On this episode of the InvestFourMore Real Estate Podcast, I talk about my history. How I grew up in a real estate family, what my goals were growing up, how I lost track of those goals, and then got back on track. Even though I grew up around real estate, I wanted nothing to do with it after high school, and even after college. I wanted to make my own way, but I was sucked back into the business, and boy am I glad it happened that way. Not only do I discuss how my career has progressed from an agent not making much money, to where I am now. I talk a lot about what I have done to be more successful. How changing the way I thought and acted, made me much more successful.
Why did I not want to be involved in real estate?
My dad was a real estate agent when I was born. I remember sleeping under his desk in the office when I was three, and always being at the office with him. I did not mind being with him and in the office, but for some reason I wanted nothing to do with real estate in high school and college. I think I wanted to create my own way, and not rely on him to make a living. When I graduated from college, my prospects for the job I thought I deserved at the time, did not look good. I couldn’t believe every company wanted me to start at the bottom, and work my way up! Working for my father part-time became a way to make money after college, and figure out what I wanted to do.
After working for him part-time, I decided I liked the real estate business. I could make my own schedule, I loved helping him with flips and I made okay money. I got my real estate license, started selling houses and went into real estate full-time.
How did the beginning of my real estate career go?
When I first started as a real estate agent, I did not do very well. I tried to hide from the phone, do all my marketing online, and I was not the most outgoing person. I also did my best not to listen to how others had succeeded. I thought I could do it all on my own. I let my ego get in the way of being successful. For five years, I made under $50,000 a year and much of that money I made from working on fix and flips. I liked the free time, the flexible schedule, and people told my I was doing well, but I knew I could do much better.
To learn how to use mindset and attitude to make yourself more successful, check out: How to Change Your Mindset to Achieve Huge Success: Why your attitude and daily habits have more to do with making more money and having more freedom than anything else. A 200 page book available as an eBook or paperback on Amazon.
How did I hit a turning point in my real estate career?
In 2006, I decided to repair a flip by myself, because I thought I would make more money without paying contractors. It was one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. However, I learned a lot from that experience and it lit a fire in me. I knew I had to change the way I was doing things if I wanted to be more successful. I accidentally created some goals, I got out of my comfort zone and I got a random call to complete a BPO. That BPO was the gateway to getting in to the REO business. I went from selling 10 houses a year, to 50 houses a year, to 100 houses a year and over 200 houses in one year.
How did personal improvement and changing my outlook make me more successful?
I was making good money selling REO listings and completing BPOs, but I worked all the time and it was stressful. I also did not have much to show for the money I was making. It is amazing how the more money we make, the more money we spend. I started investing in rentals to invest my money better, I started to ramp up the flip business to make more money and I ended up buying out my dad, so I could run everything. Not only did I make those business decisions, but I started to invest heavily in myself. I spent a lot of money on books, CD’s, coaching programs and it changed my life. I learned to become less stressed, hire more people to help me and be happier. The happier I became, the more successful I became. Here are some articles that talk about the things I do now, to help me be successful:
- How to be more successful in life and investing
- Why being positive will make you more successful
- Why setting goals will make you more successful
- Why you have to get out of your comfort zone
Changing my attitude about what I really wanted in life
One thing I always wanted as a kid, was a Lamborghini. I wanted one all through high school and college. I even told my college roommate I would have a Lamborghini by the time I was 25. He thought I was crazy and laughed at me. Technically, he was right. I did not get a Lamborghini by 25, but I got one by 35. After college, I entered the real world and came to the realization that normal people do not own Lamborghini’s, and I would never have one. I also convinced myself I did not want one, they were too impractical, I would be showing off and does anyone really need a Lamborghini?
Well, when I told myself I didn’t want that car, I was lying to myself. I was covering up the thoughts that I could never get that car, with I don’t really want it. When I stopped dreaming, I halted my growth as a person and my success. After investing money in myself, and going through coaching, I realized I was hurting myself by masking what I really wanted in life. I made big goals, made a goal to buy a Lamborghini and I reached that goal faster than I ever thought possible. The cool part, is the car has doubled in value since I bought it!
