The Key to Success: How Well Do You SHAKE IT OFF?

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All the mechanics you need are right here on BiggerPockets.

The more I read and spend time on BiggerPockets, the more I am impressed. I read countless great articles on the mechanics of being a successful real estate investor. There are enough great articles detailing successful strategies to teach you how to build a very successful real estate investing career, IF you put those plans into action. Many people will read the articles and have all the smarts they need to be successful, yet for some reason, they never take action.


Maybe it is not only people that don’t take action to start, maybe us who are experienced investors hold ourselves from moving to the next level?

After reading all of the great articles and teachings on BiggerPockets, I find myself writing more articles on the psychology behind the work then the actual work itself. I believe it is the psychology that holds many of us back from reaching our goals, not the mechanics. It is a complicated science, because WE make it so, but let’s talk about some very simple and basic tools to start with.

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Out of the Mouths of Babes…

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For the last two weeks I was on a much needed vacation with my family in Virginia. First, we were at a great family reunion in Richmond, followed by a week at Virginia Beach. We spent time relaxing, and a lot of time on, around, and in the ocean. The last night there, my kids were pushing me to get in the water with them so we could ride the waves one more time. First, let me say the water was about 70′ and was quite rough. We had a lot of fun in it, but over time, the sea will beat you down! I was only watching the last night, but my 8 year old kept egging me on to get in the ocean with her. She was so cute! She kept looking back and saying “Come on Daddy, you can do it!”. I was so moved by her persistence, that I gave in. It was freezing, but I knew these moments of youth are passing by, and wanting to play with Daddy will not last forever, so I seized the moment and froze my butt off!

Shake It Off Dad!

About 15 minutes in, I decided to dive through a large wave that was upon us. I dove through and on the other side I was having some bad bicep muscle pain, (the joys of being over 40!). I started in and told my daughter that Daddy’s arm hurts. She looked me square in the eye, covered in sea water and said, “Shake it off Dad!” and jumped back in the water. I worked hard on my bicep for a few minutes and got it back in place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen I did just that – I jumped back in the freezing ocean to spend more time with my daughter. Over the next hour, she was my inspiration. She was getting pummeled by some large waves. At times she would disappear for a couple seconds as she washed ashore. When she came up I would rush to her and say “Are you okay Honey?”, to which she would reply, “Yes Dad”, then she would do the cutest thing. She would shake her cute little booty side to side and say, “Shake It Off”. Then with a determined spirit, she would run right back into the ocean that just beat her down. She must have done this about 30 times that evening. I was laughing out loud as she was so incredibly cute. I asked her where she heard that phrase and dance and she said, “nowhere”. She made it up herself. At one point she came to me and said, “Dad, Schworm’s don’t quit right? Even if the wave is to the sky!” I had the biggest smile on my face. I was amazed that she must have heard me over the years, or better yet learned the lesson that I try to set for her by example. When we want something bad enough, we don’t quit until we achieve it!

All of us Struggle, ALL OF US!

Sometimes you may read a post or an article, or hear a podcast, and you think that it has all come easy to those of us who have reached a certain level of success. Well let me let you in on a little secret, it has not been easy for ANY of us. I do not mean to be presumptuous, and I don’t know all of the writers personal stories, but I am willing to bet that each of their successes has come as a result of many failures. And as we continue to worked towards more success, guess what? More failures! I think that once you stop failing, you have stopped trying.

What things do you struggle with? What knocks you down? Let me take a stab at it…

  • You made a call to a FSBO and got rejected?
  • You called a cash buyer and they were not helpful?
  • You called a local RE agent to work with and they discouraged you from investing?
  • You posted a We Buy Houses sign and got a call from code enforcement?
  • You made an offer and were rejected?
  • You made an offer and got accepted, but then you couldn’t find the money?
  • You did a flip and lost money?
  • You purchased a rental but can’t keep it rented?
  • You have done a few flips and now want to go full time but you are full of fear?
  • You are ready for the next level but unsure how to make it happen, so you procrastinate?

Fill in your own struggles here if I have not hit on yours. Here is my advice to you, actually it my 8 year olds advice to all of us………………SHAKE IT OFF!

No matter how minor or major the setback, SHAKE IT OFF! Go ahead and feel free to actually stand up and shake your butt like she did, it really added something to it! LOL. Seriously, shake it off, get up, and go at it again. Nothing in life worth anything was ever easy to achieve. If you remember the 90’s hit from the group Chumbawumba, “I Get Knocked Down”? The lyrics are great. “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down.” I am sorry but no doubt you’ll be humming that tune for the day now! But it is a great message. When we get knocked down, SHAKE IT OFF! It is the only path to reaching our goals.

