Yes, Financial Success Is Simple. But No One Said it Would Be Easy.

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I bet when most people picture themselves financially successful in business, it feels completely intoxicating for a moment. It’s sexy to think about making millions of dollars, being your own boss, driving fancy cars, and making it big. But then you think … wait, I’m just not that lucky. I didn’t go to the right school. I didn’t have the right this or that. I can’t do that. You feel like success comes easy to some people, but not to you.

Do you think successful people have achieved what they have with the greatest of ease and simple dumb luck?

Success is Not a Game of Chance

Success is a series of calculated daily choices. These choices lead to specific outcomes because there is clarity on the desired outcome and the steps to get there. Then, there is complete obsession over the ideas. They are dreamt about and molded out of nothing. Reviewed. Then torn apart. Then put back together. Over and over again.

I get just as tired of hearing the quick-rich schemes as I do the complaining about not having what you want or what you think you deserve. Overnight success is not just a $1,999 purchase away. Quit complaining about what hasn’t come to fruition if you’re only compelled enough to talk and not compelled enough to take action. There are a few people out there who did buy the winning lottery ticket and were handed a fortune. They got lucky.

For curiosity sake, I Googled, “What are the odds of winning the lottery?” The result was a pathetic 175 million to one. Wow. That is really an exciting possibility, right? Not. There is no way those kinds of odds make it motivating to play, or suggest a reasonable potential to win. They are terrible odds. Why do so many people still pay (and lose) so much money to something like the lottery?

Playing the Lottery is Easy and Takes Little Effort

Just because you can do something, whatever it is, doesn’t mean you should. Easy is just what it sounds like. Easy leads to doing something half way: a job not completed. An idea only partially explored. A business not developed. A leader not leading.

Easy is a killer of success. It is the method of mediocrity.

There is a big difference between easy and simple. Easy means not putting in the work. Simple, on the other hand, indicates a clear path to the desired outcome. Simple isn’t easy. It’s understanding what is necessary to complete your goal.

Seventy Percent of Lottery Winners Will Lose it All

The next question I Googled was, “What percentage of lottery winners lose all their money?” One of the first articles I found, written in 2016, was entitled, “Why Do 70% of Lottery Winners End Up Bankrupt?” Apparently winners don’t understand what to do with the money. They don’t have a knowledgable team to advise their spending or investing. Friends, relatives, and others who know they’ve won all come out of the wood work for a hand out, a loan, a new car, a house.

These people got lucky. They didn’t earn it.  And then they didn’t know what to do with it.

The article gave an example of someone who was successful in keeping his lottery fortune. Upon winning, this person immediately hired an accountant, an attorney, and a life coach. Why? Because he knew he didn’t know what to do with the money. He knew he needed to bring in others who had experience, had been there before, and could help coach and guide him.

Related: 5 Ways Financially Successful People Think Differently

Success is Simple—It isn’t Easy

Let’s take the example of flipping a house. Flipping a house is simple. You need to buy it correctly at the right price. Then you must have the funds or the loan to purchase it. It’s imperative that understand the contract for the purchase. You must know what the financing terms are and what they mean. Know your exit strategy and the value of the home before you buy it. Otherwise, you won’t know what “success” is supposed to look like.

Then, you must hire the right contractor or have the required skills to do the plumbing, electrical, painting, and flooring. Install the HVAC, and put a roof on the house. Get the windows in square. Pick the right colors for the exterior trim, the body color, and the accent color for the front door. Select the right tile for the bathroom, kitchen floor, and the backsplash.

Then, you must get the house put back together. Clean it. Market it correctly, and price it right. Get an offer. Understand what the contract says, and what the buyer is asking for. What are the obligations of each party according to the contract? Then it’s time to go through the escrow process, inspections, appraisals, and the negotiations throughout.

It’s simple. But it isn’t easy.

Take Accountability For Where You Are and Where You Are Going

If you aren’t doing what you want to be doing, then start doing it. It’s simple. (Yes, I keep repeating myself for emphasis). Do your homework. Make mistakes. Believe in the vision. Do the work. Make more mistakes.

You can’t be afraid to fail. Failing is a part of the learning process. It’s ok. Your goals must be written down. And they have to make sense. You have to believe in them and want them so badly that you are willing to accept nothing less than success.

This means that you are accountable to do whatever it is today in order to achieve the outcome you desire. You can’t achieve that outcome without having a crystal-clear vision of where you are going. You must be able to imagine what it will look like when you are done.

