Reflecting on 2021

Jan 6, 2022

Welcome back to another episode of the Fearless Innovator Podcast.  From Cubicles to Cashflow is for everyone wanting to start their real estate adventure while you’re working at your J.O.B and the desire to earn cashflow on the side using real estate. 

Follow me, as I take you on a journey of how I went from sitting in a cubicle for 25 years to investing in real estate and earning cashflow! You will learn from my mistakes and share in my rewards.

I’m Mechiel Kopaska and I’m the host of the Fearless Innovator Podcast.  If I can help you with your real estate adventure, please let me know.  I’ve been investing in real estate since 2000 and I might just know a little bit about quitting your J.O.B to become a full time real estate investor. Get in touch with me or leave me your feedback from any of my shows at  

Today, is a new year and I wanted to reflect on 2021.  I don’t know about you but I keep a diary of things I accomplish each month to ensure I align with my goals.   What were my goals?  I set goals each year related to business, personal and spiritual.  Well let’s see how each month turned out.

January – My first short term rental Iron Horse Acres, was setup and running and I was working on getting my 2nd short term rental setup.

February – Went to the Daytona 500 with my girlfriend Brenda Veldman and reconnected with Kurt Kalbach– whom I hadn’t seen in over 35 years.   I also attended the women’s Beautiful Conference at Grace Family Church in Lutz.

March – I was working hard on getting Iron Horse Acres Too setup.  Getting a house setup for Short Term Rental takes a minute.  Making sure the house is stocked with everything, like you lived there.  I used Andrea Bryant from Staged Right, LLC to assist in decorating my house.  I can’t draw stick people let alone decorate a house.   Setting the App platforms are a bit of work too.  After the house was completely decorated, then I hired FireLight to come and take the professional pictures.  Cell phone pictures don’t cut it, you must have professional pictures done.  I decided on 2 platforms.  I did one first, tweaked it the way that I wanted and used it on Iron Horse Acres first.  Then once it was tested by my guests, then I setup the 2nd platform. Now I had 2 platforms and 2 houses.  At one point last year, I had double booked some guests – SO, then it came time and I implemented a new software which at the time was called SmartBnb, which is now Hospitable.  Hospitable integrates multiple platforms so you calendars are now in sync so you won’t make mistakes like double bookings.  Hospitable is also great for canned messages.  This saves me a lot of time communicating with my guests.  They now get timed messages prior to arrival, during their stay and at departure. It ensures I don’t forget to send my guests a message. 

April – I had made the decision to go home and see my mom for the summer.  I had planned on going home in 2020 in my RV but that nasty virus shut me down.  This year, I was going to make it happen!  I planned to leave in June.  I made a short trip home in April to see my mom and to see Kurt. 

I also made the decision well, I was highly encouraged by my real estate mentor Tyler Sheff that I should begin podcasting.  He felt that I had a voice and I was a great story teller.  Although I could agree on the story telling part, I wasn’t quite sure what my focus was.  He told me to just “Start Ugly” and encouraged me to read Chris Krimitsos book called Start Ugly.  After reading his book, it totally aligned with who I am and so came up with the Fearless Innovatore because I felt that described who I was and then I began talking to myself behind a camera and microphone, much like I’m doing right now.  My focus was centered around my book that had been launched in October of 2020, entitled Why My J.O.B. Quit Me, jump-start your Firing.  I wanted to inspire people with my stories of the lessons I learned growing up on the farm and how I took those lessons and applied them to my corporate job in IT and how it ultimately led me to become a real estate investor.

May – Iron Horse Acres Too launched and now I had 2 short term rentals!  My Fearless Innovator Podcast launched on Apple Podcast and Spotify!  I was now earning cashflow on 2 properties and was free to travel for 3 months while earning cashflow!

June – I left Florida with 13 of my  Latino friends, we called ourselves the Insane Wanderers and we trailered our bikes to Laconia NH Bikefest where we met up with Kurt.  Kurt had ridden his bike from Iowa to NH to join us for bikefest.  This was my first time to the northeast on my bike.  We traveled through 12 states and road at least 2000 miles in a week.  The Kancamugus Highway even though we road it in the rain, had amazing scenery!  After one week of riding, Kurt traveled back to Florida with me and within one week we did a turn and burn, loaded up the RV/Toyhauler with our bikes and 2 cats and we headed home to Iowa for 3 months.   Once we arrived in Iowa, we unloaded the bikes and the toyhauler was now converted into my office so I could continue with my real estate business.  First agenda item, Go see my mom!!! I saw my mom every week, sometimes twice a week!  Unfortunately, she’s in a nursing home now, but I made my mom a priority for 3 months. Great news is she’s doing great and we laughed a lot!

Second agenda item! I Fired MY CPA!

