Describe what makes you successful?

23 Replies

Napoleon Hill, "Think And Grow Rich" was a profound book that help change the set of my sail.   Just as a ship can change course with the wind, you can change the direction of your life by the setting of your sail.

In it, he has analyzed and carefully interviewed over (500) financially successful people over many years to compile information for the secret to their success.   

If you have read it great, if you have not, no problem there are many other great books having been written on the subject that has helped 'change the set of your sail'.  I am curious as to the variety of answers that will be written and collected when one describes:  

What was the book that "changed the set of your sail?"

& "What makes you successful?"

The E-Myth Revisited was instrumental in my thinking about entrepreneurial matters.

As for what makes me successful, it's likely my laziness.  Because I don't like working, I do my best to ensure that every minute I AM working, I'm focused on the task(s) that are most instrumental to my business successful.

I did not have a book that changed my mindset.  It was a person that used to work for me when I was a manager at a large company. 

I sat down with him one day to go over his job performance.  He informed me that if I made his job unpleasant, that he would quit.  I asked him how he could just walk away and he informed me of his apartment ownership.

Our conversation changed from there.  I tried to get him to teach me but he just kept telling to go and buy some.

I ended up partnering with him on a few deals after I got my feet wet.  I quit my job just over three years after him and I had our conversation.

I think what makes me successful is by not considering myself successful. There will always be someone richer, or more successful... so I refuse to become complacent. I am methodical in my practices. Whether it be my 9-5, my real estate, my hobbies, or even my work outs. I am consistent, persistent, and insatiable. I can only see myself slowing down once I have a family and kids... but I don't have that right now, so I can continue to work myself like a maniac, so that when I have kids I don't have to.

Jon Huber, Real Estate Agent in New Jersey (#NRS0565737)

What/Who changed the set of my sail?

- My college professor. I was taking courses for my MSCE. My favorite professor said "if I look at your nightstand, I can tell you what you should be with your life." I went home, looked at my nightstand and saw 3 real estate books. 

What makes me successful?

- Marrying my wife. She was the only person being supportive when I wanted to quit my engineering job to do real estate full-time in 2009. Five years later, we are miles ahead financially. Whew......That was the right move. FREEDOM................

@J Scott  thanks!  I need to read E-Myth, it's been mentioned over and over again by many during the BP Podcasts.  Focus on what matters most in growing your business, and working on taking yourself out of the business, instead of working in it.  I like that.

@Steve Olafson Thanks for sharing & congratulations on your success! Leaving your large company after three years is courageous, and impressive. Sometimes some need to see ones success before they start to believe they too can achieve it for themselves. "Seeing is believing." I think partnering with someone who you know, perhaps even trust with a proven successful track-record is a great way to get started. Were the deals you partnered with your former co-worker all Multi-family units, SFR's or combination of both?

@Jon Huber   thanks for sharing, great points.  Refuse to be complacent, and be persistent and consistent.

@Minh Le   thanks for sharing.  It is great to have the support and belief from your spouse that you will be successful.  That means a lot to have that love & support in you.  Congratulations on making the shift.  

What were the titles of the (3) real estate books on your nightstand?

All great and inspirational stories guys. Especially @Steve Olafson  , it just shows how we all can learn from each other, even our subordinates.

Originally posted by @Vince Beusan:

I think partnering with someone who you know, perhaps even trust with a proven successful track-record is a great way to get started. Were the deals you partnered with your former co-worker all Multi-family units, SFR's or combination of both?

 I did not partner with him until success was achieved.  He was not a mentor but he was a friend.  We did some multi-family rehabs together that I had found.  They made us both a few bucks.  I ran the projects, he helped and put in his share of money.

Originally posted by @Minh Le :

What makes me successful?

- Marrying my wife. She was the only person being supportive when I wanted to quit my engineering job to do real estate full-time in 2009. Five years later, we are miles ahead financially. Whew......That was the right move. FREEDOM................

I'm going to go with this answer as well...

My wife and I were making nearly $500K per year in our corporate jobs, and it would have been very easy for her to say, "I'm quitting to be a stay-at-home-mom and you keep working the corporate job to pay the bills..." 

