All posts by Brian Delrosario

I help veterans, working adults, and everyday people with their hustle to build a future while they still fight to earn a living | B2B | Investor | Local Marketer | Veteran.

Homework Asgt. · MKT 232, FTCC

Sam the Bachata Cat
Sam the Bachata Cat, 2020.

Lab Assignment 4.1 · WordPress

Social Media Marketing (Aug. – Dec. 2022), MKT 232, FTCC, Fayetteville, NC. Publish your post to make sure it will be available to readers online (double-check that it is also published and visible online when not logged in to WordPress in your web browser).

Discussion Asgt. 4 · What are the advantages of using video in social media?

Video metaphorically represents “where it’s at” when gaining attention and ascending the value ladder (or descending the marketing funnel). On p. 157 of the text, the authors cite research that bemoans the shrinking attention span of the average person, less “than that of a goldfish, or less than 12 seconds.”

Do we have today shorter attention spans? Or do we have less patience? And why? Maybe because today we experience many more competing requests for attention than before? Thus, wouldn’t that require faster decision-making about how to spend one’s attention?

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then a video speaks a chapter or more. If a marketer wants to compete for attention, he must quickly deliver as much utility to the consumer as possible. Video does that more than text alone.

Video, too, also expands a marketer’s reach beyond one language. My phone settings and history signal advertisers that I consume content in Spanish and sometimes Tagalog. I remember seeing a video commercial for cellular service in Spanish on my phone.

At first, what struck me, was the interracial romance in the commercial between an Asian male and a White female, which is rare in American programming. Spanish language text appeared, and I disregarded it as “interracial,” as Hispanic culture does not typically place much weight on demographic differences.

Then I saw the same commercial again, with English language text. It was genius. The characters did not speak. They could be anywhere. Anyone watching the video, regardless of language, would likely connect emotionally with the content. The advertiser easily localized the text. One does not get this kind of impact with text alone.

Cameron Edward Johnson

I’ve setup a GoFundMe account for the legal fees I anticipate. If it goes that far and even if I do win, I likely won’t see much in return. I just want to keep him from getting away. Too many people like him get away with this bullshit. Below is the narrative I used in the GoFundMe.com campaign.

As much as it sucks having him enter my life, it can always be worse. My friend, Don, is a military retiree like myself and a real estate investor with a sizable portfolio for an active-duty service member. Cameron owes me around $11K in principal, but Don shared a couple of stories.

He had a tenant who owed (and still owes) him $14K in missed rent plus $45K in damage to the property, or about $59K total. And another tenant who resulted in a loss of $68K total. So, my story’s not that bad in comparison. Someone always has it worse. Yet, we must hold every single one of these crooks accountable for the harm they cause. Otherwise, we encourage them to keep harming others.

Hold him accountable for his betrayal and deceit

Cameron and I first met around October 2019, when I realized I’d soon be retiring from the military. We met at a local real estate investor meetup. Cameron is young, age 27 as of this year. Since 2019, he has pursued digital marketing projects and real estate. We didn’t interact much from 2019 through the summer of 2021, and we remained connected via social media, where I noticed the excellent work he seemed to be doing.

During the summer of 2021, I retired from the military. I bought a house where I very briefly lived and had intended to until I met Cameron and his family. I felt impressed that he had succeeded enough as a real estate wholesaler to motivate his family to relocate from California to North Carolina to help him. (About that property, within nine months, he terminated his lease early. He further abandoned his obligations on the lease to return it to a re-rentable condition, but that’s another story.)

In September 2021, I introduced him to this tech project, Helium, that I found rising in popularity and that hadn’t reached Fayetteville, NC, just yet. Helium is a sort-of decentralization of internet connectivity. Participants deploy hotspots (small “modems” or radios) around a town, and those hotspots also serve as “miners” of a digital coin called HNT (Helium Network Token) as an incentive to help grow the network. It’s a Google-backed project. Around then, there were only about four (4) hotspots in Fayetteville, NC.

The promissory note and the broken promise

Cameron became fascinated with the project. At one point, he told me, “I think this could be my shot at becoming a billionaire.” He asked for my level of participation, and I said that I’d prefer to back him financially but not as an operator within the project. Cameron had the motivation, seeming track record of success, and tech-savvy that I lacked for this project.

So, I paid $15,050.00 to acquire seven (7) hotspots. I was the capital partner. And although I had larger social circles through my hobbies, Cameron seemed to have a larger business circle here in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Within a couple of months, we deployed five of the hotspots. Deployment requires that these hotspots be far apart and that we interact with neighboring residents or tenants to allow us into their homes and plug in. They were indoor devices, and this presented a new problem.

How do we return for maintenance without intruding on our neighbors? Cameron said he found a manufacturer to develop casings to house the hotspots outside of a building. The enclosures would further provide backup solar power. For seven (7) units, he needed $20,000.00. Up to this point, he made good on all of his promises.