I hope you listen to this podcast, because I provide a lot more insight into how I got to where I am today, and why the way we thing has so much to do with our success.
If you liked this episode, be sure to leave us a review!
The podcast is really starting to take off! Thank you all who listen and reach out to me. If you know of anyone who might be an interesting guest send me an email:[email protected]. If you enjoy the show, be sure to leave a review on iTunes!
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I published my new book: Build a Rental Property Empire: The no-nonsense book on finding deals, financing the right way, and managing wisely, a couple of weeks ago. Thank you everyone for making it a number 1 new release on Amazon! If you picked up a copy of the paperback or eBook, leave me a review (by April 15th). You will be entered to win a Complete Blueprint for Successful Real Estate Investing. If you leave a review, be sure to send me an email so I know how to contact you.
[00:00:59.0] MF: Hey everyone, Mark Ferguson with InvestFourMore here. I am back with another episode of the InvestFourMore Real Estate Podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about some of my history, how I grew up in real estate, how my career evolved, things I’ve learned along the way and try and share some tips for success I have discovered as well. So I’m really excited to get into that to kind of give you guys some more details on where I came from, how I shaped my career, my attitude, all of that.
I think our attitude is a huge part of our success. Once I really start working on that, everything changed for me significantly but before I get into that too much, when this comes out I just want to remind everybody my new book, Build a Rental Empire, which came out a few weeks ago, has become a number one Amazon new release. Really cool to see that happen, if you leave a review for it by April 14th, shoot me an e-mail to [email protected]. You will get entered to win a Complete Blueprint for Successful Real Estate Investing. I’m going to pick one winner from the reviews submitted.
So far, I think there had been eight reviews so you have a very good chance of winning at this moment. Hopefully that goes up a little bit and the Complete Blueprint is the program I have to buy weekly coaching calls, e-mail coaching, 300 page guide, calls to action, video training. I have a ton of different stuff in that program. So I’m really excited to get that new book going and hopefully, I can get some more reviews on it. It’s fun for me to write books. I love seeing that.
All right, moving onto my history. I’m going to start from the very beginning. I won’t go into too much detail to bore you guys but I was born in 1979, so that makes me 37 now and when I was born, my dad had been a real estate agent for about one year. He got licensed in 1978 and before he was an agent, he had a number of different jobs but primarily, he was a school teacher.
He taught algebra in high school and my mom convinced him that he needed to change careers. Being a school teacher in the 70’s just was not going to cut it. They already had two kids. I was the last of three kids. So he took the jump, got into real estate and in the very beginning, he struggled like a lot of agents do but he found his niche in working with country properties.
Working on properties that have acreages, farm houses and he loved real estate from the very beginning and built a very, very successful business. 10 years later, he was doing extremely well selling a 100 houses a year basically himself and one other assistant but along the way, I used to sleep under his desk when I was three. I remember that.
He would take me to school, pick me up but a lot of times, I was with him showing houses. My mom helped him as well so I grew up around real estate and it definitely gave me an idea of what real estate is all about and maybe it was just because I wanted to be independent but I never wanted anything to do with selling houses or buying houses when I got older.
I wanted to be something else completely different. I didn’t want to be in real estate, but before I got to that point, one quick story. As many of you know, I have a Lamborghini Diablo but as I was growing up, as I was younger my parents were not into cars at all. They didn’t care, they were just transportation to them but my sister, Wendy, who was 10 years older than me was the one who got me into cars.
So when I was six, I remember going into a bookstore with her and she had bought this book. It’s The World’s Fastest Cars and I saw that book. I saw it and I was so jealous. I was so mad that she was buying that book and I begged her and begged her to give that book to me and to buy me a copy of that book because I couldn’t believe there were so many cool cars in that book.
I was so disappointed when she told me no, it was for her. My birthday was a week later and she ended up giving me that book for my birthday but in that book was Aston Martin V8, the Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari’s, all kind of cool cars that I like now and I know that shaped me a little bit but there is a point in that story. As I grew up, I got more into cars.
I love cars. In high school, I had three Toyota Supras, I had a Toyota Land Cruiser, all types of cars. I would buy them, get great deals on them, sell them once in a while when I had to but I bought cars all over the country driving back home because I get better deals in different states. So after high school, I always played sports. I did fairly well in high school, nothing phenomenal.
