Codie Sanchez’s Contrarian Thinking Review: Is This The Best Platform For First-Time Business Buyers?

March 5, 2024

Contrarian Thinking is a company by Codie Sanchez with courses and a mastermind that teaches how to buy first businesses, grow through newsletters, and nurture a mindset like an investor. It offers the Small Biz Buying Course which is for first-time business buyers, the Build Your Newsletter for companies looking to get their first 10,000 subscribers, and the Investor Operating System course which teaches unconventional methods of building wealth and investments. Apart from the 3 courses, the Contrarian Community Mastermind is also available with a top-tier network, live calls, group events, facilitators, and experts to assist in business acquisitions and dealmaking. Contrarian Thinking also promotes “contrarian investing” which is the practice of making investments that are undervalued, such as service-based or “boring” businesses.

According to a 2023 article from the US Chamber of Commerce, there are 33.2 million small businesses in America. And despite the effects of the pandemic, in 2021, over 5.4 million new applications for businesses were filed, which broke records. DemandSage adds that worldwide, there are 400 million small businesses in 2024. This means that despite its challenges with inflation, capital, loans, and long work hours, this sector is thriving.

Online reviews for Contrarian Thinking are mostly positive, indicating that the teaching method is simplified and fun, the private community is stellar, and the content is useful for scaling and buying businesses. There are a few negative feedbacks that share there’s a need for 4x more group events, the founder changes her messaging, and she implies achieving millionaire status is simple.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of the company, recent statistics of brick-and-mortar businesses, the content of the courses and mastermind, who they’re a good fit for, both positive and negative reviews, as well as the founder’s background, education, and claims. We will also take a look at ways to improve a small business in 2024, as well as a novel real estate business model. 

Contrarian Thinking Review: Pros & Cons


Simplified concepts: Codie Sanchez has a teaching method that simplifies complex topics.

Highly supportive community: The Contrarian Community mastermind has members, facilitators, and experts to support members.

Good match for aspiring business owners: The Small Biz Buying course is a great fit for people who need guidance when purchasing their first brick-and-mortar business.


Expensive mastermind: As of 2024, the price for the Contrarian Community has been increased to $10,000 from its original price of $8,000.

One-on-one mentoring unavailable: Contrarian Community’s support centers around group calls and events only.

Some payment options not accepted: Payment methods such as BTC, PayPal, and Venmo are not accepted.


Price for Contrarian Thinking courses and mastermind range from $150 to $10,000.

Refund Policy

Contrarian Thinking has a refund policy.


Contrarian Thinking was founded last January 2020.


Contrarian Thinking has a mainly positive reputation, coming from reviews from Trustpilot, the 99consumer website, and the r/SellMyBusiness subreddit. Meanwhile, there are a few negative comments from the r/FakeGuru subreddit and Trustpilot.

What is Contrarian Thinking?

Contrarian Thinking is a media brand founded by Codie A. Sanchez, that includes 3 courses and 1 mastermind. It teaches investing and wealth building, newsletter monetization, and first business purchases. Its exclusive community also provides top-tier support. Contrarian Thinking has over 4,100+ students and its newsletter has 550,000+ subscribers.

The cost of Contrarian Thinking courses is $150-$10,000. The Investor Operating System is priced at $150. As for the Build Your Newsletter Into a Business course, it costs $1,250. Meanwhile, the Small Biz Buying course’s pricing is $2,000. Additionally, the Contrarian Community is priced at 10,000.

What are Contrarian Thinking courses?

Contrarian Thinking courses are the Investor Operating System, Build Your Newsletter Into a Business, Small Biz Buying Course, and the Contrarian Community.

#1 Investor Operating System course

The Investor Operating System course has a total of 4.5 hours of video lectures, 9 units, as well as 7 guides and templates. Its curriculum teaches how to think like an investor, build wealth, make deals, diversify assets, handle taxes, identify negative money beliefs, and as well as differentiate good and bad deals. The program fits beginners and individuals seeking novel concepts on wealth building and investing. Its lessons are also applicable to any country with a free market economy. Additionally, it is recommended that students watch one hour per unit daily. Contrarian Thinking’s Investor Operating System has 1,135+ students worldwide as well.

Investor Operating System curriculum

Unit 1: Welcome to the inside

The first unit includes lessons on 30 rules for a rich life from a billionaire, common reasons for poverty, and hidden lessons regarding money.