While on vacation I only read a few BP articles, but one I read was by Brandon Turner. He described his failed attempt at a flip. I love those stories, because it is so important for the masses to know that we all make mistakes but the truly successful ones, SHAKE IT OFF and keep on moving ahead no matter how bad they were knocked down. Decide to be successful no matter what is thrown your way. Make the best decisions you can at the time with the information you have. Then work hard and decide to never give up. If you do I can promise you that you will reach your goals or at the very least as my Grandmother and Mother taught us…”He who aims at the sun, though he is sure to miss it, hits higher than he who aims at the ground.”

Go out and get knocked down this week because you will be one step closer to your goal. Just SHAKE IT OFF, get up and keep moving forward. Have an awesome week!

Tell me about some of the ways you have been knocked down and have gotten back up. I would love to hear your stories.

Photo: shehan365

About Author

Glenn Schworm

Glenn and his wife Amber are the owners of Signature Home Buyers , located in upstate New York. They have bought and sold over 100 houses and counting since beginning in 2008. They are also the proud parents of 3 amazing kids and love to travel the globe, scuba dive, skydive and basically live life to the fullest!


  1. Brandon Turner

    Awesome article today Glenn. I especially love the line “I believe it is the psychology that holds many of us back from reaching our goals, not the mechanics.”

    So true, right!? I mean, the specifics are out there, in books, podcasts, articles, etc. Information is everywhere, and it’s free. It’s fear that often holds people back. And not just newbies either – like you said. I know I’ve been meaning to start direct mail for some time now … but it’s the fear of losing money or wasting time that is holding me back!

    Keep up the great writing Glenn. And I’m glad you had a good vacation!

    • Glenn Schworm

      Thanks Brandon,

      I think if we are all honest with ourselves, we ALL have areas that we drop the ball on. Figuring out what is holding us back and then overcoming that fear is certainly a huge key to the level of success each of us will reach. I know I have areas to work on also. For me it is documenting and fully systematizing our business. It is such a huge task that I keep finding reasons to put it off! I know that my next level of success is right on the other side, yet I procrastinate. I WILL figure it out. I will figure mine out of you start your direct mail. Stop being such a wuss! LOL I suppose that is directed at both of us! Have a great week Brandon and thanks for all you do here at BP.


  2. Glenn great article! This reminds me of Tom Hopkins’ Champions Creed: “I am not judged
    by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed. And the number of times
    I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep trying.”

    When I first start training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I was the “new guy” at the academy for over 6 months. I spent 6 months getting smashed everyday, not tasting any victory! I had to SHAKE IT OFF everday. I’m so glad for those lessons ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Glenn Schworm

      Thanks Mehran,

      I have made a mental note never to mess with you!! LOL, I am sure that experience was good for you in the long run, not so fun in the short run. Love the Tom Hopkins info, so true. Thanks again, have a great week!


    • Glenn Schworm

      Thanks Doug,

      It makes life so much easier when we realize that it is OK to fail! Actually once we realize it is necessary for success we can move ahead much easier knowing we are that much closer to success. Have a great week!


  3. That is great Glenn how your 8 year old can give you lessons. How awesome is that.
    Shake it off! I love that. Good for you for taking 2 weeks and hopefully shutting it down. I know it is tough to shut it down completely when you love this business but you do need to take time to decompress and no better way to do it with your family.

    • Glenn Schworm

      Thanks Michael,

      I did shut off for the most part. All I did was keep my email clean so I did not come back to a mess, but I was about 95% shut off. When we travel out of the country it is easier to be 100% off! All that darn technology makes it tough. I know you and I share that love for our kids and both appreciate each others stories about them. They are so awesome and as much as we teach them, they sure do teach us plenty back. Have a great week brother.


  4. Thank you for this wisdom Glenn, I learned a great lesson while reading this, get up no matter how hard it gets and shake it off. Gotta love that for some words of wisdom.

    • Glenn Schworm

      Thanks for reading and for passing it on Vernon. I am happy you enjoyed it. It is so important to remember that we all have them. Trump went bankrupt in the 80’s, I am sure that was not his shining moment, but look at where he is now. Just keep getting up and back at it.


  5. Another great article, Glenn! Determination sure means a lot, doesn’t it? Amazing that your daughter has that clarity at her young age. Sounds like she will go far in life!

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