5 Things Dad Taught Me That Made Me the Real Estate Investor I Am Today
Some might complain that it’s just another “greeting card holiday” but I believe Father’s Day is a time to honor the man in our life who was likely responsible, above all else, for crafting our character, work ethic, and personality.
Last month, I wrote about “Five Things my Mom Taught Me that Made me the Real Estate Investor I Am Today” and it was great to sit back and reflect on all the way’s I’ve grown as an investor because of her.
However, mom was only 1/2 the equation.
Today, I want to look at five things I learned from my Dad – about life, about business, and about character – that helped create the kind of person I am today.
Have you learned these lessons from your Dad? Definitely be sure to leave a comment below and share your stories!
I honestly don’t know how he does it.
Nearly every day for the past 30 years, my dad has woken up and driven to a job he doesn’t love to provided for a family that he loves completely. It doesn’t matter if he wants to be there or not. It doesn’t matter if he’s not feeling well (I’m not sure he took a “sick day” in my entire growing-up life!) He shows up and works hard every day to provide – because for my Dad – family comes first.
I’ve learned from him that true love takes sacrifice. It takes getting up in the morning and sometimes doing the things you don’t want to do because it will benefit someone else.
However – just because life means working hard – it doesn’t mean only work either.
In the same vein, vacations were not some inconvenience but rather a chance for the family to be together, to explore, to interact with the world around us. You see – vacation was about family as well.
My Dad once said to me, “You know, I could have skipped all the vacations and fun times we had, and probably had millions of dollars in my retirement fund… but then I’d be an old rich man with no memory of the things that really matter in life.”
This lesson is one of the most important lessons I have ever learned – and something I believe most investors need a constant reminder of. In our quest for success – it’s important to take a page from my Dad’s book and remember – he who dies with the most stuff still dies. Work hard, provide for your family, but enjoy the time you have. I, for one, plan to never forget that lesson. Family first.
Encouragement Can Go Miles
Many people complain of their father being distant, un-emotional, uncaring, hard.
Not my Dad.
From t-ball to high school musicals to starting my real estate business – my Dad has always encouraged me and showed me how proud he was of me (though I think he’s still shocked I didn’t choose Law School and instead spend my time with ruffians like all you real estate investors!)
His encouragement has given me the confidence I’ve needed to take (calculated) risks and pursue entrepreneurship with the gusto I have.
Just yesterday morning I woke up to an email from my Dad letting me know how proud he is of the accomplishments I’ve done. I can’t adequately express how much those words mean.
Real estate investors: this is HUGE.
Don’t forget to encourage those around you. Let your team know that you appreciate them. Let them know when they’ve done something right. Celebrate their accomplishments.
The Value of Turning Ugly to Beautiful
It’s so obvious now – I’m not sure why I didn’t see it growing up.
My Dad loves to buy ugly cars and turn them into something beautiful. Over the years, he has gone through dozens of vehicles that he bought for cheap, fixed them up, and either sold them or gave them to his family to drive.
I’m sure you can see it – but up until last year, I never made the connection.
I never realized how much of my real estate entrepreneurship I gained from this side business of his. Just as my Dad bought ugly cars and either “flipped” or “held” them – I’ve done the exact same with houses. I’ve learned that finding the right deal often takes research and hard work – but the payoff is all worth it.
It might take looking at 99 deals to find the 1 that will bring you success.
Human Connection is Key
My Dad is probably the friendliest guy you’ll ever meet (well – you probably won’t meet him.)
As such – he makes a lot of connections with people. We have a joke in our family that no matter where he is in the world, he will always run into someone he knows. As a kid, I use to complain because we’d be walking through DisneyWorld and would have to stop and talk to someone for 15 minutes that he knew from his past. However, I now realize that one of my Dad’s strongest gifts was his ability to make friends and build trust.
In real estate – this is one of the most important character traits you can have. This is a “people game” and as such, those who can navigate the muddy waters of networking often do the best. I’ve learned from my Dad not to be shy, but to be open, friendly, and engaging with everyone I meet.
Do you do the same?
Be a “Righteous Man”
Finally, there is a phrase my Dad used time and time again as I was growing up. Above all – he wanted me to be a “righteous man.”
I looked up “Righteous” today in the dictionary, and it said
(of a person or conduct) Morally right or justifiable; virtuous.
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Everything my Dad taught me growing up revolved around this. Helping those who needed help, making the hard decisions because it was the right thing to do, and standing out as someone to be trusted were all lessons that were taught not only with words, but through example.
You’ve heard it said time and time again in the BiggerPockets Podcast by nearly every single guest –
Integrity is key.
As a real estate investor, it’s important to stand out as someone to be trusted, as someone to feel comfortable doing business with. It doesn’t matter how much money you could make – without integrity, it’s nothing.
So thank you Dad for always molding me, guiding me, and disciplining me into a “righteous man.” Though I’m sure I have a long way to go to reach that point – your guidance and support have meant everything to me over the years and I continue to grow as both a real estate investor and as a person because of the lessons you taught me. Your hard work and dedication to our family has been a shining example for me and the rest of the family to follow.
I love you Dad!
Do you have a lesson you learned from your Father? Share in the comments below!