The reason why my business is as successful as it is today is that I practice the fine art of persistence. I’m a very determined person naturally, and when I had six children to feed, that determination drove me to do things I didn’t think was possible in real estate with no money, credit, or experience.
When my children were small, there were lots of shows about “the rich and the famous”. Shows like “Dallas”, “Falcon Crest”, and “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous” were like an entirely different world to me, a farm boy from Michigan. I wanted all of that for myself and my family, but how could I get all that opulence on the salary of a construction worker, and one who wasn’t even working full-time at that?
I knew I couldn’t get rich overnight. Other people have dollar signs in their eyes and think that they’ll go from nothing to multi-millionaire in a week. But real estate isn’t a get-rich-quick market, and I knew that, even when I was starting out. I talked with friends and family about what I wanted to do, and quite a few of them insisted I should just accept my lot in life. All of this negative left me confused and feeling down.
But I knew what I wanted.
One day I came across a book by a very successful real estate investor, Dr. Albert Lowry, who is now one of my close friends. That book was my first “training” in real estate. My friends and family just laughed at me for thinking I could read a book and buy a property. But that book allowed me to buy my first property, a three-unit building, on seller financing terms.
My family thought I was nuts. What in the world did I want to buy properties for?! Investing was risky, a job was stable and predictable.
Over the next few years, I bought another 20 houses, and not all of them were great deals. I was doing all the repairs myself and was too proud to admit that I was overwhelmed.
Then I moved to Florida in 1997, and things were different here. It was “the land of opportunity” compared to the market in Michigan. The first three deals I did in Florida were some of the worst ones I’d ever done.
Here in Florida, however, I finally got some mentors to help me create better deals so I could have that “Dallas” lifestyle. My mentors included some of the best in the business: Jack Miller, Peter Fortunato, and Jimmy Napier. These were teachers I could really talk to and had done hundreds of deals between them. The more I learned, the more deals I did.
Then I got cocky.
One week, I bought ten houses in one week. They were all good deals, but my contractor disappeared, and I had to make payments on these houses I couldn’t put tenants in yet because the world wasn’t done. This almost bankrupted me.
I had lost my focus and lost my passion for the business. But I pulled myself together, remembered my determination and my persistence, and got right back into it. I refused to give up, and I am where I am today because of that persistence.
If you’re persistent and determined and EDUCATED, you’ll always succeed in this business.
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Good Luck and Happy Investing!