Edwin Carrion: From Single Family To Luxury Homes


To get better, you have to get started, and that's what Edwin Carrion did. Born in Ecuador, and raised by a single mother, Edwin migrated to the US at the age of 12. He enlisted in the Marines, and after he was done, he was trying to figure out what his next step was to build the life he wanted. He was given advice to get into real estate development to make money. Not knowing how to do it, he learned and figured it out as he went along the path as he was taking action to build his dream life.

After doing single-family development for a while, he looked up and realized he could make more money doing higher-priced homes, so he transitioned over to that space. It's all possible because he got started and took action. He didn't sit around and read books & contemplate theories. He took action. Today Edwin runs 4 companies, specializing in acquisition and real estate development, transportation and logistics, investment, and business education and consulting. Because of the freedom he's built for his family, he's living with them in Columbia for the next few months but normally resides in Miami, FL. He is the author of 9 Secrets For A Successful Life & Business


In this episode hosted by Mike Swenson, we discussed:

  • How Edwin found his path to real estate career when he didn't know what to do in life after leaving the military at the age of 22
  • Importance of taking the tears to design first step and sacrificing sweat to get the life you want to live
  • What is it about immigrants that lead to major succeed in the US 
  • Learning that the biggest asset that you should invest in more is yourself
  • Doing the right due diligence in hiring a mentor
  • The difference of having a mentor and getting information online
  • Working for the things that you want versus working for the money you start getting
  • Investing in real estate and in small business
  • Balancing faith in God and in yourself, and believing that there's full of abundance and you can have anything that your heart desires
  • You can grieve but not for so long. You have to take action and move forward.  


0:00 - Intro To Edwin's Career
1:40 - What Attracted Edwin In Real Estate?
3:14 - Get Started With Real Estate Development
6:49 - The Key to Success for Immigrants in the US
8:38 - How to Sharpen your Mindset
11:14 - Why You Should Hire a Mentor
13:21 - How Edwin Grew From Single Family Homes to Luxury Homes
17:06 - Edwin's Multiple Streams of Income
19:32 - Life, Time, and Financial Freedom
21:39 - How to Keep Moving Through Difficult Challenges











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Read the full transcript here:

Mike Swenson
Welcome to The REL Freedom Podcast where we inspire you to pursue your passion to gain time and financial freedom through opportunities in real estate. I'm your host, Mike Swenson, let's get some real freedom together.

Mike Swenson
Hello, everybody, welcome to another episode of REL Freedom. And I just love being able to tell different stories from different people. And one of the cool things about building wealth in real estate is you get a chance to diversify your portfolio and do different things. And so you don't have to be 100% in the real estate space, you can get different streams of income and build and grow. And so today's guest is Edward carry on. And he's going to talk about his journey both in real estate and outside of real estate. Just a little quick background about him born in Ecuador, raised by a single mother migrated to the United States at the age of 12. And now lives in Miami husband, father of two beautiful girls, a United States Marine, lots of entrepreneurs stuff, which we'll talk about started doing development building single family homes now moving into luxury homes, author of a couple of awesome books, which will link in the show notes afterwards. Edwin, we're so excited to have you on the show.

Edwin Carrion
My Thank you for having me here. And to everyone listening. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Let's get ready for an amazing show where you're going to get a lot of knowledge about real estate, business and entrepreneurship.

Mike Swenson
So talk to us about your upbringing in your story. And what got you into real estate? What was it about real estate that kind of attracted you at the beginning? So interested to hear that beginning journey for you?

Edwin Carrion
Oh, good. Thank you for that, Mike. Well, you had a quick background on my story, right and born in Ecuador came to the United States when I was 12 years old, joined the military. And that's where my real intrapreneurship journey starts, where I'm about to leave the military 2002. And I don't know what to do as a young kid, 22 years old, have no idea what I wanted to do with my life and other options, but not a clear path of what I wanted to do. So how did I stumble upon real estate? My mother, she's the one that said, you know, what, become a real estate developer, she didn't even say she said, become a developer. And I'm like, what a developer, I had no idea what it was. So I had to research and she explained to me, oh, it's very simple. You go out there, you buy land, you build houses, you sell them, I'm gonna, I love it. Very simple, very easy to do. Let's get to it. And sure enough, that's what got me started into real estate development. My mom telling me get into real estate is a good business. And the reason she knew was a good business, because she had a lot of clients. She's in the insurance field. And she had a lot of clients that are contractors and developers. And we'll see they're coming in building a house six, seven months later, selling the house making tonnes of money. And that's what got me into real estate development.

