Entrepreneurship Forced Me to Face My Worst Fear (& Overcome It): Here’s How

by | BiggerPockets.com

G’Day Mates,

I hope you’re all well and committing to the numbers daily — whatever those numbers may be (emails, phone calls, meetings, offers, etc.).

Like my old boss would scream out to me years ago:

“Engelo, PUMP THE JOB! Sunday, Monday, EVERYDAY.”

Funny thing is, he reached out to my dad back home not too long ago, asking if I was available to come and labor on a big commercial fit-out in downtown Sydney.

If only he knew where I am and what I am doing now…

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been reaching out to us over the past couple of months. I have never experienced such a demand and am truly humbled by your expressions of interest. Ok, that completes my intro so lets get into this week’s blog. 🙂

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Confronting My Weakness

Besides my blue and yellow branded t-shirts, caps and sweaters that most of you see me wearing in the Ohio Cashflow videos, I sometimes like to wear my blue t-shirt with the Superman logo in the middle of it. Ever since I found my purpose and “why” in life, I like to tell many folks that I feel like Superman. I can work all day without feeling hunger, I can walk around in the midst of winter wearing only a light sweater and not feel cold. As soon as my eyes open every morning, an extreme sense of urgency overcomes my body to get up, own the day and make things happen.

“I feel no PAIN, I feel no HUNGER, just sheer passion and determination to SUCCEED.” – Engelo Rumora

But as you all know, even Superman has his weakness.

Public speaking has been my kryptonite for a very long time now. The first time I ever spoke in public, which only included around 20 people in the audience, I suffered from a sever anxiety attack. It was an awful experience and something that stuck in the back of my mind ever since. I also believed that public speaking was the main thing holding me and our company back from reaching the full potential of what we had to offer.

The opportunity to overcome this fear came when I received a cold call one morning from the president of the Alabama Real Estate Association. He invited me to come and share my story of how I got to where I am today, as well as how we started Ohio Cashflow. My mind started racing and I remember doing my best to spit out a response: “Well, I am not a public speaker” and “I can be very raw and rude sometimes.”

Related: The Power of Belief: How to Overcome Your Fear of Risk-Taking, Day by Day

None of it worked. I reluctantly accepted the invitation and thought to myself that I will deal with making up an excuse of not attending at a later date in time, as I had 3 months until the event to plan one. As the event started getting closer and closer, I remember my mind started to race and play tricks on me. The thought of public speaking haunted me every evening as I was trying to go to sleep.

One day, I decided that I’d had enough of these nonsense thoughts and that they had to come to a stop. I made a decision that I was IN. Most who know me well can vouch that when Engelo is IN, he is 100% IN. Boom or bust, no matter — 100% IN and all the way. I’ll tie myself to the steering wheel of the ship and sink with it if need be. 🙂

As soon as the mindset shift was made, I quickly gathered the team and we started putting the pieces of the puzzle together in preparation for the speaking engagement. We composed an awesome powerpoint presentation along with our branded company brochures and fliers. Every little detail was planned extremely well, along with holding two rehearsals beforehand. What put my mind even further at ease was having someone stand next to me to kickstart with a question just in case my mind went blank and I froze on stage. (A similar thing happened previously when I had the anxiety attack.)

Around 20 minutes before I took stage, I started feeling very lightheaded and anxious. I asked Dominique to get me a glass full of ice. For whatever reason, crunching the ice with my teeth gave me a soothing feeling and made me completely relaxed. As soon as I hit the stage, it all just fell away and everything felt completely natural — from my tonality to hand gestures and even throwing in jokes to make the audience laugh.

We really rocked the house. Everyone seemed amazed with my story and related to many things I spoke about. Afterwords, we received a ton of praise, and people were even lining up to shake our hands and speak to us. I do recall looking into the crowd and receiving some weird looks like, “Who do you think you are with that back to front yellow cap and weird accent?” Taking my eye off those weird characters and by solely focusing on someone positively acknowledging and smiling to my words kept me on track. All in all, it was a fantastic experience and one that I am looking forward to doing many more times in the future.