I went to the University of Colorado at Boulder and I actually started out in their engineering program. So I got into the engineering school, super excited. I started taking classes like calculus II, physics and all of a sudden I was not as nearly as excited as I was before. Part of me wanted to be independent and away from my parents and have some fun and part of me did not want to study all the time to learn those numbers and I started asking myself, “Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?”
Do I want to crunch numbers? Do I want to be doing these type of things? I’m like, “No, I don’t”. I hate it so I transferred to business. I went to the business school. I got my focus on finance. I still ended up graduating in four years, thanks to doing some summer school classes. I loved business. Business was awesome. It didn’t teach me a whole lot about what I do now but I did have one really good entrepreneurial class.
Really the focus of business school was get a degree, go work in a corporate job, try and work yourself up the corporate ladder, maybe in 20 years you’ll become high enough up the ladder you’ll be a CFO, maybe a CEO, but you have to work 80 hours a week. As soon as you get to that high position, you might have to work even more but you’ll be making a lot of money and the more and more I thought about that, I’m like, “Man that does not seem fun to me either.”
I mean working that hard for that long without any real guarantee for what your future will be, you’re future is dependent on your managers, other people, your bosses hiring you, seeing your potential not always on what you do and it just gotten back in my head, “Man, this does not sound like a fun way to do it either,” but I graduated from college and I started looking for a banking job.
My degree is finance. My primary reason for wanting to get a banking job was because I wanted to get money. I had no real affinity for banks or the industry. I’m just like, “Well, it seems like people make a lot of money in this industry.” What I found was banks did not want to hire you unless you want to be a teller and work your way up from the very bottom, make no money.
The same thing, hopefully they’ll see your potential, hope they work you up the ladder and I said, “This does not sound fun to me either.” So I ended up going back home working part time with my dad in the real estate business. I did not move in with them. I actually stayed in an apartment building my sister managed. She had college rentals at the time and then she also managed an apartment building for some other investors.
I was an onsite manager at that building called the Oasis Tower in Greeley, Colorado. So I had a lot of fun there but I also started to get into real estate more. I got my license, became a real estate agent and I helped my dad did a few fix and flips. I really liked the fix and flipping part of it. I really like that side of it. The agent side, I was not that great at.
I didn’t like talking to people on the phone, I didn’t like marketing, I didn’t like doing a lot of things that you have to do to be a good agent. So instead of doing those things, I really focused on trying to create marketing things on the internet, signing up for lead sources, doing all kinds of different things, things that my dad had never really done.
My dad was always traditional, market to your past clients, do an awesome job with your clients, always do the right thing for them, send them postcards, newsletters, keep in touch with them and he did extremely well with that and I want to do things a little different so I went another route and my route did not work at all. We had some success doing some flips on that side of it but I did not sell so many houses.
I sold maybe 10 houses a year as an agent. It was not very much and it was mostly because I wasn’t willing to do, you know, get outside my comfort zone to do what really had to be done to be a good agent. I was trying to hide behind the computer, do online marketing, get leads that way and even if you get leads that way and you get leads from the internet or your computer, you still have to talk to people.
You still have to follow up with them, you still have to treat them the right way. So it’s not like I was doing anything that different from what my dad was doing. I was doing it different but I was doing it two things wrong by going in the internet and then not following up well and not talking to people as much as I should. So it’s a pretty frustrating couple of years out of college.
I did okay. I made $40,000, $50,000 a year because I was selling those 10 houses, because we did some flips which I made a percentage on. I bought my first house in 2002, 2003. I paid $189,000 for it. It was one of the peak of the market in Colorado. I thought it was an okay deal but they’re selling it six, seven years later for $190,000 after I put about $15 or $20,000 of work into it.
So it ended up not the best investment but it was a good learning experience. Did a lot of the work myself but in those first few years, getting back to the car story, I’d always told myself in college and high school, “I’m going to have a Ferrari, I’m going to have a Lamborghini,” no doubt about it. I’m going to make all these money.