Mike Swenson
For people that are looking to get started in real estate people looking to invest. What I often hear from people is I don't know how to get started, I don't know what to do. And so they put these barriers in place to kind of stop them and keep them where they're at. So for somebody that's like, I don't know what real estate development is, to now you're jumping into it. How did you get started? What were those first couple of steps that you had to put together?

Edwin Carrion
Well, the first thing happened to me, right? I don't know what it is, I don't know how to get started. I don't know where to start. I don't know what to do. And it happens a lot in life. And in every type of business that a lot of people don't take that first step. Because of that, that to me was that I needed to do something. And when we have the need of doing something, then we just figure out along the way, what is it that we need to do? How do we do it? And coming out of the Marine Corps, I needed to get a job I needed to make money I needed to become successful. And to me, it's not so much of that, how am I going to do it? You know, it's like, what do I do? And it's taking that first step. And I always tell everybody, if you want to do something, do it, take the first step. Doesn't matter how you take the step, you're going to learn along the way, you're going to make the right the right you're going to take the wrong steps, they're going to make mistakes, you definitely are. But now, in this age 2023 that we're talking today, we have access to so many amazing mentors, we have access to so many people that you can find a mentor, like in seconds, that is going to teach you why you want to learn whether it's business, whether it's relationship, whether it's real estate, whatever things you want to, there's access to that when I started back in 20, in 2002, I had none of that hard to figure out for my own. So the first thing that I did was, yes, go find somebody that is going to give me the basic steps of how to build a house. Tell me what do I need to do to build a house and he gave me the first steps like go to do this, this, this, this and this and when you're done with that, come back to me while I was trying to do the list that he gave me the checklist that he gave me. I made tonnes of mistakes along the way. And then I was hated. When people say you know I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into something. Because, yeah, there I believe that times, you know, digging dirt trying to make a hole when it was activated could have been to somebody to do. That's the bleeding power, right that that people talk about? Did I sweat? The as I sweat because I was outside on the Sun trying to get this house built? Did I have tears? No, I didn't have tears. It was joy to me because, you know, I was doing what I wanted to do. And I was making my dreams come true becoming an entrepreneur becoming a millionaire. So was there a lot of struggles along the way? Yes, there was plenty of struggles, especially when I went bankrupt, I lost over $20 million in 2007. That was like the biggest troll. But look, ya'll, you still have me here. Now living life to the fullest, be financially free, enjoying life, living in a different country, because one of the things that you said that I live in Miami, actually, I just moved to Colombia to South America in May. And I'm going to be leaving here for the next couple of years with my family. So it's living the life that I designed. And that's what real estate can do to anyone.

Mike Swenson
What do you think about this, because I've interviewed quite a few people that have come to the United States from other countries. And I hear people talking about, you know, the United States is the land of opportunity. And you've got a lot of people in the United States that make excuses for why they can't do something. And we see these folks come to the United States and succeed, talk about does it maybe have something to do with growing up somewhere else, and maybe seeing the other side, put a fire in your drive in you in a way that maybe somebody who grew up in a middle class family or something like that they didn't have that same driver? What do you think it is? That was a key to your success, immigrating to the United States and putting this action in place and seeing that success?

Edwin Carrion
Right. So there's like a couple of part questions. Right? So the first part, is this the United States the land of opportunity, for sure it is it makes it more accessible to have anything I mean, you you have people that don't have money that live on welfare, driving Mercedes driving, Cadillacs, escalates. So is Ryan on opportunity, yes, because you can have credit and you could acquire anything you wanted. In the United States, it's much easier to acquire things. Now that I live in Colombia, are there opportunities here, there's plenty of opportunities. But one of the things that I'm noticing right now is that the mindset is not right. And a lot of people don't have the right mindset, to be able to tackle those opportunities to take advantage of those opportunities, right. And when we talk about mindset, then we start talking about what I just mentioned, a minute it was having the need, when we start having the need for something, that's the moment we really start taking action. So a lot of people in the United States, they don't see, they're not grateful for all the opportunities that they have. So therefore, they don't have the need to become successful, because they know that the government is going to bail them out, they know that, you know, they just want to leave like below, you know, just like at the poverty level. And they don't want to push themselves, they don't see the need of really getting out of that and moving on to the next phase of their lives. And the one example that I always put that the moment that you're drowning, you're going to do whatever it takes to try to survive. So that because they need to survive. So live is the same thing you need to have that need to grow, you need to have the need to succeed, you need to have the need to be a good parent, you need to have that need to be a good song, you need to have a need for something and then you are going to take action on that become really good at that.

Mike Swenson
When you have that need, instead of a want that you had mentioned about the importance of mindset. I really love reading books, thinking about mindset planning, that sort of stuff. What do you do to sharpen your mindset, as you've grown professionally and your businesses grown?

