How is Your Money Attitude?


I was in Dallas earlier this week attending an REO conference.  I like to attend a couple of REO conferences a year to help to get new business and to keep in touch with all my REO contacts.  It was a little hectic this week, because I decided to attend the conference on September 3rd and the conference started September 8th!  I bought my plane ticket, my conference registration and booked my hotel.  I left Sunday morning and got back Tuesday evening and it was an amazing trip.

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Lesson’s Learned…

At the conference I was able to learn many things about the current Real Estate market.  I heard Barney Frank speak, as well as many other very prominent and successful people.  One reason I love to go to these conferences is I get to meet with many very successful REO agents.  Not only do I learn what they are doing, but being around successful people is great for becoming successful yourself.  I was also able to meet with my HUD asset managers in person, which is always nice.   I belong to a group called US REO Partners, they are a nationwide organization for REO brokers.  USREOP had a charity dinner and a silent auction the first night to benefit the Jimmy V foundation.  I had the chance to bid on lunch with the owner of a very well known asset management company. (I will call him John, because I don’t want to intrude on his privacy.)  For $300 I was able to have lunch with this very successful business man and very influential person in the industry.

Successful People

Most REO agents would have had lunch with John in order to get business from his company.  I know how important it is to associate with successful people and I wanted to know all about him and why he has been so successful.  If you have read my other articles (such as my recent article on life coaching or my article on having a positive attitude) then you know I am a huge fan of self improvement and life coaching.  Associating with successful people is a key component in my coaching and everything  I read.  I am sure John is a multi millionaire, so when I had the opportunity to meet with him, I could not pass it up.


The first think I realized when I started talking with John was his attitude.  He was extremely positive, which is another key component of my coaching.  John mentioned  he always wanted to be successful, he always was looking for ways to make money and make a lot of it.  He was a professional football player for the Houston Oilers (middle linebacker), then went into Real Estate as a broker.  He entered the Real Estate field after football because he knew he could make a lot of money in Real Estate.  After being a broker, he started working with large companies like Fannie Mae on the REO side and was a top level executive before opening several of his own companies.

John was very candid about his life and success, and I think he was happy not to talk about REO.  John never had any reservations about wanting money and a lot of it, unlike many of us who have a negative towards the rich.  Many people see someone with a fancy car and mutter “lucky bastard” or “must be nice”. This negative attitude tells yourself that it is bad to be rich or rich people don’t deserve the money they have.  If you are telling yourself it’s bad to be rich, then you’re not giving yourself much of a chance to be rich.  You would be going against your own values if you became rich. I used do this to some extent, before I learned the huge mistake I was committing.  I thought he doesn’t deserve that house or he shouldn’t have all those listings, he is a bad agent.  Then I realized I was sabotaging myself with my own attitude, by harboring these negative thoughts and emotions towards the wealthy.  I now see someone with a nice house or car and think nice car, I’ll have one like that some day.

Surround Yourself With Success

My coach says I need to be around as many rich and wealthy people as I can.  Almost every book on being wealthy has said the same thing.   The more your are around the wealthy, the better chance you will become wealthy yourself.  You see how the wealthy think, how they treat people and how they go after what they really want.  You are also around people with money, who like to invest and like to make more money.  If you can help them make more money, then they may just go into business with you.

This year I have taken many steps to be around wealth.  I recently joined our local country club and although I haven’t used it much, we have been there a few times an love it.  My wife was very hesitant, because she was worried what her friends would think of her.  She thought they would think she was snooty and too rich for them, because of the club.  A couple of friends actually did think this, but others thought it was great.  The thing that really surprised her was how nice everyone was at the club.  No one was stuck up or snooty, they were all welcoming and very kind.  Harv Eker mentions this in his book, Secrets of a Millionaire Mind.  He moved into a very nice neighborhood and could not believe how nice everyone was.  He attributed it to the wealthy knowing a positive attitude and respect for everyone equals success.

Successful Habits of the Rich

At the end of lunch, John told me I should start a mastermind group – which was another key component of what I have been learning through my coaching. I said I had already been participating in a mastermind group and he smiled and said “I think you will do very well in life.  I can see you being a multi millionaire”.  I’m glad we both have the same vision!  I sent John an email thanking him for lunch and he replied back with:

“Hi Mark,

Great having lunch with you and I think you are on the right track for success. Stay focus and try to find the positive in every situation. Thanks”

It contently amazes how successful people have the same type of attitude towards life.  They are always positive, always focused and willing to help others out.  That email summed up my attitude perfectly over the last year and it blew me away that he did as well.

