Success without a mentor. Anyone?

21 Replies

Hi. I'm a newbie. I'm wondering if anyone here on BP has been successful for a long period of time without a mentor. I know from reading articles that it is possible learn the whole thing yourself through books and whatnot. But I'd like to see if a real person here on BP is successful in this field by teaching themselves. Please share your stories. Thank you.

there are tons on here that had success by learning the hard way. Listen to pod cast 77 for a great story about just that. Good luck!


I see this is your first post. Welcome to Biggerpockets. What is your definition of successful? Successful is different to everyone. Yes, you can learn a lot from books and podcasts. The best teacher is "learn by doing". You have to take action. Books and podcasts can only take you so far. 

No doubt you will make a lot of mistakes along the way, but that's how you learn. Having a mentor is great because you get to learn on someone else's nickel. J. M. has built a $1M real estate empire in as little as 2 years recently just by taking action. When you stumble along the way, just post your questions here and someone will help you out. 

Best of luck. 

Yes and it's about 98% because of BP.  1% from books and the other 1% is attributed to networking and learning the local market from other investors, realtors, and research. 

@Andri Artayudianto  I don't think many people truly have "mentors."  I think most have a network of people they can bounce ideas of off, and a willingness to soak up all the info they can (in places like BP).  Early in my career, I had a number of people who were smarter than me who were willing to answer questions here and there.  I still do!

@Andri Artayudianto Yes I did it.check out my recent success story post here

the first 1-2 years I didn't have a network let alone a mentor. I think it really has it's pros and cons Not having a mentor. By not having a mentor/network I made risky moves. I messed up a lot more than needed and a lost money at times. However I also learned a ton. I learned what kind of properties I wanted not someone else's opinion. I do things slightly differently than most landlords and that is paying off big now. If I would of had the experienced mentor I may have relied on him/her too much and simply just followed the beaten path.

If I had to choose I absolutely would say if you find a true mentor looking out for your best interest than no doubt peruse the relationship. Just be aware of relying on them too much to direct you.

Real estate mentors' weren't around until a few years ago, when it suddenly became fashionable.  But there were will real estate investors before then. 

So, anyone who's been in this for a few years, has likely done it without a mentor, because there weren't any.

That would depend on your definition of mentor. Most if not all successful investors, even if they don't have someone in the field that they look up to and learn from have people like lawyers, contractors, designers, real estate agents, etc. that they work with. Most of these people are around because they are professionals that have a skill that you don't have and can learn. Bottom line, everyone learns at least part of this profession from someone whether they consider them a mentor or not.

Thank you for all the replies and the welcoming. I feel that I'm not gonna be in this all by myself after all :). 

I'm here to learn, build friendships and hopefully help others when I know what I'm doing. And I'm here to stay.

Btw, by "mentor" I meant someone who's willing to teach in exchange for thousands of dollars upfront and a bunch of other undisclosed fees during the program. I like the idea of splitting profits. But I can't be spending all my savings before I even start.

I'll try to be as active as I can on BP. So, please be nice ok? :)

@Andri Artayudianto  dont pay a guru, reach out to people on BP find out what kinda of investing you want to do and maybe get a course from someone (make sure to ask about them on BP first) but the GURU want your money, BP is here just for that. Get your feet wet we can all help you with the basics, it isnt that hard to figure out but it can be hard work at times.

@Jeremy Tillotson What do you mean by getting a course from someone? Isn't that the same as paying a guru?

@Andri Artayudianto  

What is it that you are looking to learn from a mentor? Are you looking to start with rental properties, flip, or wholesale? You will be surprised by how much you can learn from just being active on BP and your local REIA.

I have been investing for about 4 years and haven't paid any money to a mentor. May be I oversimplify real estate, but you buy a property and then depending on whether you want to rent or resell, you fix the property to bring it to market or slightly above market condition.

@Sharad M (How can have this "@Sharad M" highlighted so the person will get a notification for the mention) 

As far as techniques, I'm thinking wholesaling then rental when I'm in a better shape financially. I'm starting out from scratch. I'm still in the learning process. But in won't be long till I jump and make my first mistake on the field lol. But I'll make sure I know everything about wholesaling and rental in theory before jumping in.

@Andri Artayudianto  

If you wait till you know everything, then you will never get started. There is no better teacher than experience. I am not saying jump in blindly, but do some research and go out and start taking some action and ask specific questions here about the issues that trip you.

We have never had a "mentor" heck in the beginning anyone we mentioned it to thought we were nuts. A commanding officers was actually appalled that we had  "bought" a houses (a personal). So we rarely said anything to anyone (except VERY close friends even then) until recently. 

For us we have done very well with no mentor. We established goals (early retirement when my husband reaches 20 years in the military). .Than from there we started on our "plan" to get there. The key we have found is that the plans to get there constantly change. So we look at every idea and see whow it leads us to the final goal. This has allowed us to make some lemons into some VERY sweet lemonade.

Thank you for all the inputs and encouragement. I will definitely take action when I feel equipped. Knowing that there are real people who made it without a mentor really encourages me to become one of you one day. I'm ready to take my first baby step. 

Any reason why you wouldn't want a mentor?

@Andri Artayudianto  

This question just came up today over on the Cirrus owners and Pilots forum.. And it was very interesting to hear the responses from fellow Cirrus owners and pilots.. And because the Cirrus aircraft has been so successful it has a huge membership and a very active one. So many who started with Cirrus aircraft have moved up to Turbines and light jets and commercial jets.. So you talking about CEO's and guys and gals that have owned multiple companies and can buy 500 to 10 million dollar aircraft for themselves.. One of them who is the owner of 3D in LA  who owns a citation X  talks about a guy name Sullivan and how well he did for him. and others talk about this same success coach.. and there is a  club called TECH.. I have been invited just never joined.. any I know many in that association. But they all said they did well or really prospered with it.. Its funny thought to listen to these folks talk about it.. now they also talked about cost and the cost were 5 to 15k or a little more.. But they had their coach's for monthly in person meetings and 3 day retreats with other business owners in the same socio economic stratosphere.  So you can imagine the networking that goes on.

then there were a few responses for those that think its a total rip off and waste of money.. But how do you argue with guys that can afford personal JETS... I can't.

The issue is finding the right mentor or Coach.. not just the 100's of fly by night johnny come lately that gravitate to the masses in RE.. The RE student is like a lamb to the kill they are the most gullable and vulnerable of all potential students.. they get sucked into the you can get rich even with no money credit etc. And some do ... I know I started at 18 with no money.. like many others...

@Ali Boone. I can't spend all my savings before I even invest. Why pay $10,000 for one opinion, while you can get multiple opinions here for $0?

@Jay Hinrichs  Yes finding the right coach is key. I believe there are good people here who are willing share their knowledge and not all about business. I wish I started early like you and a lot of people did here. No regrets tho.

@Andri Artayudianto  

  my mentors in business were not in the RE business at all...But they all had very good points that created thought and provided me with inspiration to succeed.

Mentoring is hard on the coach too.

As a coach, I can not make you be positive in the face of adversity, deal with rejection daily, be available to talk to sellers 24 - 7, etc.

You need a heart to heart with your spouse as far as working your J O B and REI in tandem, along with cleaning the house and kid duty.

You need to crawl before you walk and fail before you succeed.

What are you willing to give up to succeed?  This is a business, it takes time and "shoe leather" and face to face "soft skills".

What are soft skills?

Mike LaCava writes about 6 Pillars.

I collected some great articles on soft skills and negotiating.

Best of luck to all,


I appreciate the wise words. I planned to stay for a very very long time. Please bear with me.

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