Edwin Carrion
What are the things I do is constantly continue investing in myself, and realising that I am the biggest asset that I could have in my life, you know, my cars, my watches, the embed the investment properties that I have, those are now my assets, the biggest asset that I have is myself. So I just have to constantly continue investing in myself, in order for me to be levelling up. And when I'm talking about investing in myself, I'm talking about not only into business, okay, what am I going to do next, what's going to be the next business after but investing myself into, you know, being raised by a single mother means that my marriage is set to failed. So because I don't want to have a failed marriage, I want to have a successful marriage, I have to invest in myself into hiring the right therapist, the right marriage counsellor, to teach me how to be a good husband because I don't know what that is, you know, to be a good father, like I have to learn and have to surround myself by the right people by their fathers that are there that are an example for me, in order to learn how to be a good father and the same thing goes for business investing in myself, with the right mentors. If I want to give $200 million, then my mentor has to be making $100 million. If my mentor, if I want to have a Lamborghini, my mentor has to have at least two Lamborghinis. Because now, if the one is going to teach me how to get there, I had to acquire those things. You can't have a mentor that to mentor you that hasn't acquired the things that you want, or it's not at the level that you want. And a lot of people don't give value to that. And don't believe in investing in the right mentors, because they see us throwing money away. And unfortunately, you have to do your due diligence when you hire a mentor, right? Because there's a lot of like, fake it till you make it gurus nowadays. But if you do the right due diligence, you are going to find the right heart centre person that fits your values that fits your beliefs, that is where you want to get to. And that's where you invest your money in, and you'll see the return 10x like Grant Cardone says you'll see that 10x returns right away.

Mike Swenson
Well, and it's interesting that you mentioned that because what you hear from a lot of people is, well, I can find all the information on the internet, right? And go watch a YouTube video, I can go learn something, yes, the information is out there. And yet, knowing how to apply it, when to apply it, what steps to take and maybe what information to forget, is really that key that having a good mentor can show you.

Edwin Carrion
Right? And it's true. You have all the information out there, right? Like my book, I'll put an example my book, my book, Secrets of the Millionaire ball buyer, that book right there is going to teach you how to succeed in any economy. Because I detailed everything that I did from A to Z is just like an artist, he puts out a song, you could buy that you can listen to that song every single day on the internet, right? And you're going to learn the lyrics. But what do people do? They pay for that ticket to go to that concert, right? Because they want to see that artists live. And when you see the artists live, he's gonna deliver that song on a different tune on a different remix on a different way. That is gonna be like, Wow, this song is better. Like, why didn't they make it like that. So the same thing when you hire a mentor, yeah, you could go and find everything online, you can learn everything online. But when you really invest yourself and you get that mentor, that mentor is going to tell you other things, or might tell you exactly the same thing that you incurred on I know you read on a book. But you might, it might tell you in a little different way that is going to hit directly to you that is going to make the shift that you've been wanting to do. But because online, you're not going to get that. So you pay the extra to have that experience with a mentor. And then when you start playing the one on one like the VIP, like when you go to the concert backstage, and you played a one on one with your mentor. Now the shift is tremendous, like the growth is like 100 times x, because it just moves a lot faster. Now you're working directly with you on you, what are your pain points? What is it that the thing that you're not doing? Why did you do this? Why did why did you do this this way? Maybe if you do it this way? Let me connect you with somebody that's gonna help you do this.

Mike Swenson
And the growth is tremendous just because of that talking about growth. We haven't touched too much on the real estate side here. So you know, when you first were developing you, you talked about, you know, you learned what to do, you follow the instructions. But then we also know that you shifted from single family homes to more of the luxury and talk about that career development for you, as you learned in iterated and got better, and maybe face some challenges how that real estate side of the business grew?