But I admit it, I fucked up. I wrote an unsecured promissory to him for $20K, 10% interest, 12-month term, beginning January 2022 and ending December 2022. The payment was $1,758.32/month. We agreed to payments by the 11th of the month. I paid to acquire the devices, and I didn’t have the additional $20K to contribute.

I had recently retired, and coincidentally my dad had, too. My dad was looking for an investment opportunity, and I mistakenly vouched for Cameron. So, my dad sent me the $20K, and I sent Cameron the $20K on Monday, December 13, 2021. My dad doesn’t know about this because I’m still too ashamed to admit it. I’m a disabled veteran with children to support, and I’ve continued to pay the $1,758.32/month back to my father as if everything were okay. Cameron knows this.

I trusted him. He was a fellow veteran who seemed to have found success in civilian life shortly after finishing service. I vouched for him to my father.

Betrayal, deception, evasion, and fraud

Cameron paid from January 2022 through May 2022. In June 2022, he stopped paying, skipped town, left no forwarding address, and “ghosted.” I’ve sought legal counsel and have been able to find his forwarding address. He still owes seven (7) payments of $1,758.32/month or a payoff amount of $11,908.00.

He routinely made self-aggrandizing comments about his integrity, ethics, and devotion to his religion and wife. I’ve found that the louder someone is about being a certain way, the more the opposite is the case. Perhaps he didn’t intend misconduct initially but later got overwhelmed.

But he intends misconduct now by skipping town and ghosting his obligations and the people who trusted him. I was, and still am, open to negotiation.

I’ve also come to embrace how anyone does anything (esp. the small things), in many ways, represents how he does everything (esp. the bigger things). Back in September 2021, as he moved into the home I leased to him, he asked to borrow lawn equipment. He also asked to borrow books from my home library. In April 2022, I had to ask back for those belongings. He finally returned them in May 2022, nine months later.

I called him out for it, and he said it wasn’t his fault. It’s just who he is and that he has property from other people, waiting months to return. I asked a previous employer about him. That employer said, “We haven’t spoken since 2019. We didn’t part on great terms.” Had I known.

The fraud is in his reliability and trustworthiness. He promised emphatically that he would make good on this debt. Instead, he skipped town.

A podcast interview of him

https://www.audible.com/webplayer?asin=B09K68FSC1&contentDeliveryType=PodcastEpisode&ref_=a_minerva_cloudplayer_B09K68FSC1&fetchNewPlayQueue=true&overrideLph=false&initialCPLaunch=true

Cameron, “I cannot stand when someone is being taken advantage of because I would not want to be in that situation” (14:16). Sure, this is what Mr. Integrity here would like you to believe. His history demonstrates otherwise.

Cameron, “When I was in the Army, I always picked up random pieces of trash around base” (51:59). “I just take it that step further and pick it up. Because you never know who’s watching. And if you’re always leading with the correct kind of mentality that you want the world to have, like picking up a small piece of trash, as silly as that sounds, you can’t believe the amount of rewards” (52:37). Again, he’s more concerned with looking good than actually being a good person.

This podcast took place in November 2021. I believe that here he’s again self-touting something he’d like the rest of the world to believe about him that just isn’t so. I have this personal quirk of exhausting the battery on my leaf blower by cleaning up the neighborhood until the battery dies. It’s fun to do, and it buys me time to finish listening to an educational piece of audio.

Once, before Cameron’s podcast, I went out of my way to clean up broken glass (not with the leaf blower, of course) at a vacant neighbor’s house. Cameron happened to drive and stop at the open field right beside to let his dogs play. He asked what I was doing. I said, “Plenty of people walk their pets here, and I’d hate to see another person or pet unknowingly step on this broken glass. Right now, no one lives at this house to clean it up.”

Cameron, “It’s always your fault. Why you’re not where you want to be is your fault? … Extreme ownership” (54:19), a reference to a popular veteran and entrepreneur. Let’s hold him to that.

Other names or entities

  • One Nine Zeros LLC (inc. 11/22/21), Akron, Ohio
  • Cameron Buys Homes LLC (inc. 1/19/21), Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • REI Connection LLC (inc. 12/3/19), Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Tri Home Investments LLC (dissolved 7/9/19), Fayetteville, North Carolina

GoFundMe.com and RipoffReport.com

Book Review · The Billion Dollar Secret

Reading The Billion Dollar Secret (2019) by R. Badziag

Recommend. 328 pages. It’s a quick read and starts well. Like much else in life, you may 80/20 the content. In my opinion, you’ll find the 80/20 in Chapter 6 (The Six Skills of Business Mastery) and Chapter 7 (The Six Habits of Wealth).

