Real Estate Investor Grant Cardone Talks Candidly With Spartan Founder

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Considered one of the world’s top real estate investors with a net worth of $300 million, Grant Cardone is playing in the big leagues. On this episode of the Spartan Up Podcast, Spartan Founder Joe De Sena walks with his kettlebell to Cardone's castle outside of London to talk about life and business.

This podcast ends up being both an interview of Cardone and De Sena. What made them the men they are today? What scars from their childhood turned into strengths? How did they find success? Tune in for a candid discussion between the two.

Grant Cardone Lessons:

1. Make Yourself Invaluable

While in high school, Joe De Sena started a pool cleaning business. It started with his well-off neighbor across the street and turned into 700+ clients. He says that the biggest lesson he learned in those early days of business was to make himself invaluable.

"[My neighbor] says if you're going to clean the pool at 8 a.m. on Saturday, then you better show up at 7:45 a.m. And if you're going to clean the pool then you better clean the shed and straighten up the lawn, even if I'm not paying you for that. Make yourself invaluable. Because he doesn't want to be embarrassed when he recommends me to someone. So he's teaching me all these business lessons, like never ask for money, and the business is growing. So I'm graduating high school and I want to run my business, I don't want to go to college."

Listen to the podcast to find out what changed De Sena's mind on college and landed him at an Ivy League school.

Related: Theo Epstein: How to Break a 108-Year Losing Streak

2. His Disappointment Led to Success

Grant Cardone says that his drive to succeed comes from disappointment in who he is. It may seem backward but it's what fuels his fire.

"I've always been disappointed in who I was," said Cardone. "The theme that runs through my life is just disappointment throughout the whole thing, particularly from 10-years-old to 25. Then from age 25-50 I was doing better."

His father died when he was 10-years-old and he developed a drug problem by the age of 16. He says when his father died, none of his uncles stepped up to take on the role so he was left with no direction, boredom in school and disappointment.

"I bought my first piece of real estate when I was 30 and I called my mom," said Cardone. "I said 'Mom I bought this real estate, it was $1.9 million,' and she says 'Wow that's great, but I love you just the way that you are' I hung up the phone and said yeah, but I don't love me the way I am,"

His counselor told him that he needed to accept and love himself the way that he is. And to that, he responded: "Ain't never gonna happen dude. That's the big lie. I don't want to love me the way that I am. I want to become the guy I should be."

3. Money is Power

Love it or hate it, Cardone isn't shy when it comes to admitting his drive for money and power. In fact, that's what he's built his brand around. And it all started when he was 8-years-old, observing how his father had the money and the decision making power in his family.

"I've always wanted to be rich. I've always wanted to have money," said Cardone. "Because I remember my dad was the guy who decided where we went, how long we stayed, and what we did. He had the money. And I'm like, I want the money. I want to be the guy who decides when we go to the candy store and how long we stay there. It wasn't really about money."

It was about power.

For more from Grant Cardone, listen to the Spartan Up! podcast in its entirety.

This episode of Spartan Up is brought to you by Shady Rays Polarized shades you can afford to lose or break - because they’ll replace them for free.  Go to and use code SPARTAN for 50% off 2 or more pairs.


0:00 Joe De Sena introduces interview with Grant Cardone of the Cardone Zone 1:00 intro “Built for Adventure”
1:25 Interview begins in the Grant Cardone Castle outside London
4:00 getting “graded” in your marriage
5:25 the theme of disappointment
6:30 growing up around women
7:45 searching for male mentors
9:30 learning the real estate business
11:00 Joe’s fathers real estate endeavors & downfall
14:00 break “Built for Adventure”
15:05 Lessons from Joe’s pool cleaning days
18:00 making yourself invaluable
19:30 How Joe gets into Cornell
23:00 Joe’s introduction to Wall Street
25:45 Joe starts his own firm and “makes it,” but feels like sh*t
27:00 Joe starts racing & buys his farm in Vermont
29:30 getting close to quitting
32:00 persevering even when people doubt you
34:30 The world of investing
36:00 Homeschooling kids & living around the world
41:00 changing lives
42:15 Joe De Sena reflects on the interview with Grant Cardone
46:00 close “Built for Adventure”

CREDITS: Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc. Host: Joe De Sena and co-hosts Sefra Alexandra, Col. Tim Nye, Johnny Waite Synopsis – Sefra Alexandra | Seed Huntress Production Assistant - Andrea Hagarty

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