Then when I got out of college and I got into the real world, I really started to get this in franchise about things aren’t going how they are, I started listening to society and the media. It’s like, “Hey, you’re making $40 to $50,000 a year, you should be ecstatic. You’re 22 years old, why are you complaining? You have a house, you’re in an awesome financial position.”
But there is still something in the back of my mind saying, “Things aren’t improving fast enough.” Even though I am making that money, I wasn’t really saving any money. I didn’t have very much in my savings account. I had a personal house but would my mortgage go down maybe a thousand or $2,000 a year, so that’s not saving that much and I really started to look at my life and how things are happening and I stopped believing I’d never get nice cars. I stopped believing that I have this awesome amazing life and it really brought me down a little bit and around 2005-2006, I knew I had to change things and do something different.
So the first thing that I started doing was I started doing some of the work on our flips and threw on extra money. I’m like, “Okay, I’ll just work harder. That’s how I will make more money. I’ll just do more work, work harder.” I started working more hours, doing painting on some of our flips, earning an hourly wage and that made me a little more money. It didn’t made a huge difference but it earned me a little bit and then end up buying a flip that I wanted to do all the work on myself.
I have talked about this story before on some of my other podcast but a horrible decision. It took me six months to do all the work. I did the windows, doors, kitchen, bath, painting, flooring, fixtures, it was a mess and the house was like a hundred years old so nothing was straight. It was all crooked and it was very frustrating. So after all that, our market was going down. I ended up losing money on the deal plus I wasted six months of my life working on it.
It was really, really frustrating and at that point I’m like, “Okay, that obviously didn’t work. Now I really have to change the way I am doing things because this isn’t working.” The first thing that I did was I vowed never to ever work on a flip again myself. I did the work myself, which I’ve pretty much stuck to that but then I still am looking at the real estate business.
We didn’t do many flips that year because I was so busy on this house, we weren’t buying anything else, I didn’t sell many houses because I was so busy working on this house. I didn’t talk to clients or meet with people and so I wrote out a plan that was meant to show my dad that, “Hey, my pay structure isn’t that fair. There’s other people on our team making more money but they don’t work as hard as me.”
It’s like a big complain, that’s what it was but what I ended up doing was writing out how many houses I have to sell to make a $100,000 a year which was one of the goals that I had for a long time and so I wrote out this big plan showing how many I have to sell, what I have to do and the numbers that I have to sell just seemed absolutely crazy.
It seemed ridiculous and that was my point I was trying to make my dad to see how crazy I have to be to do these things and he looked at it and said, “Yeah, yeah you know, just keep working hard. You will get there,” and he wasn’t very impressed with my plan which I spent a lot of time on it but annoyingly to me what that plan did was it kind of got stuck in my head how many houses I have to sell, how many foreclosures I have to do.
I was making goals without really realizing it is what I was doing and in the past, I had always resisted making any goals, I had resisted going to conferences, I had resisted learning or listening to CD’s or audio tapes. The biggest reason why, I think, I find my ego getting in the way saying, “Hey, I am smart enough. I didn’t have to learn from somebody else. I don’t have to listen to this other person, I can do this by myself. I don’t have to go to conferences.
I’m not going to learn anything new. I am smart enough to do this all by myself and I don’t need to set goals, I don’t need to do all of that stuff. That’s for other people, I am smart enough. I don’t have to do that stuff myself.” So it was all my ego pretty much derailing my career because I was too smart to learn anything new. Too smart to learn from other people and that really hurt me.
But by accidentally making those goals, I started thinking about how to sell houses, how to do more flips and it just got stuck in my head. My subconscious started thinking more than my brain which is a good thing and the next year, maybe it was that same year later in the year, a company randomly called me asking me to do broker price opinion, a BPO.
A BPO is done by REO agents, real estate agents who work with foreclosures for banks. I had no idea what a BPO was and I started doing some research. I’m like, “What is this? What do I have to do?” And they’re like, “Well, you just have to fill up this report, find some comps, drive by the property, take some pictures, fax us back the report back.”
It was 2006, it wasn’t that long ago but they are still faxing stuff and you get paid $50 bucks. I’m like, “Sweet! That’s not a bad deal”. It’s much better than painting a house for four hours or $50 bucks or whatever it was. So I did that, maybe it took me a couple of hours to do everything in my first one. I’m like, “That wasn’t too bad. That was pretty easy.”
