Jamie Gruber Blog/Newsletter/Handling My First Recession Without My W2

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Handling My First Recession Without My W2

September 27, 2022 Newsletter.


(If you’re thinking ‘too long, didn’t read’ - TLDR - read these bullets plus the key takeaways below)

  • I decided to sell off the remaining units that I own in Michigan and New York
  • The recession isn’t the reason, but it affirmed the decision I was thinking about for a while. My investment strategy and mindset is more about being passive, and aligned with what I love about real estate on the active side
  • Our cash outlay will be $350k+ and I’m exposing that to capital gains taxes
  • ​In my business, I’m deciding to focus less on sales in Q4 and more on being of service with my content, this newsletter and nurturing the audience I’ve built who may be in ‘recession mindset’
  • I’m choosing not to be a part of this recession. I believe it’s a choice and I’m ignoring Ray Dalio, Robert Kiyosaki and Patrick Bet David - enough!
  • ​My investment strategy in the near term is investment in my mindset and my community. Build/Maintain Trust and Nurture are the directives for my business and me going forward

Before we get started …

I’ve been thinking about hosting a January mastermind down here for some time in the Dominican for a select few folks that want to get ‘Free in 2023’. The response to the first newsletter was OVERWHELMING and made me realize how much pain people are in.

So I committed to getting it done. A Mid-Life Entrepreneur exclusive mastermind in Punta Cana at a luxury mansion complete with private chef, maid and service staff where we’ll have an immersive experience to propel you toward your job and lifestyle freedom .. and we’ll do some things that you just don’t get to do when you book a resort for a week like most people do.

I’m targeting 5-6 people total and did a post on Facebook that got a great response. Here’s an application form if interested in attending. Details to come.


I chose the middle of COVID to quit my job and to move to the Dominican Republic during the largest inflationary crisis in history. There’s a strange internal dichotomy between being very aware and scared of the upcoming economic times and the ‘fuck it - it’ll work out’ mindset. I’ll explain how I’m balancing this in today’s newsletter including steps I’m taking with my business and my real estate portfolio.


I’ve been thinking for a while about exiting my active investments (it was 42 units a year ago) and being more passive. I invest passively in all Quantum deals and I’m a general partner with a 5-10% share of the general partnership on any given deal. We’ve done 7 together so far and are on number 8 now!

The rising interest rates and changes in the economy gave me the final excuse I needed to sell off my active portfolio. I mentioned 42 units last year. 22 sold last year (I was a 10% partner as a debt sponsor on that deal with no money invested and ended up making $30k+ when we sold). We also sold a duplex and made $25,000.

What’s left is a second duplex in NY and a 16 unit in Michigan

  • The duplex is closing as I type this and we’ll make $40-50k on it.
  • The 16 unit is under a purchase and sale which will gross $300,000 for me
  • 50/50 partnership
  • ​We purchased in 2018 for $755,000 with 2 other partners
  • ​Refinanced in 2021 for $1,040,000 and bought out the other 2 partners
  • ​Under contract for $1,450,000 with debt around $750,000
  • ​Grossing $300k now gives me over 10 years of projected cash flow today to deploy and I truly believe in the markets we’ve been in that we’ve seen the hockey stick value increase. It’ll nominally go up still but we hit the right time for a run up in value in a short period of time

My plan with the funds is to expose both to taxes. I don’t want the pressure of a 1031 and I want to hold for a bit as the economy shifts before I re-deploy. I’ll put $25,000 in the upcoming Quantum deal and then stash the rest. The scarcity brain wants to hold it just in case we need a buffer economically since we’re in the Dominican, signed a $4000/month lease on a house and haven’t long-term rented our house in Michigan yet. The practical and abundance side of my brain knows I won’t need to tap it because I can create income whenever I want and I’ll hold for opportunities based on a down market and pounce.


I have two objectives for my online course business which currently has the Emerge and Ascend programs.

  • Trust - Relaunch these programs for 2023 with a complete focus on excellent fulfillment. From onboarding to sign up packages to birthday cards to a concierge level of guidance and assistance in achieving lifestyle and financial freedom.
  • Nurture - We’ll sell what we sell, but Q4 efforts are to be focused on making sure the 8000+ people that have subscribed to our lists get value from me, not just sales. I feel out of balance here and this newsletter is a major initiative in ensuring people get value period.

I’m actually choosing to step back on revenue generation rather than lean on the excuse of a recession. People are scared, they may feel like their goals are going to be pushed out. They may feel they need to stay at the job longer. So my responsibility with the business and brand I’m creating is to be there more now. That’s how I’m approaching this.


When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, I remember the media coverage showing widespread devastation. Months later a friend asked me if I wanted to go with him to the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome. When we landed in New Orleans, I was amazed at how there was even a city still there! My impressions were formed by the sensationalism out there. Hell, when we booked the trip I thought ‘this is nuts!’ I truly believed we were going to be flying into a wrecked city with more water on the ground than pavement. When I got there it was a transformational moment. I promised never to allow myself to be so narrow minded again. I was swayed by news and pundits and it felt icky inside of me. It’s the same thing when people say ‘I’m going to Chicago’ and someone responds with ‘OMG - be safe!’. As if when you step off the plane or drive through, you’re battling gun fire throughout the entire city. There’s terrible parts to every place in the world. But the reality vs. the reporting are usually stark!