There comes a time when in business you just don’t see eye to eye and it’s time to make a change.  That change was made and now I have a CPA that aligns with my real estate business. 

July  I joined two Real Estate Investing Groups while in Iowa.   FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early Local Meetup hosted by Ryan Renze and the DSM Real Estate Investing Meetup – Hosted by Mitch Coluzzi.  My goal was to learn more about the DSM area Real Estate Market and learn I did!  The best thing I can tell you about real estate is that no matter where you go, if you just get involved and put yourself out there, you can go anywhere you want and learn what you want in real estate.  I met the most down to Earth, knowledgeable people in Iowa.  It would have been extremely easy to put a team together there and do business.  As it was, I met this dynamic duo young couple Tyler and Allyson.  They were both working J.O.B’s but they had already began their journey in real estate and I’m confident if they stay focused, they will be out of the rat race before they hit 30!  Super excited for them!

I flew back to Florida for quick trip to go look at an RV Park in Perry, FL that was for sale.   It was 8 acres with the potential of 20 more acres. He had 10 sites setup but not operational.  I met with the owner but after a short time, I wasn’t able to come to terms.  He eventually sold for his asking price but I just learned the other day, that the guy who bought has lost his shorts.  Note to self – this one may be worth looking at in the near future!

For fun in July – We went to a Goodguys Car show with Kurt’s 79 Trans Am, Visited 7 Freedom Rocks with my cousin Stevie, Went to Prairie Meadows Horse track, went to my first dirt track ARCA race and an Iowa Cubs game, First Kopaska Family Reunion.

Checkout Fearless Innovator – Episode 27 – You Only Die Once to get a better understanding of everything that happened this summer.  Let’s just say, there’s no grass growing under my feet!

August – I had the pleasure of speaking at the FIRE Meeting.  After attending the meeting, I learned it was a realtively young audience so I chose to inspire them with my story about Financial Independence that I shared with you in Episode 24 – Financial Independence.

My sister Melissa came to visit us from AR, Lantern Festival, Visited Templeton Rye Distrillery, Iowa State Fair, Kayaking with Kurts sister Julia and her husband, won a partition law suit (that story is for another podcast).

September was a big month!  I got engaged to Kurt!, Rode my bike to the Field Of Dreams, saw the Antique Archelogy or the Iowa Pickers as you may know them and drove my 1st Nascar!

October – It was time to head back to Florida but not after visiting 65 of the 99 Iowa Freedom Rocks, mostly on our motorcycles.  We put over 3000 miles on our bikes this summer looking at Freedom Rocks. 

Kurt moved to Florida!  Now, instead of Kurt attending church online, he now joins me weekly for the in person services!

November – Well everything slows down over the holidays but we focused on enhancing Iron Horse Acres for the impending busy season.  The house got new paint, Kurt built a large wood fire pit in the back yard, fences were pressure sprayed and trees were trimmed, enhanced the pool with a heater all just in time for our short term rental guests.  

You may be thinking, where are you living right?  Great guestion!

We are still in the RV and living in the barn!  This just isn’t your regular barn, ours has a nice extended living room area, my office and a patio out back.  

We are capitalizing and being capital pigs and loving life and meeting awesome people that come from up north to escape the cold!

I attended my first Podfest Origins in Tampa!

December  After attending Podfest Origins, I learned I have A LOT to learn in the Podcasting space, so I hired Bruce Wawrzyniak as my Podcast mentor.  He has helped me make significant changes to my podcast show.  I now have a newtagline and a new focus!  I’m focused on sharing my journey on how I went From Cubicles to Cashflow.  Checkout my new thumbnail!

We enjoyed the Christmas season with my sister Melissa.  I have been focused on my real estate adventure and clearly it’s an adventure, but more like learning every day something new in real estate!

I’m excited to share with you in my next episode what my goals are for 2022.  I do not do resolutions, only goals!

I’ll see you next Thursday on the Fearless Innovator Podcast.

Email me at:

Grace Family Church (

FireLight – Firelight Images 

Staged Right Staged Right

Order:  Why My J.O.B. Quit Me; Jump-start your firing

Laconia Motorcycle Week 

FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early Local Meetup 

DSM Real Estate Investing Meetup

Vacation Rental Management Software | Hospitable

Fearless Innovator Episode 24 –Financial Independence | Podcast on Spotify

The Freedom Rock | Facebook

Artist: Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II – The Freedom Rock

Chris Krimitsos  – Start Ugly – Start Ugly

Bruce Wawrzyniak – Now Hear This Entertainment

Bruce Wawrzyniak – Catholic Sports Radio Catholic Sports Radio

Insane Wanderers –

Fearless Innovator Episode 27  – You Only Die Once You Only Die Once

Tyler Sheff – 7 Things That Will Cause You To Lose Time & Money in 2022 

Tyler Sheff – Key West Cash Flow – Key West Cash Flow