Edwin Carrion
Yes. So when I started, of course, I wanted money, right? And just like a lot of people, we don't have that millionaire mindset yet set up at the beginning, when we started in business, we think, okay, I want to make $100,000 And when you start making 100,000, as you realise, like, you know, I could be making a million and to me, that was the shift that happened to me that when I was hustling, like a lot of young entrepreneurs do building 20 homes at the same time, you know, running like a chicken without an egg from here to here to here to here to do all these projects to make a million dollars, I realised that the developer friend of mine is building one house and making a million dollars, I'm like, Ah, I need to do this, you know, this is less effort, less time and the same payout. So we have to make sure that we adapt to things like that and we continue improving as we're learning our skills, our trade, whatever we're doing, right. So at the moment is like okay, you know what I need to graduate from building single family homes, you know, homes that are worth 20 to 30 those knowledge and I want to be building those multimillion dollar homes, I want to build those things. And to me, that was always on my foresight, I'm going to be building multimillion dollar homes, I'm going to be building the multifamily developments. And sure enough, I started doing that I went from the small single family homes where the client will get will cry for an extra $100 that I was gonna charge it from a light fixture where now a client will tell me you know, I don't like this kitchen and and tell them is going to be $50,000 Extra. And he'll tell me I didn't ask you how much he was going to close. I told you what I wanted. So it's like, you share it and the moment that you ship you realise that you don't have to work as much and you don't have to go work hard to make a lot of money. And that's one of the biggest deciding factors. Like when you really start working for the things that you want versus working for the money, you start getting, and you start growing in every instance of your life. So that was the shift for me in real estate. But understanding where my value was, and how much I wanted to work out how much I was worth, in order for me not to go crazy and build a lot of developments. That's why nowadays, I only build one luxury home every couple of years, because that one luxury home is going to make a few million dollars.

Mike Swenson
And so the lesson there because people getting into the real estate industry, sometimes I think feel like they have to have it all figured out. And so many people, it's you just got to get started to get better. And for you, you, you grab the bull by the horns, you jumped in, and then you realised Okay, over time, I'm gonna get a little bit better, a little bit smarter, a little bit more strategic have a bigger profit margin. And like you said, Now, you know, build a home every couple of years. And you can do the same or more as what you did when you were grinding early on in the business.

Edwin Carrion
Yes, exactly. And And with that, again, as you start growing, and you start surrounding yourself with like minded individuals, you started hiring the mentors, that the mentors open up your opportunities to bigger things, right. Okay. You know, like, my biggest mind shift was when I was building $2 million homes, and I'm talking about to my with my mentor that he builds $20 million homes. I'm like, Frank, what did you do to build $20 million dollar homes? I was like, how do you get from here to there? Like, it's just another house? All you do is add a zero at the end? Wow, is that easy? Yeah. Can you really make sense, right, it's just adding another zero to the end, the same thing that I did, from going from $200,000, or 300,000 alarms to $3 million house, and he's added a zero, then the same thing is a bigger house, because when I'm building 10 houses, I'm doing 20,000 square foot in total construction. Now I'm going I'm building 10,000 square foot infrastructure, and I'm getting paid the same amount of money that I'm working on others.

Mike Swenson
So talk about some of the additional things now that you've done, in addition to the real estate, what else have you added on you mentioned the gold buying, you've got a book about that, but talk about some of those other streams of income?

Edwin Carrion
Yes, um, everybody talks about having multiple streams of income, right. And and I'm a huge believer of that, you have to have multiple streams of income. But the one thing that I always tell everyone and I always share from experience that every time that I jumped from one industry to another one, is because this one industry was already set up for success was already running by itself. So currently, I am I managed four companies, one of them is a transportation company. And that one, I even got to the point where each one of my businesses have a different meaning for me, right? So my transportation company is my cash flow business, that's the business that gives me my daily cash flow, to pay for my expenses and everything else, I'm gonna have my real estate development company, which is my wealth creation vehicle, that vehicle, take money from my cash flow, leftover money from my cash flow invested into my real estate development company, and I continue creating my wealth, and that wealth is going to be created for generations, and increase the passive income and financial freedom that we talked about right. And from there, then you realise that you need to have passive income as well. So the passive income, our investments into my technology company, we're investing to the forex market. And that starts continue bringing some passive income, meaning that things that don't have to work for much things that I just put money aside and it's going to continue building on a little bit there is not going to give me the huge returns that are getting real estate development is not going to give me the huge returns that are given by business, but it's going to give me a slow steady returns. And the last one is my legacy building, right my legacy term, which is taking individuals taking entrepreneurs that want to grow the business, they want to sell their company, and teach them how to grow business, how to become successful, how to exit their company for millions, because I have done that already. I've had two exits, and teach them how to scale their company. But then at the end, I end up investing my own capital with my students, because I believe in what I teach, and are also I think the two best investments aside from investing in yourself that you can make. Number one is real estate. And the second one is investing in small businesses. And that's why I invest in my students businesses

Mike Swenson
Awesome. And talk a little bit too about your life time and financial freedom. So talk about that time freedom how that's changed. Obviously you mentioned being in Colombia being able to move there with your family you you've afforded yourself the ability to do that but talk about how your life has changed as a result of the work that you've did with your your different businesses.