Unit 2: Money mindset: Lies and truths

The second unit discusses negative money beliefs, differences between an Investor vs. speculator, crucial advice for cashflow investors, and the power of avoiding idiocy and inversion. It also contains videos on success stories, meditation, and reprogramming.

Unit 3: Speaking the language of money

The third unit talks about the characteristics of a profitable cashflow deal, as well as vital terms of venture capital investing and private equity. It also has lessons on the 5 Rs to sovereignty, Contrarian Investor Matrix, and the foundation of thinking in economics.

Unit 4: Earn more → Invest more

The fourth unit contains lectures about contracts, salary rev-share, the top obstacle to becoming a millionaire, and how a “poor” lifestyle leads to wealth.

Unit 5: Your investor toolkit

The fifth unit covers the “get-rich tripod,” investment thesis and framework, differences between dealmakers vs. rule-takers, and the best tool to boost wealth.

Unit 6: Deals: Is it a f#ck yes or no?

The sixth unit discusses the 80/20 rule for doing deals, investment memos, the power of good debt, and how to discern bad debt from good debt.

Unit 7: The cheat code

The seventh unit includes lessons on investing, taxes, and important financial statements.

Unit 8: Diversify: Assets classes 101 and 102

The eighth unit talks about the boring businesses movement, 130 lucrative industries, recession-proof investing, and a highly recommended passive income model. It also has a case study about an auto shop business.

Unit 9: How to stay poor

The ninth unit contains warnings about staying in poverty, proposed next steps, and a reading list for lifelong learners.

#2 Build Your Newsletter Into a Business course

The Build Your Newsletter Into a Business course is a program with 15+ hours of videos, 8 units, as well as 7 templates and guides that teach how to utilize newsletters and email lists to increase influence and cashflow. The program also has lessons and tools on how Codie Sanchez created Contrarian Thinking’s free-of-charge newsletter, which has garnered 550,000+ subscribers in only 2 years. It also leverages collaborations and social media platforms, instead of paid advertising. Additionally, it includes guides and templates that cover revenue models, team hiring, and financial planning. The program also contains actionable steps for building a traction flywheel, repurposing content into 10 formats, spotting the most engaged audiences, and getting the first 10,000 subscribers in 90 days. It discusses hacks for boosting landing page conversion, as well as timing and techniques for content monetization.

Build Your Newsletter Into a Business course curriculum

Unit 1: Buckle up MFers

The first unit of the Build Your Newsletter Into a Business course includes a welcome message and the founder’s background. It also sets the expectations for the program.

Unit 2: The $306 billion opportunity

The second unit discusses the importance and impact of newsletters and emails.

Unit 3: The first step

The third unit of the program covers niche selection, writing, and a beginner’s guide for starting a newsletter.

Unit 4: Your tech stack

The fourth unit talks about setting up landing pages and newsletters. It also discusses tech tools as well as boosting open rates and welcome sequences. 

Unit 5: Da business plan

The fifth unit has lessons on goal setting, team creation, and crafting a business plan.

Unit 6: Growth plan

The sixth unit provides platform hacks for Instagram, TikTok, and X (formerly Twitter.) It also includes step-by-step tutorials on having the first 1,000 to 10,000 subscribers. Moreover, it has lessons on collaborations, newsletter psychology, and bonus videos featuring Alex Garcia and Dan Hed.

Unit 7: Make that paper $

The seventh unit teaches the importance of pre-launches, correct pricing, paid ads, and funnels. It also contains bonus materials with Jack Butcher and Chris Lema. Additionally, it has resources that include the newsletter profit model, expanded financial projections, and e-downloads.

Unit 8: Now start the next biz

The eighth unit discusses what to expect from haters and how to grow a newsletter for corporate marketers. It also has bonus videos on a masterclass replay and a discussion of a $1M newsletter.

#3 Small Biz Buying Course

The Small Biz Buying course is a program that teaches the foundational knowledge of buying a business in 1 year. It has over 20 hours of comprehensive video lectures, 9 units, 50+ checklists, templates, and scripts, as well as 5 interviews with high-level business buyers. Additionally, the course has lessons on how to identify, find, value, negotiate, and finance a small business. It also includes unconventional methods and an exclusive framework from Contrarian Thinking. The recommended time to finish the program is 4 weeks.

Small Biz Buying Course curriculum

Unit 1: Intro - buying a business

The first unit provides an overview of the topics of the course. It weighs pros and cons, teaches how to build a team, and discusses the value of purchasing a small business.

Unit 2: What type of business?