I started researching BPO’s, REO’s and I did something that was completely and totally out of my comfort zone. I looked up what banks were foreclosing on homes on a weekly public trustee’s sale. They would publish notice of election and demand, what bank is foreclosing on the homes. I looked at that report, I looked at what banks were foreclosing on houses and I just cold calling those banks.
The ones I can get a hold of, I just called up their number, started talking to people, I might have to talk to five to 10 people before they can get me to the department, the loss mitigation or default department, foreclosure department, whatever that bank calls it and I started talking to people and they told me exactly how to get their listings.
“Sign up here, sign up for this website, oh this asset management company over here handles our REO’s and you need to talk to them,” and so I did exactly what they said. I signed up with all those websites. I signed up with those asset management companies and I couldn’t believe it but probably a month later, I started getting more and more orders for BPO’s.
More broker price opinions just kept coming in and all of a sudden I was doing 10 to 15 a week. I’m like, “Wow, this is cool!” I’m getting paid $50 per BPO, I’m making decent money now. It’s not manual labor, it’s pretty simple for me. I got it down where I could do a BPO in half an hour, maybe 45 minutes and I got my first REO listing two months after calling those banks.
That was like a lightbulb that went off my head. I could not believe that e-mail I got. I still remember it. The e-mail came in and it says, “New property assignment”, and I have never seen an e-mail like that before and I knew what it was in the back of my head I’m like, “I think that I just got an REO listing,” and I didn’t want to open it because I didn’t want to ruin it.
But I’m like, “Okay, I’d better check it out.” So I opened it and it was a new REO assignment. It was in Frederick, Colorado which was about 30 miles from me and I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea what to do. I just knew they gave me some tasks, I had to go and look at it in 24 hours. So I left the house in five minutes, drove to the property, took pictures, drove back, submitted my inspection.
They gave me all these other tasks to re-key it, to have the yard work done, I had no idea what I was doing so I actually took my parent’s truck, took their lawn mower, drove to the property myself and mowed the lawn myself. Now, the banks don’t want you doing that. You’re not supposed to do the work yourself on these properties but I didn’t know any better at the time.
I made an invoice, I didn’t over charge them or anything. I think I gave them a pretty good deal for me mowing the lawn and so I’ve mowed the lawn, someone else did the rekey. I didn’t know how to do that, I cleaned up some of the yard and I was off and running in my first REO property. I think I got two that first year, it was the end of the year. I think maybe October is when I first got my first one.
Then that next following year, I got 18 REO properties, did a couple hundred BPO’s, all of a sudden I had a brand new niche, brand new career and I was like, “Holy cow, this is awesome!” And I know, it may seem random that someone just called me with a BPO, which was random but if I really hadn’t been thinking about how to increase business, how to do things differently, I may just have said, “No. I don’t want to do a BPO, what’s that?” And just not even thought about it.
But because I had it in my head that I needed to improve things, I had this goal I had to do, I’m like, “Hey, I’ll take a chance. I will try it.” I also took a chance calling banks without any idea what I was talking about, what I was doing. I never cold called anyone in my life but I did it for some reason with banks.
Things just exploded for me in 2008-2009 selling, I went from 18 REO sales to 50 the next year to 80 the next year to 150 the year after that. I got up to 200, it was awesome and along the way, I stopped doing fix and flips with my dad because I was so busy, we just didn’t have time for them. We might have done one or two years for a while and I got the HUD contract so I applied to be a HUD listing broker with a couple of different companies.
Randomly, I got in with First Preston and HomeTelos because I had listed a property for First Preston before and someone from HomeTelos calls me and says, “Hey, we see that you’re in First Preston’s database, you might have sold a house for us?” I’m like, “Yeah, I did. I asked the management company that sold REO’s”.
They’re like, “Okay, do you want to list HUD homes?” I’m like, “Yes, I want to list HUD homes.” If you’re in the industry, you know HUD homes are a huge deal. If you can become a HUD listing broker is very lucrative. The asset manager says, “Well, hey I’ve got a property in Sterling, Colorado. I can’t find a listing broker for it. Can you do it today?” And Sterling is about 95 miles away from me.