I won’t give up too much of the book, but the principles outlined probably sound very similar to other books on entrepreneurship and personal development. On the six skills of business mastery, five are people skills. On the six wealth habits, I’d say one can summarize them as constant improvement of the whole person towards a goal.

I enjoyed how the book opens with stories of rags to riches. The one that sticks out the most is the story of Infosys and its founder, N. R. Narayana Murthy. I’ll quickly summarize it here. In India, 1981, at age 35, Narayana founded Infosys with several partners. Infosys is a computer company. He founded the company with frequent power outages and with no computer.

Back then, he needed a license to obtain a computer, and he spent three years and 50 visits from Bangalore to Delhi to get that license. The distance was 1,500 miles, and he was too poor to afford a plane ticket. So, he traveled two days each way (four days round trip). That’s 200 days over three years just commuting, fighting bureaucracy!

So what about doing any computer work during those three years? Narayana found a customer in America who allowed Infosys to program on his computer. Six of the cofounders went to America while Narayana remained in India.

What about communicating? On average, it took about five to seven years to get a phone line back then. Infosys only took one year. In the meantime, Narayana used a public phone at a post office to reach the cofounders and customers in America. However, if they needed to call him, they couldn’t. When Narayana finally did get a phone line, most of the time, there wasn’t a signal, and when there was, it was usually busy.

How did the American team send work back to India? It would’ve taken about three weeks by mail to send programming code one way. Infosys decided to use fax instead, which generated additional problems, which no doubt made for an even more incredible story to hear.

Resources:

My Niche · Ten Influencers in the V2V Space

A birthday party this month (Jan. 2022) for a friend and fellow veteran

I’ve been doing some soul-searching and re-discovered my niche. I call it the V2V space, for “veteran to veteran”; specifically, V2V in entrepreneurship, finance, investing, and wealth-building. I signed up for the Military Money Convention (or MilMoneyCon) in Cary, NC, April 21-23, 2022.

There are about 20M veterans or currently-serving military members in the US. It’s not a small market; it’s specific enough and one in which I have 20 years of experience and expertise. As for the influencers within the space, it’s a small audience. Maybe I can connect us. Here’s a beginning list:

  1. Carey, Rich · https://richonmoney.com
  2. Coleman, Hank · http://militarysidehustles.com
  3. Kelly, Timothy · Amazon author · https://thetimothykelly.com
  4. Langsford, Lacey · podcaster · https://laceylangford.com
  5. Pere, David · Amazon author · https://www.frommilitarytomillionaire.com
  6. Phillips, Adrianne · https://savivets.org
  7. Reese, Spencer C. · Amazon author · https://militarymoneymanual.com
  8. Sage, Julian · https://shorttermsage.com
  9. Sich, Markian, et al. · Amazon author · https://www.activedutypassiveincome.com (ADPI)
  10. Stough, Anthony · https://www.civease.com

It’s a running list. There’re many more, especially here in the Ft. Bragg area with Five Pillars Realty and its team, including Shelby Osborne and Michael Glaspie. I interviewed Shelby for my book, and Michael is also an Amazon author. And, of course, the ADPI team. Markian and Timothy (“Tim”) (above) are part of a larger team at ADPI, which includes Adam La Barr, Eric Upchurch, and Michael Foster.

Without a doubt, I’m missing some important names here. So, please tip me off and mention other influencers in the entrepreneurship V2V space in the comments.

Also, if you’re starting in the entrepreneurship V2V space, look at what I just gave you – a list of websites you can analyze for keywords and audience insights.

Starting Life Over at 40

It’s been a while since I’ve written. I’m not sure why I stopped. I enjoyed writing book reviews, but then, I threw too many hurdles in my way.

So much in 2021. I turned 40, and finally retired from the military. It wasn’t what I hoped it’d be. No, not even close; in terms of both what my pension and disability compensation would look like, and what I’d be doing after I retired.

I’m starting a video blog at my YouTube channel. Click the YouTube link on this site. I have a few other upgrades to this website, but not many. I’ve got to attach an autoresponder, and that’s about it.

My goal is to keep this simple. Share content on life after the military, books, and business.

The photo in here is of my friend Nicole’s birthday. We’ve been friends for three years now, and I still don’t know her age.

Book Review · The Elite Investor

Reading another great book

From one successful military hustler to all of us struggling up the mountain.

I’ve met Mike and his team. Until recently, he ran his business out of here, Fayetteville, NC, or the Fort Bragg area. Awesome book. Quick. To the point. Relevant to his audience. And coming from a position of years of experience, sophistication, and success.

In his book, Mike adapts concepts gained while serving in U.S. Special Forces into real estate investing. As well as shares lessons on real estate investing while still serving on active duty.

Among many lessons, he points out to newbies the importance of knowing one’s team. Those new to the game may not realize that sometimes nine different people play into a real estate transaction – buyer, seller, lender, attorney, property manager, tenant, contractor, inspector, and appraiser.

