Max Gomez is a highly successful real estate investor who did everything right in his career. But despite his high status, he was at war with himself. He acted one way with business partners and family members while feeling a completely different way inside, and this eventually took its toll on his mental well-being. Read this case study to discover how Max found his integrity and detached from the stresses and pains associated with reaching greater levels of success!
Meet Ignite Mastermind Member Max Gomez:
- Born in East Los Angeles, currently lives in Long Beach;
- Passionate and highly accomplished investor, who enjoys work more than a vacation;
- Other passions: trying out cuisines, playing soccer and basketball;
Q: Tell us a bit about your real estate background. I know you’ve had a very long and fruitful career before you started working with Matthew.
A: I started off at 18 years old as a real estate agent. I did everything you were supposed to do – advertise, get on the phone, close clients, and all that good stuff. Following a simple system for the first few years was all I needed to do great business. As I invested more and advertised more, I was a top producer within 3-4 years.
I was especially good at getting certain types of properties. This attracted the attention of some investors I took a liking to, and I wanted to know how they did what they were doing. They were very generous with the time and advice they gave me. I fell in love at first sight, and by 2004 I was already a full-time investor.
Q: That’s awesome – it seems as if you did everything “right.” Was there anything in particular that fueled you to work so hard?
A: Honestly, I had the mindset where I would tell myself “It’s never good enough, and you need to be your biggest critic.” I truly believed I would not be able to become a better person or make more money unless I was relentlessly beating myself up. And this was even after I achieved all of my goals!
It reminds me of the quote from Oscar Wilde which says “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”
Every goal I set was done with the intention of having more, producing more, and being more. Using my Christian background, I treated my issues like demons and enemies that had to be killed. I was following made-up rules in regards to not being a sinner, and I chose to accept them.
Q: Did you ever push those same kinds of expectations on people around you?
A: No, and that’s where I had a lack of integrity within myself. I WAS my mental thoughts. I truly believed there were a right way and a wrong way to do life while judging everyone else who didn’t do things my way. I thought the stress I experienced was akin to working out at the gym, the old “no pain no gain” mantra.
Here’s where it gets worse: If you asked anybody what they thought of me, I was the positive-thinking guy who saw the good in everybody. I got along with everyone and loved everyone for who they are. That was all on the outside.
On the inside, I always judged people. I judged how they looked and I judged the actions they took (or lack thereof). I was secretly trying to convert people into my point of view, and this eventually came full circle.
“When you are weak, things don’t work. Your body/mind system is lacking integrity, it’s not fortified. It’s corrupted. That is a compromised state, and it causes your mind to do its job and make sure you are not harmed. When you are weak or your system malfunctions, the mind begins to analyze, assess, judge, and strategize in order to keep you safe.” – Matthew Ferry
Q: Let’s dive deeper into what you just said. Was there any particular area of life where your old model of thinking was harmful?
A: With my ex-wife, most definitely. We grew up together as kids and we were high school sweethearts. We had our first son when I was just 19 years old, and we were married for 20 years. I tried to be a different person at the same time throughout our marriage. I always felt this guilt-driven obligation to be a certain kind of person. God forbid I didn’t show up to my son’s soccer games and school functions, or else I would be a bad person and an awful father.
But with my wife, I felt as if she had her own definition of what a husband and father should be. And I always found myself gravitating towards her being right, always trying to meet her needs. This was a result of my negative self-talk which robbed me of my power and had me believing that “this is how a husband should be, otherwise they’re doing it wrong”. One and a half years ago, we eventually realized our definitions did not match. I would not be fully authentic if I took on her definition, and the opposite was true for my wife taking on my definition. We separated and got the divorce, and are still in the process of finalizing it.
It’s mind-blowing in the sense that because of the mastermind, I can be a witness to the entire experience instead of participating in it.
Q: How did all of this lead you to discover Matthew Ferry and eventually joining the mastermind?
A: Personal development is absolutely HUGE in the real estate industry. It’s arguably the most important thing next to closing contracts and using the right sales scripts. My best friend Adrian had introduced me to Matthew roughly 2.5 years ago, and at that time he had already been with Matthew for 4 years. It was through Adrian where I heard about all of the main concepts – The Drunk Monkey, The Rapid Enlightenment Process, muscle testing, and so on. I was initially hesitant about all of this at first due to my religious background. In my sect of Christianity, you make sure every single thing you listen to and act out is in full alignment with the Bible. Fortunately, Adrian had a similar background to mine and he was able to present in a relatable way. Eventually, I started diving into the material.
I consumed all of the free content he put out on the Internet. I read all of his books. I even went to the Epic Life Live events. I was HOOKED. It was a truly eye-opening experience. I didn’t even think I could break certain rules I had been religiously following for 30+ years. By the time I made the leap to join the mastermind, I already had the entire Rapid Enlightenment Process down pat. I was on the path towards higher levels of consciousness.
Many of the members I met at the seminars were mastermind members, so I got to know them well before joining. You sense a higher energy around these people where you immediately know you can be yourself without getting judged. I loved the environment they created, and I could already tell the mastermind would be worth every single penny.
Q: What was your experience in meeting Matthew and Kristen for the first time? Did you feel as comfortable with them as you did with the other members?
A: They really do practice what they preach, and go way beyond the typical “just be yourself” approach. Matthew and Kristen give off the same positive energy I experienced from the other members. Moreover, there wasn’t a single time where I got the sense of “I’m better than you” from them. Usually, when you go to seminars and listen to a speaker, they always have this air of superiority where you feel the speaker is above you in some way. We were all on the same level, and I truly believed it was okay for me to be whoever I wanted to be. There was nothing wrong with who I was in the present moment. And that made me feel really comfortable talking about some of my deepest and most intimate problems.