I did not hesitate, I’m like, “Yes. I will do it.” I got the information, I drove out there, got the inspection done and it turns out I had actually submitted an application to that company to become a HUD listing broker but they never saw that. They didn’t called me because of that, they just called me because I had listed a property for First Preston before and the two companies were basically linked together.
The next week, I think they sent me 18 new listings in one week for HUD. It was crazy but I was doing BPO’s, I was driving all over the state, it was insane. I was working 14 hour days. This was before we had kids but I was married and we were super excited. I mean it wasn’t like my wife and me are having a hard time because we were working so much.
We’re just like, “Oh my God, this is crazy,” because she was an agent as well at the time but I knew something had to change. There’s no way I could keep up doing 14 hour days, working 10 hours on the weekend every day. It was just, no ways. So I hired an assistant. I was still working with my father but I did things separate from him.
I hired my first assistant, Nikki, who’s still with me. She’s awesome. I taught her how to submit expenses for REO properties and banks. Many of the banks want you to pay for the lawn care, pay for repairs, pay for utilities and they will pay you back. So I taught her how to do that. I taught her to do BPO’s, I taught her how to do all kinds of different things, which made my life so much easier.
Once I got the REO business stabilized, she is helping with it, then I went back to revisit fix and flipping with my father and I started to focus on, “Hey, we can make this flipping work. We made it work before, I have more time now. Let’s do that.” So we focused on fix and flipping, did great, flipping five or six houses a year. About 2010, I had know I wanted to buy rental properties for a long time but it’s still hard to save money.
Even selling all of those houses, even doing the flips, it’s just really hard to save money. My wife and I bought a new house, we are having kids in 2010, twins which was very expensive. The whole process was extremely expensive and it’s just very hard to save money. But eventually in 2010, I bought my first rental and that was really cool. I paid $96,900 for it. I figured it would rent for $1,000 a month.
It needed almost no work. It was built in 2005, I ended up renting it for $1,050. Now it’s rented for $1,400 a month, which is awesome but I bought that rental, I kept buying rentals and then things were just going better and better and better but I still kind of felt — always felt anxious about money. I’m always, “Things couldn’t last like this forever.” REO won’t always be up and I really started to take a look at my life.
I really delved into self-improvement around 2012 and that’s when I’m like, “Okay, I’ve done well. I’m making good money. I’ve got a taste of what success can mean,” and I did a few really simple things. I simply searched online for “how to be rich, how to make more money, how to invest better” and I just started researching things.
I started researching and looking into different programs, I started buying books, reading books, I started buying audio CD’s, listening to audio CD’s, I listened to all kinds of people. It’s funny, one of the biggest influences on me is Kevin Trudeau who, if you know who he is, he’s a nut job. He’s actually in jail right now for 10 years but he created this CD series about being positive and outlook on life.
It really was something that really helped me changed my attitude and focus on life. So even though he himself is not the best person in the world that really helped me focus on what’s important in life. So I progressed from having no goals, no plans, just riding along trying to do everything myself to accidentally setting some goals to finding some success.
Working like crazy then to getting married, buying rental properties and then I really started to look at my attitude and my life and started to get a plan for what I was going to do with everything because up to that point, it had kind of been a rollercoaster that I was just riding on. It wasn’t something that I had planned or laid out ahead of time. It was just riding the wave
But when I got into the self-improvement, the attitude, the goal setting, I really started to get a better picture of how my life could be, how I should think, how I should act and I started doing Jack Canfield coaching which is an awesome coaching system. It’s was very expensive. It was six or $7,000 dollars, which I had never paid for anything like that before.
Any amount of money that close but I did it and it changed my life even more, creating a hundred goals. It gave me the confidence to buy out my father and take over the business. It had me changed my goals for buying houses, everything just moved up faster, reduced stress in my life about money. It gave me more free time, it was just insane.
Going back full circle to when I was growing up and wanting that Lamborghini, wanting those cars, all after college, I had never really believed I could do that. You kind of lose faith, you stop having those dreams and that was me. I’m like, “Well, you know maybe when I’m 70 I might be able to save enough money to have an old Lamborghini or something, who knows?”