This recession has felt the same to me. I’m sick of hearing Kiyosaki and Ray Dalio and Patrick Bet David tell tales of coming ‘pain’ and to ‘buckle up’. The warnings and doomsday prep shit is just tired. I’m looking around. People are at restaurants. Businesses are opening. Mortgages are getting paid. Even in 2008 at 10% unemployment, 90% were employed!!!

COVID was the same. It was like the infectious disease experts wet dream. ‘We’re relevant - let’s milk the shit out of it’. The coverage and discussions and even people walking around would have me believe the Mist was rolling toward our neighborhood. But my eyes saw sunshine. Wind blowing. People living. I honestly personally knew 1 person that died from COVID. I know others that have struggled due to getting it. I’ve had it three times now. Again, not minimizing those that did and I know others that know multiple people that died or were seriously ill. But my eyes saw life and prosperity, not death and pain.

I had a great conversation with my coach Jason Drees on this. He brought up how he’s ignoring the ‘how to navigate the recession’ content because it’s a choice to be in a recession. I totally agree with that and it put words to the feelings above. I may lose money - but I don’t assign the word ‘pain’ to that. I have first world problems. I have expenses. I don’t have pain.


#1: I Don’t Do Recessions

I had David Nurse on my podcast and he made this statement (go to around minute 42 to hear it that discussion). When I asked about his preparation for a changing economic climate, he simply said ‘I don’t do recessions’. You’ll see it in the video - my brain ached from the impact of those words because it drew out a deep seeded thought. I don’t have to participate in what everyone else SAYS is reality. I make my own reality. I see things the way I want to see them. Nothing has inherent meaning - NOTHING. Not my life, not the birth of my kids, not the love I have for my wife and family. I choose to assign all meaning. There are some things we mostly agree to in terms of meaning. Someone’s mother dies, that’s sad. But if that mother abused someone, that person may assign happiness or relief to that same death. YOU. CHOOSE. MEANING. In EVERYTHING! If my chosen path goes up in flames, most will assign the meaning of ‘failure’ to my journey. I won’t.

#2: Lean Into What You Love (And Are Good At)

Many would say I should not sell my active portfolio. But it requires me to be something I’m not, and something I don’t want to be. An operator. In any industry you choose or any business you buy or start, there are so many roles to be filled. Filling them all long term is not sustainable, but more importantly it’s unfulfilling! If you’re pushing for a life of purpose then screw all the advice and do you. Make the decisions that make the most sense to youj. That’s all that matters and it feels better than anything other way of making decisions.

#3: How Can I Add More Value?

Again, credit to Jason Drees on this. He helped me get away from push mode and back to pull. Meaning, rather than ‘it’s gonna get crazy, double the sales force and go get every dollar you can’, I’m leaning into ‘I have cash, I’m fine, I make an income and people need my help’. I have a sense of trust that this mindset will serve me. The monkey mind can see the tactical advantage. Through the toughest time, this Jamie guy was present and didn’t ask me for anything, so now I want to be his customer. But that peaceful version of me that I get to meet in deep meditation sometimes just feels good delivering for others. Giving always feels great. Donating money to others, helping a family member who may be in a tough financial situation, creating content, documenting your story - whatever it may be, pull out of the trap of ‘recession mind’ and ask yourself ‘how can I add more value?’ (and to whom).


Tribe of Millionaires Podcast Episode
✯ Check out that David Nurse episode. His book ‘Breakthrough’ is incredible. I’m in the process of mailing it to every Ascend member. I bought 120 of them!!

Investment Recommendation
✯ My father is 72 and coaching is a foreign concept for his generation. But recently we chatted about this and he could see the impact coaching has had on me. That’s a big move!! Jason Drees has been amazing. He’s worth the $25,000 for three months to coach directly with him but he also has his team dialed in to coach like he does for way less ($3000-6000). I agreed to be an affiliate because I believe in what he’s provided. This newsletter, the growth of my brand and reach I can attribute to the ‘mental chiropractic adjustment’ his coaching style provides. Best investment in the recession is mindset. Even my Dad agrees 😉

Moment of Pride
✯ FINALLY after 20 years of pain, my Buffalo Bills are out for BLOOD!! As I write this, they’ve demolished the Rams and Titans in fantastic fashion and are on to Miami. I am counting on them to squish the fish and roll to the AFC East title. Equally satisfying is seeing the Patriots look hapless. And before Patriot fans start saying ‘we live rent free in Bills fans head - you guys are pathetic’. If that’s true, why are their posts on your own message boards DEDICATED to Jets hatred? Fuck off Pats fans .. it’s our time!!!!!

Lessons from Living Abroad
✯ We survived our first hurricane and it was scary. Part of the roof blew off in our house and we had to keep water from coming into the bedrooms. But the next day, workers were at the house cleaning up even though they had lost their entire roof and had to shelter at a church the night before. That was a major perspective shift in the moment. They had to make money to survive and rebuild. So they left their family behind while I had the privilege of being with my family, with power in the house and working AC. We have every resource imaginable but people in developing countries have insane resourcefulness. Quitting our job makes us fear loss of abundant resources. Even though what we will still have is far and away more than many here do. Applying just a little of the resourceful spirit to the abundant resources we have would make you and me unstoppable!!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for the ongoing story and I’d appreciate it if you subscribed to my YouTube channel. I have big plans for that!! Also, would love your feedback and thoughts on the newsletter! Just reply with anything that comes to mind. How can I help more?

Until next time
- Jamie

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