Edwin Carrion
I'm living my dream life right and as always living by the same setting up to live the life that you desire. Robin With all the toys, all the material things that you drink, or so I have had all the cars, the watches, the planes, the yachts, all of that. And, you know, the good thing with that is that they made me create amazing experiences with my family, being able to do what, when anything when I want, whenever I want, and one of those dreams was always to live abroad, and to show my case to teach them their culture. And that's what we're doing right now, you know, living the life where I'm able to work from anywhere, is still my team, my businesses, but I don't have to be tied up to a 40 hour week, in all my time to manage all my businesses, I'm working 10 to 20 hours per week, in at the most. Now, the one that I'm putting a lot of time and efforts right now is my mentoring business, my coaching business, which is a new one. But that's because I want to grow that I want to help as many people as I can. Now because I have to buy because my other businesses create my passive income, my financial freedom is just like something that God told me that I need to do is like God said, you know, ask that what do I need to do is like, you need to share the talent that I gave you, which is teach people how to live life to the fullest how to how to live a fulfilled life, because a lot of people focus on your business and their marriage was terrible, it was bad. But their lifestyles, and sometimes they focus too much on themselves, and then their business number grows. So it's learning how to have that balance between those, and how to continuous, growing little by little, and understanding that you need to have faith in God into what I do whatever you believe in, but also have faith in yourself and believe in yourself that you were put on this earth, because this is full of abundance, and you can have anything your heart

Mike Swenson
Desires, just mentioning, you know, believing in yourself. You also mentioned about declaring bankruptcy back in 2007. And we've talked about mindset string that together for me, for people that are struggling people that are having challenges, difficult things they have to overcome, you've gone through some difficult challenges, how do you keep yourself moving through that?

Edwin Carrion
Right, and I just put it to you yesterday, my inner circle, I had a friend of mine come and speak. And she put it very in a very way that I that I loved as well was that you could only complete for so much. Now you're gonna grieve for so long. But grieve, continue grieving, and continue complaining is not gonna get you anywhere, you have to cry for a couple of days, and then take action and move forward. And that's pretty much what I did, right? I felt sorry for myself. When I went bankrupt, I felt like a loser. I felt like a failure. I felt like I was never gonna amount to anything ever again. Because of what I did. I'm like, How can I get back to $20 million? You know, I mean, this was a huge accomplishment for me from coming from nothing again, how do I go back to them. And then the moment that I started feeling sorry for myself and wanting to say, You know what, they wouldn't get the hell up. Make it again, if you didn't once you could do it again. And with that mentality, I went back and I built it again, in less than two years, I was back on top, again, making millions working five hours per week, making sure that I did not make the same mistakes that I made the first time around, because I learned from my mistakes. And that's one of the things that some people keep doing, they continue to the hamster wheel because they continue making the same mistakes over and over again. And when you do the same thing over and over again, that's the key to success. But you have to make sure that you're doing the right thing over and over again to be successful.

Mike Swenson
Yeah, cuz that's what they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. For people that want to learn more about you connect with you a little bit more. How can they do that?

Edwin Carrion
The best thing is go through my website at WWE There's a link to all my social media channels in there. If you have any questions come in and ask me I'm a human just like your normal person. Just like any of you listening out there. Ask a question. The question that doesn't get asked, doesn't get answered? Does the first thing and the second thing is that my gift to you is go to my website, download my book for free nine secrets for successful life and business. It's going to get you started into really understanding what are the key things that not only myself but a bunch of my millionaire friends do in order to become successful in life and in business.

Mike Swenson
Thank you so much for coming on and sharing and I'm just going to quick mention here. You said reach out to you. There's so many times where we create content and We say reach out. I actually just created a video last night where I posted people struggling people wanting to know what is the next step? What should I do, and you've got people like yourself that say, reach out, and then people don't reach out. And so what I want to remind people is if you're listening to this episode, Edwin is saying to reach out. So that means to take action and reach out, the people that are going to have the things like Edwin has are the people that take action, and not the people that just go consume this podcast and then go move on to something else, men. So it's important that you take action. So obviously, you've learned a lot. You've talked about the importance of mentoring, helping people along the way, and that's what you're willing to do. And so if you're in this spot right now, and you want to change your life, you want to figure out what that next step is, reach out to Edwin, have a conversation and point them in the right direction, help them give him a couple of tidbits of what they need to do to be able to move forward.

Edwin Carrion
Thank you. Yes, yes. And just like Mike said, you know, it's not about changing, because we all change with time, time never stops. So we all continue changing, but it's make sure that you improve with time.

Mike Swenson
And well, thank you so much, Edwin, for coming on the show. We appreciated all that you shared with us. So thank you so much.

Edwin Carrion
Thank you for having me, Mike and to everyone out there. If you don't know where you're going, you will eventually



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