Then as things progressed, I didn’t really think about it either but as I started making more money and then looking into self-improvement, I’m like, “Why did I gave up on that dream? Why did I forget about it?” It’s because I didn’t believe in it. It was because I didn’t believe that I could do it myself and that was obviously a huge mistake.
When I started to believe in things again, started to believe in what I can do, I made a goal in 2013. Actually, before I get too far ahead of myself, in 2012 I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to be able to buy a Lamborghini. Maybe 10 years, maybe 20 years I’m going to do it. That’s going to be a lifetime goal of mine,” and I didn’t gave a specific date but I said, “I’m going to buy a freaking Lamborghini in 10 years or 15 years or whatever it is.”
Then I did Jack Canfield coaching and went through all these change over my life and attitude and I made a goal to buy a Lamborghini in 2014, which was just insane to me. I ended up doing it. A lot of help or thanks goes to this blog because I wrote it down so everybody could see that goal so I was held accountable and it was just amazing.
Doing that was just crazy from where I had been eight years ago to going that far. Eight years seems a long time but it’s really not and business went crazy. The flips were doing awesome. Taking over the business was a great experience. I hired one of my best friends to come work for me as my manager. I have awesome family.
Things just have been fantastic and a lot of that happened just because randomly, I started setting those goals. So I have a point to this podcast, it’s not just to give you my life story but I want to go through at the end here and tell you some of the most important things I have learned and done as far as success, attitude, how I’ve become successful whether it’s on purpose or not.
The first thing obviously is setting goals. I mean that is so huge in my life now. For anybody, if you don’t know where you want to go, how in the world are you going to get there? You can’t just ride along life and hope things happen to you. You’ve got to make it happen and goals are the first step in doing that. Be as specific as you possibly can.
How much money do you want to make? How many houses do you want to sell? Whatever it is, try and be specific so you can picture those things in your mind. Don’t be afraid to set big goals that you don’t think you can reach. So many people are like, “Well, I don’t want to be disappointed.” Well, a goal is not there to disappoint you if you don’t reach it. It’s to get you farther than you would be without that goal.
So if I want to sell a hundred houses in a year but I sold 20 this year, well I’m not going to say, “Next year my goal is to sell 25 houses because that’s realistic.” No, I’m going to make the goal — maybe set a hundred but maybe I’ll say, “I’m going to sell 50 houses next year” and you bet I’m probably going to sell more houses having a goal 50 than I’d do having a goal at 25.
So many people have reached this little goals and they quit. They go, “Okay, I don’t have to do anything else. I’ve got my goal.” But if your goal is so high that it’s really tough to reach it, you’re going to keep pushing the whole time to reach that goal. So big goals, there’s a lot of goals I have not reached. I’ve made some big goals but I know they’ve pushed me harder and I’ve gotten farther because of those goals even if I didn’t reach it.
Another thing is being positive. Yes, I’m a huge fan of our attitude. There’s a lot of different things with the law of attraction and The Secret, that maybe came out a while ago about if you’re positive, things naturally come to you and I like to look at it from a logical standpoint of just how thinking about happy things, being happy yourself, looking at the positive side of things puts you in a better mood, for one thing.
You’re more open to opportunities, you’re more pleasant to be around, you network with people, you talk to more people and that alone will make you more successful plus it really does tell your subconscious, “Hey, if I’m happy I want to keep being happy. What can you do to make me happy?” So a huge believer in being positive and as happy as I possibly can be.
Another thing that really helps me is just a daily routine. Every night, I will sit in my office at home, I will kind of write down in my journal what I’m thankful for. I will try to meditate a little bit if I can. It’s tough, I always feel like I have so many things going on and I want to spend time with my family but I still do my best to take time out for myself.
I try to plan my day a little bit the next day or my week and then review what’s really important to me. What’s going on in my life, what are the big things going on? Just try and keep myself relaxed, grounded and thinking about the big picture not getting caught up in all the busy work. Time management has been huge, that was something that I learned as well.