The second unit talks about objectives, goals, characteristics, and models for businesses. Moreover, it covers 5 of the most desirable businesses, as well as 5 to avoid. It also provides interviews, a checklist, and a bonus video.

Unit 3: Finding the business

The third unit teaches how to leverage a community and network, target the right sellers, overcome rejection, and build a personal brand. It also discusses the FROG method and the number of businesses to look at when starting. Additionally, it has roleplay videos and email resources.

Unit 4: Selling yourself

The fourth unit covers the students’ track record, skillset, and how a seller benefits from these. It also contains a roleplay video for first meetings, as well as a bonus interview and NDA template.

Unit 5: How to value a business

The fifth unit provides lessons on the importance of relationships, due diligence steps, the KISS method, and methods for valuing a company. It also includes a financial model walk-through, a laundromat example, and a 3 M model resource.

Unit 6: Negotiating the deal

The sixth unit talks about win-win tactics, warnings, time-saving questions, seller needs analysis, price, and terms. It also discusses how to create an inflation hedge, purchase a closed business, and know your level of competition. Moreover, the unit includes an LOI template and term sheet.

Unit 7: Financing the deal

The seventh unit covers subjects such as rev-share, sweat equity, profit sharing, financing levers, owner finance structuring, and operator-investor partnership. It also tackles international lending options in Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as alternative lending sources. Additionally, the unit includes a seller financing structure case study, lender interview, and bonus interview with the Empire Flippers CEO.

Unit 8: Legal and contracts

The eighth unit discusses legal documents, access, and oversight. It also has lessons on 13-week cashflow.

Unit 9: First 90 days as a business owner

The ninth unit covers operator hires, employee meetings, and the first 30-60-90 days.

#4 Contrarian Community

The Contrarian Community is an annual membership that provides access to an exclusive community, as well as the Small Bizz Buying course and resources. The exclusive community has facilitators, experts, and a network composed of investors, owners, and dealmakers. It also has in-person events and 6 to 8 live calls per month. For the course, it has 20+ hours and 9 units of video lessons, and 50+ resources on dealmaking and business acquisitions. The membership costs 10,000 per year, with the option to renew. It aims to provide top-tier guidance and support for first-time business buyers and help them with accountability.

As of November 1, 2023, it has 800+ members from all over the globe, mostly from North America. It was also formerly called the Unconventional Acquisitions Mastermind.

What are the features of Contrarian Community?

The features of the Contrarian Community include the Owners Circle, in-person events, weekly Q&A calls, accomplished speakers, personalized mentorship, bi-weekly deal review calls, moderated Slack community, 3 different types of community calls, and the Main Street Over Wall Street conference.

  • The Owners Circle is joined by individuals who have already purchased a business or owners who meet specific requirements. It allows them to get partnered up with other acquirers, with the goal of increasing efficiency in terms of scaling and operations.

  • In-person events are also provided for members, including local meetups, workshops, and exclusive clubs. 

  • Weekly live Q&A calls, AMA-style, are hosted for the members every Monday. Experts answer time-sensitive questions for closing deals.

  • Accomplished speakers share their wisdom, topics include roll-up techniques, M&A, SBA loans, and attorney services.

  • The personalized mentorship feature for the Contrarian Community enables students to receive real-time advice, ask questions, and discuss goals from seasoned dealmakers. It also aims to help increase confidence in the process of conducting due diligence and navigating financing.

  • Bi-weekly deal review calls are conducted, with the objective of helping students spot lucrative deals through deal breakdowns.

  • A moderated Slack community is available 24/7, with 8 facilitators and a digital concierge team.

  • 3 different types of community calls are available for students, namely deal sourcing, special topic calls, and Monday Night Live. All three are conducted on a weekly basis.

  • The Main Street Over Wall Street conference is given access at an added cost. It is an annual event that lasts for 3 days. It features renowned experts, with past speakers such as Nick Huber, Noah Kagan, and Justin Welsh.

  • 50+ additional resources are included in the membership, such as a term sheet, LOI template, NDA template, 3 M model worksheet, deal clarity worksheet, due diligence checklist, business buying calendar, business buying checklist, 13-week cashflow template, as well as the personal profit and loss sheet.

Who are the Contrarian Community facilitators?

Contrarian Community facilitators include the founder Codie Sanchez, as well as Clint Fiore - CEO of Bison Business, Lloyd Silver - pioneering member of UA and co-founder of a financial app, Chris Petkas - COO at an AI defense company, Stan Sanchez - creator of 10 companies, Robert Schiller - CMO at Controlled Contamination Services, Rafael De La Cruz - managing director of Universal Brand Ventures, and Robert Clinkenbeard - CEO of The Radix Group.