But she didn't...she actually encouraged both of us to quit and take the risk as a family.  She is the key to our success...and even if we weren't making a dime, she'd still be the head cheerleader for our team...

Motivation.

@David T.   thanks for the reply.  If motivation makes you successful, what motivates you?  Was there a book or an event that help 'set the sail' for you in a new direction?

@J Scott  I agree, it's so important to have that encouragement from your wife to take the risk together as a family.   Congratulations as well on making the shift from a very high paying corporate career.  

How long after you began investing in R.E. were you able to make the shift to FT Real Estate from your FT corporate career?

I'm motivated because I know if I ever stop working and engaging with other people, I'm a corpse! Then of course there's family.

Novice. Nothing to show for getting involved in the real estate game......yet. Rich Dad Poor Dad opened my eyes when I read it last February after learning I would be laid off from my job. That book confirmed to me why I gave up and got bored in school around 12 or 13. Luckily I always questioned why people did the things they did and never went with the crowd. Best thing to ever happen to me: Never went to an expensive college and never got a good paying job. Mostly my motivation comes from the fear of "settling down" with a safe job, a mortgage and a minimal retirement plan. Im 28 and hope to free by 30.

Originally posted by @Vince Beusan :

@J Scott  I agree, it's so important to have that encouragement from your wife to take the risk together as a family.   Congratulations as well on making the shift from a very high paying corporate career.  

How long after you began investing in R.E. were you able to make the shift to FT Real Estate from your FT corporate career?

We left our jobs in March 2008, without a specific plan in place (real estate or otherwise).  The goal was to spend the summer putting together a plan and see where it took us.  We were planning to do some real estate investing part-time, but weren't planning on actively investing or flipping houses -- we were actually expecting to start a completely different business.  

A couple months later (August 2008) we decided to flip a house "just for fun," and then quickly did another and another.  By the end of 2008, we figured that we could make a business out of it, and started to focus on real estate as our sole business.

So, we kind of fell into real estate by accident, but it quickly became our sole business focus...

A book did not "change the set of my sail" but a person did.  That person was my Father.  I watched my Dad from a very young age work himself to the bone to provide for his family.  He gave my brother and I great lives and we became self sufficient adults.  Once we were adults, he focused on himself and built a life and longed of retirement and constantly talked of all the things he was going to do once he "made it"  

Unfortunately he passed away the day before he retied and it taught me life is not a given.  I needed to stop talking about what I would do and do it.  Every day it motivates me to have the life my father dreamed of.  

I do not mean this to be a downer but it was such a life changer for me.  When he died 2.5 years ago I had 1 house and now I am about to have 13.  It has influenced everything I have done

What makes me successful?  I do not want some huge real estate empire.  I do not want employees and hundreds of millions of dollars.  I want to enough to live my life how I want to live it and how my Dad couldn't.  Success is being able to wake up every morning and do what makes you happy  

Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Wisconsin (#57846-90) and Illinois (#471.018287)

@Grant Bublitz   thanks for jumping in and sharing your story.  You're surrounding yourself with a lot of positive like-minded people on BP.  Fear can be turned into a great motivator.  Knowing inside that you won't settle and you can provide the safety and security you desire.  

I read a lot, and with each book I read I jot down on a 3x5 card a good 'take-away' or 'nugget' of information and put it in a stack on my desk to reference over and over again to read and to share with my wife and kids.  

Well, when I read "Think and Grow Rich" there were a lot of good points I had jotted down.  One of which comes to mind, with what you said about the fear of settling down made me think of:  "Everything man creates begins in the form of thought, leads one very near to the principle by which fear may be mastered."   He went on to say, "All fear is a state of mind.  It may not always be eliminated but its strength & influence may be controlled by self." -Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich   

Thanks @J Scott for sharing.  I will read your house flipping book, it's on my list of books to read.

@Brie Schmidt   what a powerful story, thanks for sharing that life changing event about your father. I am sure your father would be very proud of his daughter now knowing you're living life on your terms, and blazing your own trail making it happen and to be happy.  Good for you!