Just trying to schedule as many things as I can, the more things I have scheduled, the less surprises I have, the more I can get done and along with that comes focus. I used to do 10 different things at once thinking multitasking was getting things done faster. I learned that gets things a lot slower when you multitask. You’re constantly leaving off where you left here, trying to figure out what you’re doing, stopping.
If you can focus on one thing, do that thing until you’re finished or do that thing for a certain amount of time, you will get things done so much faster than if you are doing 10 different things at once. So focus is huge for me. People still don’t believe me but I work about 40 hours a week. In fact, after this podcast I’m going to play nine holes of golf with my brother in law.
So I play golf twice a week, during the week, I very rarely at all work on the weekends. I get into work about 8:30 or nine, depending on what’s going on. I usually get home from work about five maybe 5:30 and then I do some work at home a little bit usually with the blog but I do not work all the time. I’ve hired a great team and really have a lot of help to make my life not just successful but relaxing and enjoyable as well.
That brings back to another thing is delegation, having people help you to where you want to be. You can’t do everything yourself. Like I said before in the beginning, I try to do it all by myself and it was a big mistake. Whether it is having a mentor to help you learn something new, going to conferences to learn about your field and learn new things or network or hiring someone to mow your lawn, hiring someone to change your oil on your car.
As a male in the United States there’s a lot of expectations about being manly and mowing your own lawn and changing your oil and what it means to be masculine and I’m so much happier letting other people do that stuff than doing it myself. Sure, yes I can change the oil in my car but it takes me an hour and I have to go buy the oil and I have to clean up the mess after I’m done, and I have to crawl under my car to do it.
Why don’t I just take it somewhere and have it done where they can do it in 10 minutes or 15 minutes? I can pay them $30, I don’t make a mess, I don’t have to go to the store and save me three times as much time. The same with my lawn. If I am mowing my lawn, I’ve got my little push mower. The other guys, they’ve got these riding mowers, they can do it half the time.
I don’t have to get gas for the mower. I don’t have to take it in to get tuned up, I can spend that time hanging out with my family, doing other things. A really cool thing that I learned is don’t do anything below your pay grade and what that basically means is if you’re worth a $100 an hour, if that’s your monetary value you put on the hours you work of your time, don’t do work that you can hire out for less than that.
If you can hire someone to mow your lawn for $10 an hour, do it. If you can hire someone to send out mail or some market for you for $20 an hour, do it. Save your time for the most valuable things and you will be so much successful in life.
All right, so I think that is about all for today’s podcast. I have been talking for a while. This is all I am going off the top of my head here. I don’t have any notes to go off of. I may have skipped a few things but those are really the most important things that have helped me succeed and my story about how I got started, how my career progressed.
I guess a few things that I might talk about before I head out here is what my plans are for the future because that’s important. You always have to be constantly improving, I think constantly have something to shoot for to be happy in life. I don’t think being comfortable is being happy. I think being out of your comfort zone and constantly changing, that makes people happy.
It makes life exciting but I am working on a development now. As I said, I try to develop 34 acres into some lots. That’s something brand new for me. I have never done it before. I’ve got a $500,000 that are flip still and I am trying to work to ten on, that’s progress. I’ve never done a flip close to that expensive. I’ve been getting more private money lending this year. That is something brand new.
I’m thinking about investing in Florida which is brand new. I’ve got a couple of properties here I’m getting ready to sell and hopefully exchange into new properties in Florida. I’ve got a lender who I’m working with to get qualified down there and then as far as big things, I’d still love to have a car dealership at some point in my life. That’s a big goal for me, to be able to buy more cars, have more fun.
I’m working on building an addition on my personal house. A four car garage plus a new deck. We have to redo our deck anyway so we might put a garage underneath it as well and just more free time, more vacations is a goal as well. Just the more time that I can spend with my family, the better. Of course, the blog is doing awesome, doing amazing. I spend a lot of time on it but I love all the support I get.
All the people who tell me I’m helping them and helping change their investing, keep it coming. That’s all I’ve got. I hope you guys enjoyed this one. Be sure to leave comments, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and again, if you guys want to leave a review for my Build a Rental Property Empire book, I love to see it. I’ll leave a link in the article, it goes over this podcast.
Thanks for listening and I hope everybody has an awesome spring and summer.