Building on the Positive

I was feeling so good about lunch, I decided to take a field trip while I was in Dallas. For those of you who read my blog, you know I love cars.  Not new cars, but old rare cars, preferably with a v12.  I have driven a Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari f430 this summer.  One of my dreams is to have a stable of exotic cars, right now I own a 1986 Porsche 928 and 91 supercharged Mustang convertible.

Screen Shot 2013-09-14 at 10.10.50 PMMy dream car has always been a Lamborghini Countach, which could be because I grew up in the 80’s.  The Countach was so crazy looking and incredibly fast in a time when cars were extremely boring and slow.  With my new found attitude about money and goals, I made buying a Countach one of my goals.  I really, really want to drive one or at least sit in one, but there are only four Countach’s currently for sale in the country.

Dallas just happens to have a Lamborghini dealership and they just happen to have a ……. Diablo.  No Countach, but a Diablo is the closest thing to a Countach.  The Lamborghini Diablo replaced the Countach and you may remember it from the movie Dumb and Dumber.  I like them a lot.  What I really wanted to know about a Countach is whether I will fit.  I have heard they are incredibly small and uncomfortable.  I am 6’1 and where a size 14 shoe so I called Lamborghini dealership and told them my situation.  They said I could come over and sit in the Diablo all I want they could help me decide about the Countach.

I found a cab and the driver had no idea where the dealership was.  I used my iPhone to get us directions and off we went….sort of.  The first address was not a Lamborghini address and we went about 7 miles the wrong direction.  This time I typed in the address I found from the Lamborghini website instead of trusting my iPhone to know where the dealership was. 15 miles later I could see the dealership approaching!

Eye Candy

Screen Shot 2013-09-14 at 10.10.39 PMTalk about being blown away!  They had a Bentley and two Lambos in the front parking lot.  Inside they had at least 25 Lambos (almost all new) three Ferrari’s and a couple of other makes.  They Also had two Adventadors, the $480k, 700 horsepower space ship Lamborghini now produces.  And there was the Diablo in the middle of the showroom, it was gorgeous.

The car dealer was awesome, we talked cars for an hour and I was able to sit in the Diablo and I fit!  Almost.  I had to take off my shoe to avoid hitting the gas and brake pedal at the same time.  The dealer informed me the Countach was much smaller than the Diablo and he didn’t fit in the car.   He was smaller than me and said he had to drive it with his head tilted the entire time.  He mentioned the Countach was also his favorite car as a kid, until he drove one.

Positive attitude

Bad news, the Countach is not a good option unless I never want to drive it.  Good news I love the Diablo, it’s newer, has more driver friendly features and they are actually cheaper.  I was very honest with the dealer, telling him I wasn’t planning to buy for a year or two – if that.  He was cool and said he had worked with people for four years, before they bought a car. Then he stopped my entire world with one sentence.  He told me that many people lease exotic cars, they don’t pay cash.  Basically you can lease to own the car for 10 years with 20 to 25% down and a 6% interest rate.  I always thought I would have to pay cash for a car like this and then have plenty of money left over for insurance and maintenance.  He just made owning a Lamborghini a lot more realistic and I learned a lot about my money attitude.

I thought I was good with being rich and having really nice things.  I had been taught by my coaches and books not to limit what I wanted in life.  If I really wanted something that was really expensive, don’t let myself believe it is impossible.  Don’t limit the amount money I think I can make, because my subconscious will listen and limit how much money I will make as well.  My subconscious was not so sure after I realized the Lamborghini was a closer possibility than I thought.   As soon as I imagined having the car and driving it where people could see me, my brain said what will all your friends and neighbors think?  They will think you are a rich bastard! I guess I have not quite graduated to fully released money attitude!


What do you think about when you see wealthy people and their luxury items?  Are you appreciative or jealous?  Remember, how you think about them and how you think about wealth in general can have a big impact on how wealthy you become.  If you are worried being rich will bring you bad things in life, think about all the good you can do.  The more money you have, the more you can give away to help others.  The more successful you are, the more other people will listen to you and you in turn can help them be successful.

