I was twelve years old and decided my face needed some rearranging.
Most of us have been there. Playing outside with friends, doing something probably a little bit stupid, and getting hurt in the process. For me, it was this little red scooter that I would run and jump on, sliding across the driveway at mach-10 speeds. It was the most fun a kid could have.
Until I hit a rock.
I went flying off the scooter, leaving a nice trail of remnants of my face across the driveway. As I’m sure you know – there is only one word you scream out when that happens…
(no, not “that” word…)
Like I said, we’ve all been there. Our Moms take care of us when we’re injured, protect us when we’re weak, and encourage us when we need motivation.
They also help define who we are going to be.
Being that today is Mother’s day, I was thinking of my Mom and the lesson’s she taught me over the years that helped develop me into the kind of person I am today. So this post is a reflection on that – 5 lessons I learned from my Mom that helped define the kind of real estate investor I would become.
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Never Give Up, Even When Your Face is On the Driveway
After calming me down, cleaning me up, and making sure I knew what I did wrong, Mom sent me back outside to play. Mom understood that if I didn’t get back out there on the scooter again, I’d probably never get back on it for the rest of my life.
Isn’t that just like my investing?
I screwed up a lot over the years. At any of those points, I could have given up and said “I am just terrible at this.”
However, Mom taught me to be persistant and to keep moving forward. When you make a mistake – calm down, clean up, and learn from your mistakes, and get back out there.
Don’t Take Money for Granted
Around my 7th grade year, I had some spare change in my pocket.
Pennies, nickels, dimes.
Even as a seventh grader, I knew this money wasn’t going to get me much in life. Why does it matter? Why should I keep it?
So I threw it away in the garbage. Maybe $.27.
Boy was Mom mad.
I didn’t understand it at the time, but I didn’t appreciate the value of money. To this day, I find myself keeping every penny. It’s not that I’m cheap (far from it) but rather I understand that saving a penny here and a dollar there is more about the attitude than the money. Sure, it adds up over time (but not that much -all those pennies might make a few hundred bucks over a lifetime) but it’s the attitude of responsibility that mattered so much.
Reading Makes Everything Better
After the “garbage money” incident, my mom gave me a book.
It was called “How to Handle Your Money.”
You see, whenever I had a problem, my Mom gave me a book. I had books on how to deal with bullies, how to clean my room, how to get into college.
Mom taught me the value of reading and how books are one of the best sources of knowledge. To this day, I consider reading one of the most important methods for learning real estate.
Just as mom taught me to look to books to solve problems, that’s what I teach all new investors today. Definitely check out BiggerPockets Presents : The Best Real Estate Books Ever
Don’t Gamble Your Money
When I was in High School, I went to the local casino with some friends. I’ve talked about this before, but I had a “genius” plan to make my living playing Blackjack.
When I told my Mom about my casino adventure (and yes, my plan didn’t work and I lost my money), she obviously didn’t approve.
She had seen too many people lose all their money trying to “win big” but really put themselves in a cycle of poverty because of that mentality.
It’s not about going to the casino or buying a lottery ticket, and I know lots of people who do it just for fun – and that’s perfectly fine. However, what Mom was teaching me is that it’s about becoming a person who creates their own financial destiny and doesn’t rely on the casino or the government to provide it.
To Succeed, You Gotta Hustle
Mom was a garage saler.
Even to this day, she hosts several garage sales throughout the summer and makes good money doing it.
But it’s not easy.
Mom would wake up at 3am (or sometimes not sleep at all) the whole week before the sale, as she was out getting signs up, making price tags, organizing tables, and more.
During the “off season” she was out looking for deals every weekend at other garage sales, finding the best deals and the best value, so she could turn around and make a profit.
I don’t think I really need to expand on this one, eh? Pretty obvious how I learned the art of finding a good deal.
Funny, while I was writing this I came up with a whole lot more than five, but I don’t want this to be another 3,000 word blog post so I’ll stop here! However, there are countless areas of my current real estate investing life that I can see my Mom’s hands in.
What about you? What has your mom taught you that has helped you develop into the kind of person or investor that you are today. And what are you teaching your kids so they can learn and grow as well? Definitely let me know in the comments below.
And finally, I just want to take a minute (I’m the Editor, I can do this!) to wish my Mom a Happy Mother’s Day. Everything I am today I owe to you. The dedication you spent each and every day for 18 years on molding me into (hopefully!) a valuable member or society I will never be able to repay, but I thank you for it.
Happy Mother’s Day. I love you Mom!