Personal Development

What Training for a World Record Taught Me About Real Estate Investing

Expertise: Commercial Real Estate, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, Business Management, Landlording & Rental Properties, Real Estate Investing Basics, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Mortgages & Creative Financing
227 Articles Written

On April 26th, 2014 I took on the world record for Fastest Mile Fireman’s Carry, in tandem with raising funds for cancer research. The whole experience taught me a lot about training, dedication, and taking on your goals, and it has certainly helped maintain a successful perspective and game plan when it comes to growing as an investor in this industry.

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Here are the takeaways.

Improve Endurance

Running for a mile with a barbell on your shoulders — or carrying someone else through hazardous conditions to safety — requires physical and mental endurance. That’s true of protecting others who invest alongside you in real estate investing, too. Everything we do impacts others, and remembering that helps fuel the mission, keep you going and training hard, and make the best possible moves, even when it isn’t easy. But it is well worth it.


Related: What Being a CPA Has Taught Me About Becoming a Millionaire

It is important to remember that real estate is a long game. What’s the use in being a one deal, or one season, wonder? Every individual deal isn’t going to be a record breaker you can retire on, but consistent positive action can help you achieve big goals.

Push Through Adversity

Any time you try something new or try to advance forward, especially where few have gone before, you’ll face adversity. You’ll battle doubt, physical and mental challenges, and have to carve out a path. With some real estate investing models, that is essentially done for you by others already, but it still requires a leap and taking action.

Sometimes there are what appear to be big setbacks and disappointments, such as when a tenant is late on rent or a deal falls apart. In training for the fireman carry world record, I suffered a bad injury at the start of the endeavor. I could have given up and used it as an excuse not to try. I couldn’t do that. Sometimes you may have to pause for a moment and pivot in your strategy, but never quit.

Leverage Experts

There are no Olympic level athletes who have gotten where they are without great coaches, mentors, and strategic tactics. To get from being in good shape to elite shape, and specifically being able to take on the task at hand, it took hacking the right training and tactics. I looked to expert CrossFit coaches to aid me in training the right muscles, pushing me to take the right daily actions, avoiding more injuries, and perfecting technique. I’ve applied similar tactics to real estate. Why try to reinvent the wheel when the code to success is there to hack? Leverage experts and get to the gold faster and smarter.

Take it One Step at a Time

If you’ve ever experienced any type of endurance event or even a challenging life event, you already know that at some point you just have to focus on taking that next small step. Keep your eyes on the finish line and big vision, but don’t sweat the next 100 or 1,000 steps. The journey of a thousand miles starts with just one step. Just take one small step in the right direction at a time, and you’ll get there.


Related: The Surprising Lesson a Six-Figure Salary in My 20s Taught Me About Wealth


Fortunately “winning” at real estate investing to create a stable and exciting future isn’t as difficult as breaking a world record. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a good amount to learn, or that there won’t be bumps in the road, or that everything will be handed to you on a platter without having to take a step. But by leveraging experienced experts, adopting a positive mindset, and making those first steps, an abundant financial future and enriched life can be achieved a lot sooner than most believe. That’s every bit as rewarding as setting a world record.

Have you ever trained for something? What did it teach you about other aspects of your life?

Leave me a comment below!

Sterling is an multifamily investor specializing in value-add apartments in Indianapolis and other Midwestern markets. With just under a decade of experience in the real estate industry, Sterling was involved with the management of over $10MM in capital, which is deployed across a $18.9MM real estate portfolio made up of multifamily apartments. Through the company he founded Sonder Investment Group, he owns just under 400 units. Sterling was featured on the BiggerPockets Podcast and has been contributing content to BiggerPockets since 2014, with over 200 posts on topics ranging from single family investing and apartment investing to wholesaling and scaling a business.

    Vania Castillo investor from New York City, New York
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Congratulation Sterling!!!! Well done. I agreed with your point. I did not break a World record (That is huge!!) I just trained, participated and finished New York City Marathon. I race of endurance, focus, lavareging others knowledge and taking one step at a time (literally!). Brandon often asks BP podcast guests what makes the difference between investor that succeed and those that quit or never start and many of the guests agreed that persistence/ endurance/pushing through adversity are very important traits in order to succeed. Have you been a guest in the podcast? I love to hear your story getting the World record and in your journey as RE investor!!
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thank you so much for the kind words Vania. Marathons are no easy feat so I congratulate you on finishing to the very end. No I have not been a guest on a bp podcast, but its something in the works! Keep up the great work Vania!
    Al Williamson rental_property_investor from Sacramento, CA
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Sterling, Bruh, you’re so spot on! I’m a former gymnast, marathoner, and cyclist… now an investor and yogi. All your points are dialed in. You’ve dropped the mic on this one.
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thank you for the kind words Al. Wow that is impressive what you were involved with!
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Hello Sterling, Good article with some reminders on how to succeed in Real Estate is similar to how one can succeed in life. “Anything worth having is worth working for.” It does take time and effort to achieve one’s goals. Thanks for the reminder. Nancy
    Sterling White rental_property_investor from Indianapolis, IN
    Replied over 3 years ago
    You are very welcome. Thanks for stopping by for the read.