I still want a Diablo, but I still have that though in the back of my head telling everyone will think I am a rich bastard.  I’m going to have to work on getting my money attitude to the next stage.

About Author

Mark Ferguson

Mark is Real Estate Broker and investor in Greeley, Colorado. Mark invests in long-term SFR rental homes and also does 8-15 fix and flips a year. Mark started a blog this year that focuses on investing in long term single family rentals.


  1. Fantastic, fantastic article, Mark.

    The only thing stopping us is our own “stinkin’ thinkin'” and the sub conscious mind is far more powerful than we realize. Isn’t it revealing that simply imagining driving your machine made your mind go to, “everyone will think I am a rich bastard.” I hope you recognize that is their problem – don’t let it become yours!

    When we started this business 9 years ago, one reason was because the media makes such a big deal about the 1%. Instead of resenting them, I thought, “I want to be the 1%; I wonder how I get there.”

    Now that we hang out with the wealthy, sometimes the very uber wealthy – even fortunate enough to hang with some billionaires – we discovered, just like you said, they are just like everyone else (what did we expect??).

    Except that their money language is very different. And, they are amazing givers. A wonderful mental shift is going from how to make money to how to share your wealth. Without the 1%, the world would be a much less wonderful place.

    I highly recommend the book “Abundance, the Future is Better than You Think” by Peter Diamandis. These are some things the wealthy are creating for the planet that the media doesn’t focus on.

    Creating wealth is not only a good thing, it is necessary – I see it as a responsibility – to provide for those all over the globe who can’t.

    We are truly blessed to live where we live and to have the opportunities that we have. Creating wealth shows others they can do it to.

    See, you NEED to be wealthy! 🙂

    Here’s wishing you unlimited real estate wealth and success!

    • Thank you for another great comment!

      I will check out that book for sure. I have realized that no matter how much I change my thinking, there is always more I can do. As far as giving, I have changed that part of my life as well. I love the idea of giving without expecting any type of recognition or reciprocation in return.

  2. Great article, Mark. A book that comes to the top of my mind with this topic is “Thou shall prosper” by rabbi daniel lapen. It takes a look at the essense of business, how it is service, it is creating a win win situation. I think this mentality needs to be spread especially in the US where it seems that common sentiment is that if you are a success you have crushed the lives of others to get where you are and that is a horrible thought.

    My income has increased every year but I continue to live below my means. I have a 96′ pickup truck and my wife’s vehicle is a 2006 Kia sorento. Nothing fancy and pretty utilitarian but of course, momma gets the better vehicle 😉 The only thing that causes me to pause when I think of spoiling myself is wether it would put me in a better position to serve others and grow as a business and person. If I buy a fancy vehicle for myself but have to tell my tenants that I can no longer do that upgrade I promised, then I probably should not have done that. If everything continues the way it has I should be able to do both in the coming years 😉

    • Thank you Kyle!
      I am a big believer in spending well below my means as well. I would never buy a car like that if I was my able to take care of my properties and have money to continue to invest with. I spend money on the things I love, which happen To be expensive. I don’t spend money on things that may be status symbols that I don’t care about like clothes, watches, etc.

  3. La Nae Duchesneau on

    Great article, I really enjoyed it.
    Sometimes we can only envision our lives being one way, until we meet someone or hear something that suggests otherwise. Imagine if more people knew about investing in real estate and how easy it is, or how to make money, or achieve something they always wanted. They just assume it is out of their reach. Until something happens in their life that allows them to think differently. They meet a mentor or teacher, see a billboard, hear someone talking about it. Like you being able to afford that Lamborghini. You wouldn’t have known you could lease it unless you actually went to the dealership to find out more about it. I guess most people simply don’t want to put the energy into fulfilling their dream, they simply assume they cannot do it. It is out of their means.
    That is the gift that the world definetly needs. The belief that they can do it. Look into it, try. You can do most of what you want if you simply want it bad enough.

    • Michael Dorovich on

      La Nae,

      ‘Imagine if more people knew about investing in real estate and how easy it is’

      Thanks for posting this! It may sound simple, but that one sentence makes a real difference for me. I believe you get what you think about, and seeing this thought as option is a light bulb moment.

