Real Estate Investing Adventure: To 2015 and Beyond

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Hello hello!

My name is Ryan. This is my adventure through the trials and tribulations of my real estate investing business. I began with absolutely zero knowledge, and this live diary will chronicle my expected mistakes, my hopeful successes, and the frustrations it takes to get through this business. I come from a writing and marketing background, so this is my natural way to be transparent and document my efforts. 

I would love to engage with you all actively and connect.

Posts will be made bi-weekly and dated appropriately so. I look forward to answering any questions and with this community as acquaintances, advisers, and maybe even friends.

August 2014

Entry 1


Prior to being a full time real estate, um, 'person,' I was a web marketing guy and writer. I wrote hundreds of articles on a weekly basis, sometimes about dentistry, music, architecture, horrible clothing lines, and even shoe shining. I was that guy that wrote the content for companies as opposed to having one of my own.

One of my most common areas of 'expertise' was real estate, and a large number of my clients requested articles on real estate investing. So I learning about the field of wholesaling. I learned about staging a house, tips on selling a home quickly, and other niches. it was a common trick for ranking high and getting a readership to title something '5 Quick Tips for Selling a Home as a Wholesaler.' As a matter of fact, you may have read my work- my name not being on it, of course. I was mostly a ghostwriter. I might have wrote for your current blog.

So as I learned to master this field in an indirect manner, I slowly became frustrated by my clients lack of knowledge in the field (they were hiring me after all) but also their understanding that they didn't NEED to do this dirty work- their time was more important than that. So it was time to cut the ties, move away from this slow burn 'side career,' and do this myself.

I knew enough to know that a coach of some kind was expected, and I opted for a backwards and lukewarm decision. I worked with the company Fortune Builders, and found myself taking two steps forward and one and a half steps back- progressing and regressing in this awkward dance of excitement and immediate disappointment.

It stands to reason that my expertise was forced and acquired through research and writing. What I lacked entirely was the path to actually, well, go out and do it. On the first week of September, I signed up with Fortune Builders expecting them to turn my career into a Cadillac. Unfortunately, they gave me a bicycle instead. It was better than walking, but it still hurt the legs and only got me a few miles. 

September 2014

Entry 2


I got a property under contract in the earliest days of September. It was valued at about 70K and a seller wanted to unloaded it quick. I nabbed it at 30. Now there is a curse and a fortune to this immediate success. It can build a false sense of overconfidence and security that can permeate your foundation. Truthfully, you can succeed quickly. But for long term consistency and success, maybe you shouldn't.

This overconfident swagger continued immediately. I began in the Fortune Builders jumpstart program on Sept 3rd- quite literally a day after I got a property under contract that I meant to wholesale. So they assured me a weekly conversation with a coach. They assured me access to a whole lot of podcasts, a cool deal analyzer, and books and contracts to help get my business, 'off the ground.' Despite the cliche wording, it was an intoxicating prospect. I went in with this level of confidence that only people that drink the cool-aid and have a rather bloated ego have. They always admit they are willing to learn, but are they...really? 

I wanted to remain humble, but I was the guy that was already successfully self-employed. I was also a year within being a millionaire, and remarking to family and friends that I just joined this exclusive coaching program. Sure, it cost me $2,995, and a part of me knew that I wasn't REALLY chosen- I had a bank account with at least $3,000.

The duration of September was almost entirely about Fortune Builders, and my excitement grew exponentially, until it deflated wildly around the second week. It was a very simple call. I was introduced to my coach on the first week, and it was simply a conversation on the basics and what to expect. yet this second week was a punch to the gut. The coach was clearly following a strict formula for topic discussion, and my 45 minutes was extinguished before I even got to my first 'advanced level' question.

My to do list for week 2? Make a goal list. Watch the videos. Have an open mind.

So there was this duality between the 'experienced' me and the rudimentary goals provided to me. I wanted more substance, and this was an exercise in frustration exemplified through a $3,000 program that taught me to write goals down and talk to people, albeit a bit of a glorified way. 

This is not to bash Fortune Builders by any means. The point here is simple- a mentoring program can provide some discipline in the earliest levels of the business, and as progression occurs, their resources can provide that little consistency. I watched a new podcast/webinar every morning, and soon found many other great series online (including Bigger Pockets). But it became clear to me that Fortune Builders was a foundation building plan. There was no house. 


@Ryan Merkel  thanks for these write ups. What's happening with that wholesale deal?

Hey Will!

As you can see, I am playing a little catch up here. I will touch on it a bit more in the next entry for the first half of October (or whole of October, not sure yet). I wholesaled that deal very early in the month, but it was an interesting scenario for how it played out.

This is awesome!  Looking forward to more!

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