Look out, Tony Robbins. 😉

Face Your Fears and Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

In real estate, educate yourself as much as possible on the market you’re looking at working in and become a market expert. Surround yourself with key people who will always have your best interest at heart. This in return will minimize your risk as well as your fear of making mistakes and losing money. The magic truly happens when you get out of your comfort zone and stand up to pain and fear.

Related: How to Overcome Fear & Ask for What You Want (or the Time I Made $30K in 6 Weeks)

It’s the last 1-2 repetitions when exercising at the gym that grow the most muscle and the last 1-2 miles when running that grow your fitness. No pain, no gain. The most powerful inspirations and ideas come to me when everyone has long left the office and I am in the 12th hour of a grueling day by myself with all the time in the world left to think and create. Work hard and work smart. With all of that being said, NEVER get caught up in the he said-she said, jibba jibba talk. Focus all of your energy on always being positive, growing and moving forward.

I will leave you with a few quotes I have plastered right above my office desk:

“To lead an orchestra, you must turn your back on the crowd.”

“Fear is your worst enemy, risk is your best friend.”

“Transform fear into prudence, pain into transformation, mistakes into invitation, and desire into undertaking.”

How has your real estate business challenged you to face your fears?

Leave your stories and comments below!

About Author

Engelo Rumora

Engelo Rumora, a.k.a.”the Real Estate Dingo,” quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He runs runs Ohio Cashflow, a turnkey real estate investment company in the country (Inc 5000 2017 & 2018) and is currently in the process of launching a real estate brokerage called List’n Sell Realty. He is also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His mission in life is to be remembered as someone that gave it his all and gave it all away.


  1. Jerry W.

    Engelo, I agree the best way to get over your fears is to get started. take the first step and you are one step closer, so take the next step. It can be hard to overcome fears, they are real, but it is rewarding when we do.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Jerry,

      Thanks for your comment.

      They are terrifying.

      Another tip is to train your mind to think in the “I have nothing to loose but only gain” way.

      This also helped me with the public speaking and also starting Ohio Cashflow a couple years ago.

      Thanks again and have a great weekend.

  2. Carlos O.

    Great article Engelo! I agree 100% on getting educated and also pushing your comfort zone. I made an offer on a house earlier this month and man was that nerve racking. Still I had to man up, fight through the fears, and try to think through the situation clearly. I’m also renting out one of my rooms and getting some landlording skills. I know that with some experience, fears will eventually go away or at the very least, I’ll learn how to manage them just I’m learning to manage everything else.


    Carlos O.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Hi Carlos,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The things that you describe in your comment are situations that we deal with all day and everyday. It is very nerve racking and unsettling experience.

      I remember a few folks ask me if I am a masochist due to never wearing a jacket in the winter. This is not the case. Every single time I step out of the office, I feel the cold and that automatically gets me out of my comfort zone. Also, the cold that I feel on the exterior assist with distracting my internal thoughts from going down the road of fear or worry.

      It’s just a trick I use to assist with the high/low emotions experienced daily in business.

      In the summer jump in a freezing cold shower every morning and that will get you roaring.

      I remember reading that quite a few well known entrepreneurs do a similar procedure every day.

      Thanks again and enjoy the rest of the weekend 🙂

  3. Daniel Morgan

    Thanks for sharing Engelo , public speaking is also my worst fear. Threw your story i learned good preparation and practice can overcome your fears. Its makes things so much smoother/easier and you know what to expect.

    thanx again and congrats on your business

  4. Ross ellington

    Engelo my friend, thanks again for the time you take to share with us your insight. I listened to the podcast you did for BP with Josh and Brandon 3 times. There were great things in there and listening each time I picked something else up. If you’re ever in the central Texas area and you need a cup of coffee let me know 🙂 Have a wonderful night.

    PS I’m surprised you’re writing your blogs now, I guess we have to wait 2 years for the next one 🙂

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