Q: How did you feel about the very first in-person retreat you went to as part of The Ignite Mastermind?
A: This is THE seminar to end all seminars. You may have heard this cliché statement hundreds of times before, but it’s true for a different reason. The Ignite Mastermind deserves this title because now you know WHY you go to seminars, rather than it necessarily being the “best” seminar.
You are given a key to unlock your personal problems (which was inside of you the entire time), and now you have the freedom to attend as many or as few seminars as you like without any hidden motives. Matthew takes you through a process where you learn how to recognize you are complete and whole as you already are. You no longer need to attend other seminars without feeling that you’re lacking something as if whatever you’re being sold will FINALLY make you whole and complete.
I have zero desire to attend any mindset-related seminars, but I will occasionally go to one if it helps my business in regards to logistics and thriving in certain economic conditions. As for the immediate feeling you get when you return home, it’s like your mind is automatically quiet. You’re at peace and you’re flowing. You’re taught how to snap out of lower levels of consciousness and return to the high vibration you achieved at the retreat. It truly feels like you are floating mid-air.
“With a quiet mind, you realize that you don’t actually experience the circumstances themselves. You experience your relationship to the circumstances. Your relationship is what you say about it, how you describe it, and you reaction to it.” – Matthew Ferry
Q: Real estate investing can often seem like a “dog eat dog” world. Were you able to break out of any limiting paradigms in your business after joining the mastermind?
A: The best way to describe this is what Matthew said to us during one of our weekly coaching calls:
“You might think that you came here to make more money, or improve your relationships with your wife, or get more business and grow your company. But what you’ll learn here is that releasing a completely different area of your life is gonna help you be more efficient in that area.” – Matthew Ferry
I now have this sense of certainty where I will inevitably reach my goals. I know I will grow my company, buy more and sell more. But now, I’m not going to be resisting the process and making it wrong. No matter whether I’m going through a constructive or destructive phase of my life, if you ask me how I’m doing, I can say with a straight face that things are awesome. It’s really hard to quantify the quantum leap I’ve made in my business with numbers and revenue.
I know people are desperately wanting to hear about how I tripled my income while working 4 times less, but that wasn’t the most important thing to me. What’s important is I can be completely neutral and go through my life as an observer instead of a victim. This doesn’t mean I will let everything I’ve worked for go to waste. It just means I’m not basing my value on production or the hard numbers. I already know I am whole and complete, and because of that, everything is happening exactly the way it is supposed to be happening.
Q: AWESOME! What other mental freedoms have you discovered with the tools and strategies you picked up from the mastermind?
A: I have much more freedom in choosing who I want my partners to be. I already let go of 3 partnerships as soon as I returned from our last mastermind retreat, which involved giving up pieces of land. I wasn’t the least bit scared in letting things go, because I know more opportunities are right around the corner.
I no longer believe my success is hinged on being with any particular partner. Again, the freedom to pick and choose who I work with is so valuable that I can’t possibly put a price tag on it.
In the midst of finalizing my divorce, acquiring new properties with new partners, and negotiating with former partners, I always choose myself as the #1 priority. This alone eliminates so much stress because I’m always there for myself. No more following illogical rules and dogma about what a “good person” does. – Matthew Ferry
It’s like the analogy of putting on an oxygen mask when a plane is about to crash. You always put the mask on yourself FIRST before you help others, since you can’t be useful when you’re dead!
Q: Does this also extend to any relationships you’ve had outside of real estate?
A: You bet it does. Every relationship in my life has improved 1000%. I’m being my authentic self, and there are no motives involved whenever I communicate with someone. I approach every individual with the mindset of “This is who I am, and let’s have a conversation.” I am not driven by what I want from other people, and vice versa.
When people noticed this change about me, my relationships with them got so much stronger. And those who didn’t went their own way, which worked out wonderfully for both parties. To not have any attachments or motives to have a relationship with someone is a truly freeing feeling. It’s like lifting an invisible 500-pound gorilla off your back!
Q: Earlier in our interview, you mentioned how you used to be someone who was accepting of others on the outside. Did this lead you to avoid conflict in the past, and if so, how are you different now?
A: I was very non-confrontational prior to the mastermind. I rolled with the punches, and let other partners take the lead. I never gave my own opinion because I knew people wouldn’t want to do things or see things my way. This caused me to become a chronic procrastinator. I really believed that everyone wanted to hang out with me and buy properties with me because I was cool and laid back. Calm, cool, and collected is who I was to other people.
When I was agreeable and scared of giving my own opinion, I went along with what other people said. All under the fear of being unliked, hated, and perceived as the villain. This definitely created a bit of passive-aggressiveness in my character, and eventually, it leaked out. But having rediscovered my own authenticity, I can call anything out with regards to what I like and don’t like. I’m fully transparent and honest about my personal preferences, and it’s up to other people to decide if they want to join me or not.
Q: Max, you’ve had an incredible journey throughout your time in the mastermind so far. What advice or thoughts would you like to share with new members or those who are hesitant about joining?
A: Jump into the free content and the books first. Watch the videos, read the articles Matthew has posted online. Let that be your first introduction. Everything Matthew writes is broken down into the simplest form possible, so you won’t be able to refute it or nitpick any contradictions.
Introducing someone to the fact that they are NOT their thoughts or their mind’s endless chatter will blow their mind away.
And when you join the mastermind, it’s going to peel back layers of hidden junk you never knew existed.