      Thank you!

  4. LOL Good stuff indeed Mark!

    What do I think – well: I know that most of them didn’t buy it for cash. I this fool just dropped $70k for down-payment and is paying God only knows on a monthly basis. All to look fly for his friends – that’s the stupidest thing I ever heard…

    Are people really this misguided? I mean, if you can pay cash and feel nothing that’s one thing – you have accomplished a financial goal. But, going into debt, which is what most do, is just foreign to me. Thoughts?

    • Hi Ben,
      I agree. The Lambo dealer said most buyers are the uber rich or people who can barely afford the car, but want to look fly. They said it is very rare for a true enthusiast to buy one. That is one reason lambo and Ferrari are going away from manual transmissions. Seems like a sin to me on a car like that.

      I would leverage a car like that, but only if I have the cash to buy and maintain if I had to. I use my cash for better things. With a car like this that is 20 years old it will probably go up value. Not that I am buying as an investment.

  5. Stephanie Dupuis on

    Sincerely enjoying your articles, Mark. “What we tell ourselves, our mind will do. It has not choice.” I don’t remember who said this, but I firmly believe it. Thanks for taking the time to write and share your experiences.

    Truly, Steph

  6. You lost me at Barney Frank. The man very much responsible for the housing collapse should never be revered as an authority on anything. Except corruption and gay prostitution. He’s well versed in those.

  7. Mark,

    I paid cash for my Z3M Roadster, it is a limited edition, only 2000 were made. I think I bought it with 39000 miles on it, now has 65000. I love it, yeah it is small, but it is a great 5-speed “James Bond” car. I don’t use it for real estate, but I am thinking of changing out of real estate to get back into a better social use solution. I used to work with people solving IT related problems and projects. I miss this, as I have been out of it for almost 1 year. Working from home on properties or projects where you need to direct contractors has an affect on you as well, because the people you associate with, while being nice, are still not the same that stimulate your mind. I believe “John” stimulated your mind, and it is these types of folks that our brain needs to be pushed. The old adage of You become what you think about, from Think and Grow Rich is prevalent in everything we do. You lie down with dogs, you get fleas, while if you work with people of like mind, you become rich in your mind beyond anything related to dollars. Your mind is the most valuable asset you own, it is shame that some people want to fill it with dollars as the most valuable item they can own.


  8. I read The Millionaire Next Door many years back and bought the audio tapes which I listen to while on road trips. What I took away from the book is that the wealthy don’t necessarily look or act like what society thinks they should. I can remember as a kid my father introducing me to a couple friends of his who both wore jeans, drove old pickup trucks and were worth millions of dollars. To support my point, the authors determined that those people who were living the stereotypically rich lifestyle had high debt and low net worth.
    I think your suggestion that to become more successful we should connect with the wealthy is a fantastic idea, I’m just not so sure they are living the stereotypical lifestyle and as such be more difficult to locate than one might think.

  9. Michael Dorovich on

    Great article. It sounds like you wanted the Countach and found something even better in the Diablo.

    As awesome as a car like this is, does it makes sense to finance it? Or would it make more sense to set a goal to pay for it cash or buy an asset that pays the monthly bill?

    Is it worth it to finance something that does not produce an income, has a maintenance cost that is surely more than a Hyundai’s, and could be driven around and damaged, or even be driven off really fast in the wrong direction by an uninvited guest?

  10. Great article!

    It’s like looking at an athlete or a celebrity and saying, “Wow….must be nice to make $30 mill per movie and or year!!!” Compared to saying, “Wow…that is awesome that they are able to do that and I hope they make even more next year!”

    It’s a completely different shift in thinking from what traditional society tells us. Even if it isn’t necessarily you making the 30 mill per year, just being happy and optimistic to those who do makes a huge difference in your own personal wealth!

  11. Love this!
    Great look at your own attitude and limiting beliefs as a case study.
    The fact you have the right mindset and can see where the old “stinking thinking” still comes up will make it easy for you to overcome.
    I generally think I can recognize this stuff too and try to work on it.

    While not a car guy these days as a kid the countach was the coolest thing in the universe! WHEN I’m ubber rich I’d buy one to fullfill a childhood fantasy.

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