?

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Loren Howard 07:48

Yeah, sure. Good question. So for me, we're hard money, loans are real. It's an asset-based loan, right? It's a short-term asset-based loan that people use to acquire investment properties. So they wanna go buy property from a wholesaler, a pre-foreclosure, and they need to close in a week.

You know, they come to us and, and we don't pull credit, we don't want background checks. We just purely base land on the asset value, and it's only on investment properties. And so what sets us aside a little bit is, it is a little bit of a commoditized business. We're very quick, right?

Like I'm the owner company. I have one partner who's a 25% partner, whose a 50-50 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 we make fast decisions. I mean, we're able to get an answer within an hour, an hour and a half.

We, tend to be a little bit more aggressive sometimes on our terms. Cause we really know the wholesale values and the properties and we want customer service. We wanna get to know our clients and follow up and I think when you're in a business that can be slightly commoditized, the level of service and speed is what's gonna usually set you aside, I think.

And I think that's what we do, a really good job of our systems our operations, our response times. Catherine our SEO girl does an amazing job. We rank for the top keywords locally here as we only want to in Arizona. And so I think that's kinda what sets us as a part.

Gresham Harkless 08:57


Loren Howard 08:57

One other thing too is it's all our own money. It's me, my partner's money, or its bank lines of credit. So a traditional hard money lending fund typically has the right deep private place memorandum, which they raise private funds, right? So they have investors to speak to, they can deal with.

People want redemptions raising more money, deploying that money. So we tend to have a little bit more nimble in that aspect. Cause it's all our own cash or it's our lines of credit banks that we're personally guaranteed on. And so because of that we can make know faster and more efficient decisions and it's less management from us to having try to manage, with a funder investor.

Gresham Harkless 09:35 Yeah, 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, it would say speed kills. And that sounds like it's relevant as well too. As you, 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 CEO hack. So this might be an App a book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient? 

Loren Howard 10:06

Yeah, that's a good question.

And I think a lot of times it depends on where you're at in your CEO journey, but I definitely think having a good routine, like a good morning routine. Like for me, I get up and I meditate. I have a high bar chamber that sits for an hour. Then I work out, depend on when you're going through stressful times or you in a startup environment or you need to have, right routines and qualities.

You need to read the right things, and do the right things for your mind, and your brain. Cause that's gonna be your fuel man. And it's hard to get to tough times and tough situations and even good ones without optimizing and it starts with your overall physical health, right?

It's what you put in your body, it's your sleep, it's your meditation that you're reading and it's having that balance too, to be able to fuel you for the day. So the habit of having your, Tony Robbins calls your, Power Hour. There are plenty of words for it, but just having that routine in the morning that, feeds you the energy you need for the day to be able to attack that day.

Gresham Harkless 11:05

Yeah, absolutely. I think he says too, is, in order to win the day, you gotta win the morning. And a lot of times when, you win that morning, you understand what exactly success looks like. It empowers yourself through that day. And I think that's absolutely powerful. So I love that hack. And, so now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO Nugget. 

So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. If you were to hop into a time machine, you might tell this to your younger business self. 

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Loren Howard 11:28

Jim Rohn had a quote that always stuck with me that was, 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 that are gonna help you enjoy it while you're there if that makes sense, right?

You know, I see a lot of guys that, and 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 have led you to success. The unbalanced, the neglect of other areas of your life.

Because you developed these habits and then you get to a place where you're successful and you have the money, and you have the resources but you don't have the skillset mentally or psychologically to enjoy it. You get what I'm saying? 

Gresham Harkless 12:14


Loren Howard 12:14

So I think sometimes you can always kind of re-assess where you're at, where you came from, where you're trying to go and the mentality, and the skillset that got you there because I think you wanna be able to enjoy your life and have balance.

And sometimes, I know for me, I was super unbalanced and super single-minded and super focused on where I was going and, and almost selfish in a sense. And I had to reflect on that and figure out and now I'm where I wanted to go to be able to enjoy that and smell the roses, I guess.

Gresham Harkless 12:48

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 quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So, Lauren, what does being a CEO mean to you? 

Loren Howard 12:57

I think being a CEO is knowing it's a journey of knowing yourself, right?

Knowing your manager style, knowing your leadership style, and then being able to play into your strengths, knowing your personality style, knowing what drives you. 

Gresham Harkless 13:08

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Well, Lauren, truly appreciate your definition. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, 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 those awesome things you and team were working on.

Loren Howard 13:22

I'm trying to think of one thing that always comes to mind is, I've never known a successful entrepreneur that reads all the time, always on a constant quest for knowledge. So I would recommend getting in the habit, of reading daily and not use the stigma that we have in school, but I hate to read, but really get out there and educate yourself because you're gonna turn on the light bulb.

I run a charity I started with some friends down here. We've raised like about 1.4 million in the last four years, and we give all the money we raised to different kids that need it here in the Valley of Arizona. And that's kinda my passion project and, my operating business, which I'm really enjoying.

And it's called Valley Guardians. You can go with and find out what we're all about. You know, you can find me, on Lauren Howard 66 on Instagram or Lauren Howard on Facebook or I'm not on Twitter, but yeah. But it's been really cool. I love coaching people.

I love helping advice. I love taking advice too. So I'm a very virtual person and I know I'm always trying to constantly learn, improve, and get better and help others do the same. So, yeah, if you wants to reach out, he'll be very responsive. And I'm always here. 

Gresham Harkless 14:30

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, and for, for your, or, your company as well. But I appreciate you again for coaching us up and, you know, giving us so much words of wisdom and, and insight, and we, we will have all that information in the show notes as well too.

And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day. 

Outro 14:49

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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