My favorite stories are about those with big dreams who persevered until they achieved their goals. These characters have the mental and physical fortitude to do whatever it takes to get there. I look for ways to be inspired by these people whenever I can: by watching great sports movies, reading commentary from Warren Buffet, or listening to real-life stories. I’m personally inspired by their stories and willingness to share the experiences—the good and bad they’ve gone through to accomplish their goals.
I just finished listening to the book Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold is incredibly famous due to his movies, being a bodybuilding champion, his life in politics, and marrying into the famous and powerful Shriver family. But did you know that Arnold first became financially stable—and eventually independent—not from the movie business, but through real estate? He had a vision early on of what the end result would look like, and he was focused and driven to that end.
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A Relentless Pursuit of Goals
Arnold was an immigrant. His father was not the easiest to deal with, creating for a difficult home life at times. At a young age, Arnold was charismatic, creative, and driven. He had dreams of going to America and becoming a bodybuilding champion, a movie star, and financially independent through real estate. He became relentless in his pursuit.
This story is not unique. There are many incredible stories of immigrants who moved to the United States and built fortunes, businesses, and lives. But the thing that struck me about Arnold was how pragmatic he was in his approach, relentless in his learning, and driven to grow as a person and in business. He was able to lay out steps to get to each goal and quite literally check things off the list as he achieved them.
In previous blog posts, I’ve talked a lot about saying “no” to everything so you can say “yes” to the “one thing.” Arnold was a master. He trained in bodybuilding with vigor. He learned about the business, aligned himself with the best competitors, worked with the best trainers, and eventually becoming one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.
Financial Freedom Allows for Options
He was eventually invited to America for a bodybuilding competition and was able to set his sights on his next goal of moving to America and becoming a movie star. While training and winning more competitions all over the world, he grew his small business out of his apartment—and also found time to attend acting school. Although others around him suggested he would not land good roles or that his accent and body would hold him back, he always believed he would be a leading man. He waited until the right part came along, and he took the opportunity.
Over time, Arnold became an instantly recognizable movie star and made an incredible amount of money. But the point here is all the while, he was buying, accumulating, and investing in real estate. His first purchase wasn’t a single family home; it was a small apartment building that covered his monthly cost of living. And he continue to invest his earning into real estate deals that made sense. He learned from mentors and partners in the business.
Today, it’s estimated his net worth is in the $300 million range. He has made millions in movies, but he was able to create his wealth through real estate by reinvesting the income into assets. While other acting and bodybuilding friends were working for an income, he started building his passive income early on to support him while he pursued whatever he wanted to. He understood how real estate would enable him to do what he wanted and not trade time for dollars in his life.
It’s OK to Struggle—and Get Help
Whether you are sitting at home, at work, in an airport, or on your cell phone, I want you to feel your hunger and desire to win. As I listened to Arnold’s story, I felt motivated to build my own unique story of growing my business and my life through real estate. I want you to visualize your story and pull from the stories and people that inspire you.
You’ll need to pursue your goal with patience and persistence. Understand you will have tough days. You will fail. You will likely lose sometimes. But be humble, learn, and grow. Seek out mentors and teachers who can help you. Review your goals each and every day, and let them become not an idea, but a part of your very makeup. Make the choice now, that when you do struggle, you will get up and remind yourself that it’s a part of the journey towards the goal you made.
In one story, the book recalls when Arnold argued with James Cameron, the writer and filmmaker of the The Terminator, about whether to say “I will be back” or “I’ll be back” in that famous line. James was persistent about the language choice, which ultimately became the most famous line of the movie, a phrase quoted for decades after. Although Arnold thought it wasn’t the right line, James had written the film and knew the correct choice.
Ultimately, it took the effort of both of these guys (and countless others) to make this movie. We will never know if the line ultimately would have been as famous if they had changed it, but we do know this: Even as driven, focused, and talented as Arnold was, he still had many people who helped him reach his goals. Make sure you keep your vision, understand your goals, and seek out people who have like-minded plans.
What books have motivated you lately?
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