Related: What Sets Apart Successful Real Estate Investors From Those Who Fail, Quit, or Never Get Started?

The Path is Already Laid For You By Those Who Have Been There Before

Whether your goals have been accomplished by others before (flipping a house, building a business, writing a book) or they are goals that have yet to be accomplished (flying people to mars, curing cancer), there are examples, paths, and processes to achieving these outcomes. Leonardo Da Vinci, Dale Carnegie, the Wright Brothers, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Meg Whitman; every single one of these people has enjoyed incredible business and financial success. They have taken risks. They have suffered defeats. And they have learned from them, grown from them, and turned them into their own successes.

To be successful you must surround yourself with people who have similar motivations and goals. Collaborate with leaders and believers. If none of the people you surround yourself with are doing what you want to be doing, then you are hanging out with the wrong people.

If you truly want to be successful, make today the end of easy. Easy is dead. Simple is here.

Lay out your plan. Work, mold, build, learn, and grow. Then scale the plan. Take it and make it your own. Be the best at it. Believe in it. Be fanatical. Be crazy. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Who cares what anyone else says? It doesn’t matter what they say.

If you really want to be successful at something, then make a plan and go get it.

What are some ways you’ve made a plan and stuck to it? Let me know in the comments below!

About Author

Nathan Brooks

Nathan Brooks is the co-founder and CEO of Bridge Turnkey Investments, a Kansas City-based company renovating and selling more than 100 turnkey properties per year. With over a decade of experience in real estate, Nathan is a seasoned investor with a large personal portfolio and a growing business portfolio. Just last year, through Bridge Turnkey Investments, he helped investors add over $12 million in value to their real estate portfolios. Nathan regularly produces educational content to fuel his passion for helping other people learn about and find success in real estate investing. He has been featured regularly on industry podcasts such as the BiggerPockets Podcast, Active Duty Passive Income Podcast, Freedom Real Estate Investing Podcast, Fearless Pursuit of Freedom Podcast, Titanium Vault, The Real Estate Investing Podcast, The Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever Show, the Good Success Podcast, FlipNerd, Wholesaling Inc., The Real Estate Investing Profits Master Series, Flipping Junkie Podcast, Flip Empire podcast, Think Realty Radio, and more. He is a sought-after speaker and writer and can be found on stage regularly at events across the country.


  1. John Murray

    I have been successful in RI and other investments. It was never about the money, I have based my life on doing things most cannot. Whether it was in military training, professional endeavors or investments I do the best I can. Jumping out into the cold dark night at 35000 feet or turning around a rental in 90 days it’s not about money. It is doing things others cannot even imagine doing. The satisfaction that I tried and gave 110%, if I fail, I retool and succeed. Success is simple, the complex part is the dedication.

  2. Michelle Romano

    Hello Natan – very inspiring and want to know more from yo. I am a novice investor. Started out attending a weekend course and jumped in. I completed 2 flips and made a small profit on both and have two rentals. However, I did not have a plan, exit strategy and used my own money and now I am struggling in debt and looking to learn the correct way to invest. I would love to join in Friday November 3 but I am working at that time. I am a BP member. Will you be recording or doing other webinars?

    • Nathan Brooks

      Hi Michelle – thanks for taking the time to share here! I am proud of you working on your first two flips, and two rentals. There is always more to learn and grow within real estate … no matter how many deals you are doing! Make sure you have a great support system around you, especially locally where you are. Get a great mentor or coach, and don’t be in a hurry to buy houses, be in a hurry (if there is anything to hurry on at all!) to get it RIGHT! Buying houses right makes all the difference. Good luck Michelle!

  3. Heidi Neilson

    Thanks so much for this post, Nathan. I’m in the process of closing my existing profitable business, because without my heart in it, everything became way too *complicated*. I’ve been devouring BP material these last few weeks, and enjoying watching my understanding grow, of the “clear path to the desired outcome” in real estate. Simplicity is emerging as one of my key values, and you’re speaking right to my heart with this one.

    (BTW… I’m planning a research trip to Kansas City before the end of the year… and you’re on my short list of people to talk to about working together. Thanks for all the good vibes you spread here at BP!)

  4. karen rittenhouse

    So well said, simple – not easy.

    Gurus and flip-it TV shows have hurt people by making them think this business is get-rich-quick. I always ask those to look around and tell me how may they know – or even know of – for whom this theory has worked. None.

    Success takes time, effort, and focus, but it’s available to us all. Simple.

    Thanks for your post.

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