You've also learned & grown from going from 1 investment home to 13 homes in 2.5 years, that's awesome!

I'm so impressed by the collection of stories that people have left on what makes them successful and has helped to 'change the set of their sail.'  Thanks to everyone contributing and leaving their story. @David T.  

My mother had the most profound influence on me. I was taught nothing is free, work for what you want and you will achieve it, and honesty above all else. That was her message for the three of us from day 1. Every day we heard that. As for books, "Think and Grow Rich" as well as "Illusions" have made a huge impact.

John Thedford, Real Estate Agent in FL (#BK3098153)
239-200-5600

Vince,

The 3 books are:

How I turned $1,000 into Five Million in Real Estate by William Nickerson

How to make Millions in Real Estate in 3 years by Tyler Hicks

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Living in our neck of the woods, it seems like quite a few individuals are making 6 figures income.  It's not easy just to leave your 6-figure job, which is perceived as secured, and dive into the unknown, and this is 2009 we're talking about.  The sky was falling while I recognized that was an opportunity once in a lifetime. 

Everyone on my side and her side of the families said I was crazy.  My mom was neutral.  My wife said "I believe you can do it."  I told her to allow me to try it out 3-5 years.  If I don't make it, I can always ask for my job back.  After all, Civil Engineers are using 100+ years old formulas to design bridges, tunnels and buildings.  It's not like my skills would be outdated. :0)

I cannot stress enough about having a supportive spouse.  It's a team effort.  Had my wife said "Nope, I'm not comfortable,"  I'm not sure where we would be financially now.  Did I mentioned that her company relocated 3.5 months after I quit my job, and she was out of a job.  LOL!  Talking about throwing a monkey wrench into our plan. 

I told wife to take the year off and stay home with our new born baby.  4 months into it, her former boss, who was now a CFO of a hi-tech company came by to visit our new born baby, offered wife a job.  We turned it down, and the CFO came back with a better offer.  Wife took it and went back to work after 5.5 months.  This is Summer 2010 when companies were still laying off, and almost no companies were hiring.  I guess it's not what you know, but it's who you know.  

3 months ago, I asked my wife to take my daughter to our local Biggerpockets Investors Meet-Up in San Jose.  Everyone was clapping their hands when I introduced my wife and daughter to them.  Everyone heard a lot about her but have never asked her.  @J Martin asked my wife what I do.  Her response was "Nothing.  He doesn't do anything."  J thought that was cool I have such a supportive wife, who lets me screwing around all day with real estate.  

Thank God everything worked out.  My siblings and hers are wealthier now because of me/us. Now, everyone said that was the best decision I have ever made for ourselves and our families. Who would have thought one decision could change so many lives. 

Cheers.

Years ago I found myself a single father of two small girls. To say money was tight would be a HUGE understatement. I had to find anyway I could to make extra money and by renting out the upstairs that began my Real Estate involvement. That was a long time ago but the lessons learned during those hard times are still with me and are my motivation. Real Estate has provided me a life I could have only dreamed of. And like @ Brie I don't need to be huge but big enough to enjoy my life.

There have been books and people who have taught me but the book of past Hard Knocks is in my roots.

@Minh Le  and @J Scott are spot on with how much the spousal support helps, but I don't have that yet! (Thanks for inspiring me though Minh ;)

1) Sacrifice - I bit the bullet on where I lived, moving, and allocating my money when I was just getting into my first job and into real estate. It paid HUGE dividends!

2) Networking - Learning from, sharing with, and connecting with others. It's done wonders for creating new deals, both with ideas about how to create new ones, and meeting great people to partner up with or buy deals from (last one about 3 months ago with 2 people I met from networking locally!)

3) Generosity & Sharing - This is the spirit of BP, and the spirit of local networking events like @Johnson H.  and I have grown from a great group of local investors. There aren't any coaching sessions or properties being pushed. Just investors getting together to share their knowledge about real estate, deepen their relationships, and be giving without expecting something in return. I've benefitted a lot from what others have shared (Special thanks Minh!!), and I have tried to be generous in sharing my time and knowledge with others also..

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