Contrarian Community curriculum

Contrarian Community curriculum is the same as the Small Biz Buying course. The difference is that the membership includes support, conferences, and guidance from experts, facilitators, and the community.

Who Is Contrarian Thinking For?

Contrarian Thinking is for individuals who want to learn how to build wealth, grow through newsletters, purchase their first business, and receive top-tier support and guidance from experts. The Investor Operating System is for beginners who want to develop the mindset of an investor, discern good from bad deals, and diversify their assets. Regarding the Build Your Newsletter Into a Business program, it’s for individuals who want to increase income and influence through email lists and newsletters. Moreover, the Small Biz Buying course is for people who want to buy their first business. As for Contrarian Community, it’s for individuals who want to receive top-notch guidance and support from industry experts and partners through in-person events, Slack community, and live calls.

Who is the Investor Operating System course for?

The Investor Operating System course is for people who want to gain an investor’s mindset, remove bad money beliefs, and learn new ways to create wealth. It is also for people living in a free market economy.

Who is the Build Your Newsletter Into a Business course for?

The Build Your Newsletter Into a Business is for novices who want to learn how to monetize newsletters, repurpose content into different formats, spot highly-engaged audiences, and have 10,000+ subscribers in 90 days. It’s also for people who want to learn how Codie Sanchez grew her email subscribers to 50,000+ in a span of 2 years.

Who is the Small Biz Buying Course for?

The Small Biz Buying Course is for individuals who want to purchase their first business in 12 months. It also includes strategies on how to buy it for less than $25,000. Additionally, it’s for people who are thinking of upgrading to the Contrarian Thinking Community.

Who is Contrarian Community for?

The Contrarian Community is for individuals with at least $25,000 to invest, apart from the membership price. Moreover, it’s for those who aim to purchase a business within 1 year. Members include people looking to buy their first business, as well as those who want to scale.

What Are Contrarian Thinking Reviews?

Contrarian Thinking reviews are both positive and negative. Positive reviews share the content is profound yet engaging, the community is helpful for beginners, and that Codie Sanchez is an inspirational figure. As for the negative reviews, feedback stated that the founder makes use of sensationalism, her messaging changes from time to time and that there’s a need for more group events.

What are Contrarian Thinking positive reviews?

contrarian thinking positive reviews

Contrarian Thinking positive reviews are found in Trustpilot, the r/SellMyBusiness subreddit,, testimonials on the official website, and YouTube comments. They share that the community is highly supportive, the content is impactful, the teaching style is engaging and enjoyable, and Codie is an inspiration to immigrants and women alike.

What are Contrarian Thinking negative reviews?

contrarian thinking negative reviews

Contrarian Thinking negative reviews are present on Trustpilot, the r/FakeGuru subreddit, and the 99consumer site. Reviewers stated that there’s a need for more group calls, Codie implies that becoming a millionaire is easy, and her messaging of purchasing “boring” businesses changes into the exact opposite.

What are Contrarian Thinking reviews on Trustpilot 2024?

Contrarian Thinking reviews on Trustpilot show an overall TrustScore of 4.5, with 94% of the ratings as 5 stars and 6% as 4 stars. Feedback from January 9 to 24, 2024 praised the course, community, and the founder, with one review stating that there’s a need for improvement regarding group events. Trustpilot raters shared that the program was useful for building a portfolio, gaining confidence for negotiations, and buying/scaling businesses. As for the community, reviews indicated that there was direct access to experts, group facilitators were attentive, live weekly discussions were helpful, and accountability buddies were valuable. Regarding the founder, comments complimented Codie’s teaching style, which simplified complex subjects. However, a reviewer mentioned they preferred 4x to 5x more group events.

Contrarian Thinking’s Trustpilot profile was claimed in January 2024. As of writing, there are 16 reviews for the platform.

Who Is The Founder of Contrarian Thinking?

codie sanchez

The founder of Contrarian Thinking is Codie Sanchez. She is a CEO, entrepreneur, online coach, and social media influencer. Codie started Contrarian Thinking in 2020 and is also the founder of Unconventional Acquisitions. She owns more than 26 businesses. Moreover, she has 4 educational programs available via On social media, Codie has 1.2 million followers on TikTok via @realcodiesanchez, 971,000+ followers on Instagram via @codiesanchez, 728,000+ subscribers on YouTube with the handle @CodieSanchezCT, 376,100+ followers on Twitter via @Codie_Sanchez, 124,663+ followers with the handle @codiesanchez on LinkedIn, and 18,000+ followers on Facebook with the handle @codiesanchezbiz.