Another lesson, which feels very military, consists of backward planning, rehearsing, and contingency planning before coming to a deal. Furthermore, acknowledge Murphy and embrace that something always goes wrong.

A few different parts of the book cover list-building, or what he calls having a clientele database. Most digital marketers I’ve studied identify this effort as their “one thing” that stands out as most significantly producing success.

Resources:

Book Review · Miracle Morning Millionaires

Reading another outstanding book.

The miracle evening precedes the miracle morning, which was a great tip I found in this book.

If you’ve read “The Miracle Morning” (2012) by Hal Elrod, you’ll probably finish this book in one sitting. I find specific development much more useful than general development. This book adopts much of the same as the original but focuses on the morning habits of millionaires.

The millionaires on which the book models after consist of entrepreneurs and active investors instead of “slow-lane” wealth builders. Like the original, Hal Elrod and David Osborn introduce SAVERS – silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. Unlike the original, the reader will find an application of SAVERS onto popular themes common in the genres of entrepreneurship and personal development.

Such as knowing what to do vs. doing what one knows. In chapter 4, the authors present a thought experiment of a game show in which the contestant must pick between two doors, one of which leads to a million dollars. Additionally, the show host identifies the door. The experiment suggests that you already know what to do. Use your morning to do it.

In chapter 12, focus. In particular, eliminate non-goal-activities, automate, and delegate. This theme comes up often in scaling or how to 10X one’s efforts. Focus on your strengths, and automate and delegate your lower-value work. And, you can use the morning for that.

Resources:

Book Review · Embarrassing Confessions of a Marine Lieutenant

Reading another excellent book.

I met Donny at the Silkies Hike in Fayetteville, N. Car., 2020.  Great person.  Awesome book.  And I love Donny’s TV channel, VET Tv.

Recommend.  206 pages.  Recommend, although for a very niche audience – particularly those who enjoy dark humor, and who probably also read Duffel Blog, Terminal Lance, or have watched all of Generation Kill.

The book starts with a story about a massage parlor.  “Despite my impressively low standards (thanks to my ability to see beauty on a deep level), I still didn’t see any good looking locals, so I was starting to worry about the quality of the masseuses” (p. 24)!  Ha!  I laughed from beginning-to-end with this book.

Despite its irreverence, or perhaps because of it, Donny brings to light critical issues within the veteran community.  The 22+ veteran suicides per day, the incredible frustration we face, and our loyalty vs. integrity conflict.

One of my favorite quotes describes the frustration of the veteran we place in harm’s way. “He’s angry at the Taliban, the Afghan people, the Afghan Gov’t, and the US Gov’t for throwing him into a minefield and tying his hands behind his back” (p. 106).

On loyalty, we routinely face a struggle between moral and legal.  I like to phrase it as a question.  If it causes more harm to follow the rules than to break them, what would a good man choose?  Donny answers, “So I disobeyed orders, I did what my conscience needed, what I thought all my little brothers deserved” (p. 107).

And like all good messages, the book ends with a call to action.  Donny calls for commanders to more actively connect those who’ve endured behavioral challenges to those who’ve suffered similarly.

Resources:

30-Day Challenge

Shout out to my friend and coach, Sabrina Blase. Whom I acknowledge in my book. Yesterday, she started me on a 30-day challenge to post daily. I’m going to share something useful from the book, or about it. I’ll be posting to Instagram (IG), primarily. Follow me on the IG link here, or at http://www.instagram.com/bdelrosa81.

Work with me. I understand how to use Facebook, and LinkedIn, but IG is a bit different. I posted a short 15-second video today about why you should write your book – for who you become in the process. I don’t know if I posted it correctly. So… Learning.

Book Review · Think and Grow Rich for Inventors

Reading another excellent book.

I read this for my daughter, Martial, 16, who recently “invented” a new type of creative apparel. I prefer the term “developed,” as in product development. For me, writing is to publishing what inventing is to product development. The latter term points at demand – something that would commercially succeed.

Recommend. 240 pages. The book reads in line with the original “Think and Grow Rich,” by N. Hill, but shorter and intended to reach an audience of inventors. Kevin Harrington from “Shark Tank” wrote the praise. The author, John Rizvi, Esq., works as a patent attorney.

MORE MOTIVATION, LESS ABOUT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Although John does work in patents, the book doesn’t jump into questions of intellectual property. He aims more specifically at an audience with a product idea, but who feels intimidated by the process of bringing it to market. He intends an audience standing at the edge of deciding whether to pursue product development or abandon it.

ORGANIZED PLANNING

John shares a part in the book about how an organized plan looks. If a new developer has already decided to bring the project to market, he’ll need to plan that out. It helps to get an idea of what makes a good plan.

RESOURCES