Greetings from the metropolis of Cedar Crest, New Mexico!
I just got back from a fun filled week with my youth group in Durango, CO. I (and three other adult sponsors) took twenty one high schoolers to a C.I.Y. conference hosted at the Fort Lewis College campus. We joined over a thousand other kids for a fun filled week of God, music, learning and shenanigans. It was a blast. I love young adults….their energy…their boldness….their idealism….and yes…their practical jokes.
The events included river rafting, ultimate frisbee, basketball and games that encouraged projectile vomit. Entertainment at it’s best! My guess is that BiggerPockets.com will not allow me to show the vomit pictures…but below is a river rafting picture with me and some of the gang. I am the old guy…but not the real old guy (the guide at the back of the raft)
Overcoming the Moron Label
When I write….I try to have a deeper meaning with my topics and I try to go beyond the “how to…..” articles. Not because those articles are not important, they are. But because I feel that being an entrepreneur is more of an art than a “how to.” Like being an artist….being an entrepreneur usually looks/sounds silly to others until you are successful….then everyone calls you a genius and wants to know your secret. But…until you are labeled a genius….you are labeled a moron. If you never become a success….chances are the “moron” label will stick.
When I first started investing in real estate….like many of you, it started with a book. Then I went to a boot camp. Three or four day of intense instruction, a certificate and a hug at the end….and off I went…into the harsh reality of real estate investing.
When I came back from the boot camp, I told friends and family with bursting excitement of my new career as a real estate investor. As you can imagine….it was received as if I had told them “I was abducted by aliens….an oh…by the way…I am now an Amway distributer.” If that was not enough….having to explain to them that I did not need any money to buy real estate because I learned how to buy with no money down….gave me the label of MORON.
Now….years later….I no longer wear the label “moron” (ex-girlfriends and in-laws excluded)….well…at least I think. After accumulating residential real estate and then commercial real estate….the “moron” label dropped and now I was being asked “Rob…what is your secret.” Well….here is the secret(s)….
1) Don’t buy the book The Secret….it’s crap and you know it (let the hate mail begin). Blasting the book, The Secret, gave me tons of traffic on my blog…so I like to throw it in there every now and then.
2) Go deaf! Yes….hopefully you are still reading after my #1 secret. But the ability to not listen to your critics (friends and family especially) is by far the most important. For some reason, I did not give the words of my critics any value. I was so convinced that I was doing the right thing that…I became “verbally bullet proof.” Which is a blessing. My mind was on a mission….and nothing could distract me. I am not sure how I was able to do that….but the “burning why” (I did not want to get a job) was there and I ignored everyone….except my mentors.
3) Wear Blinders. Most entrepreneurs have A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). I am not sure if that is a fact…but I heard it somewhere (credibility at it’s best). So….I am going to assume that most entrepreneurs have a hard time staying focused. Whew….I sure did. When I started investing, I was approached by so many different opportunities that I tried to do it all. From real estate software to international investing to multi-level marketing. All good opportunities…but they were not in my business plan….so I said no to temptation and continued on. What a great decision. Staying focused and being blind to other opportunities kept me in the game.
I think business plans are a requirement not just for goals and objectives…but to help screen out opportunities that may take you away from what you are trying to accomplish.
So…..here is to all the geniuses out there….wear your label well!
Until Next time…..rob