As of 2024, Codie Sanchez is 37 years old. Her date of birth is August 23, 1986, and she is originally from Phoenix, Arizona. Currently, Codie Sanchez is living in Austin, Texas, USA.

Does Codie Sanchez have a PhD?

Yes, Codie Sanchez has a PhD obtained from Fundacao Gestulio Vargas. She also has an MBA from Georgetown University. Her degree is in Journalism and Political Science, which she acquired from Arizona State University. Additionally, she earned the Howard Buffet Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

What is Codie Sanchez’s background?

Codie Sanchez’s background is as a former columnist. As a journalist, she wrote about cannabis, startups, investing, and macro trends.

What businesses does Codie Sanchez avoid?

Businesses that Codie Sanchez avoids are restaurants, retail stores, and hotels. This is based on her Twitter and LinkedIn posts. Codie doesn’t recommend hotels since they need 24/7 service and are expensive to purchase. As for restaurants, they have an 80% rate for failure in 4 years, and 60% within its first year of launch. Meanwhile, retail storefronts, require nonstop inventory adjustments and have massive rental costs.

Codie Sanchez Claims: Owning a Small Business = Future-Proof

contrarian thinking claims

Codie Sanchez claims that purchasing a small business, particularly a brick-and-mortar one, is one of the best investments for the future.

Codie Sanchez’s Claims Debunked: Why Traditional Businesses Aren’t The Best Investments In 2024

Buying a traditional brick-and-mortar business is not a future-proof investment because according to a 2024 Forbes article, industries are still in recovery due to the pandemic, the average salary is just above the annual mean wage, its a male-dominated industry, consumer trends require online presence, rise in inflation rates, and high closing rate.

The top two industries that are still recovering from the impact of COVID-19 are the hospitality and the leisure industries. Additionally, a small business owner’s income is only 16% above the United State’s annual mean wage. There’s also only 43.4% of females who own small businesses. As for the consumer trends, despite more than 25% of business being conducted online and over three-quarters of shoppers checking out a website before the physical store, 1 out of 3 businesses still don’t own websites. Additionally, there’s a 3% rise in inflation rates that are negatively impacting small businesses. In fact, 180,00+ small businesses have closed from March 2021 to March 2022, and in general, 1 in 5 businesses close within its first year.

How Do I Improve My Small Business in 2024?

  • Retail Trends: To improve your small business, ensure that you stay updated with retail trends. According to providing an immersive shopping experience and accepting cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular in 2024.
  • Environmental Compliance: It is also crucial for a small business to be environmentally compliant. Based on a research paper from the Journal of Environmental Management, this includes ensuring regulations on air emissions, solid and toxic waste, and water pollution.
  • Accessibility Standards: According to a 2021 news story from PR Newswire, small businesses that enhance accessibility for individuals with disabilities widen their market and boost profits. This practice also increases employee morale and retention.
  • Energy Efficiency: As stated in a 2023 article from the Natural Resources Defense Council, energy efficiency measures lower electricity bills, as well as prevent health-related issues.
  • Omnichannel Retailing: According to Statista, in 2020 alone, 30% of retailers have already used omnichannel strategies for their customers. 

Digital Real Estate: The Best Business Model For 2024

Contrarian Thinking is a legitimate business, with a strong social media following and widely popular courses. It is also one the best platforms out there in terms of purchasing a first business because it has a mastermind membership that provides top-tier support. However, it is wise to consider if you should be investing in a traditional business in the first place. It has tremendously massive costs and there are many risks that lower the chances of success.

This is why digital real estate is my top recommendation to invest in 2024. It has a significantly low startup cost of $300 to $500 and a whopping 95% profit margin. Moreover, it enables you to master skills that are in high demand in the digital era.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of small businesses close within 10 years, 50% by the 5th year, and 20% within only 1 year. Additionally, a 2023 survey from Statista discloses, that small businesses are struggling because of taxes, low sales, labor costs, regulations, competition, insurance costs, as well as high inflation and interest rates.

Through the skills provided by a lead gen course, expenses are reduced to an incredibly low amount. There’s even no need to buy a physical property. Competition is also lowered because it targets specific locations and cities. A business owner can start solo or hire a small team, then eventually scale.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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