#AskBP 039 SPECIAL: The One Thing You Need to Achieve Your Biggest Goals


In this special episode of the #AskBP Podcast, Brandon reveals the simple plan for achieving any goal you might have. Whether you want to retire in five years, climb Mount Everest, or simply enjoy life more… this show will give you the step by step path to make it happen.

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Today on the AskBP podcast, you’re in for something special.

This is a different kind of show. Normally we do direct questions asked from member at BiggerPockets, but today, I want to do something special and so I actually recorded this podcast episode in the car while driving.

So the sound is a little bit worse quality than maybe normal…

But the content is absolutely golden.

The lesson that I learned while just driving, while listening to an audio book in the car. It was so awesome! I just had to share with everybody else.

So, that’s what you’re listening to today. So again, if you have not normally listened to the AskBP podcast, this is not normally what it is like.

Today is a special day. So I really hope you’ll like this thing. I hope that this is gonna be as life changing for you as the lesson was for me. So without further ado let’s get to it.

The one thing you need to do to achieve your wildest dreams.

You’re listening to another BiggerPockets #AskBP podcast where you’ll hear short direct answers to your biggest real estate questions. Submit your questions today on Facebook, Twitter or the BiggerPockets Forums by using Hashtag #AskBP and don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing and other great content when you sign up for your free account at BiggerPockets.com.

With that, let’s get to the show.

Hey guys! This is Brandon. You probably know me from the BiggerPockets Podcast. You’re here right now on BP.

And today I’m actually on the road driving, don’t worry, hands-free, not texting and driving, I didn’t press the record button.

Heather here did it. This is my wife Heather.

And today I wanted to talked to you about something, a lesson that really was made clear to me in my head finally. Just while driving here today and I wanted to share with you guys kind of what I’m learning.

The topic of today’s video was the one thing you need to achieve all you wildest dreams and maybe not so wild, maybe just normal.

But here’s what I want to talk about. So we’re driving around the country right now…

We’ve left Seattle about three weeks ago from today and made it all out to New York, and now we’re down in Mobile, Alabama, and here in Mobile, Alabama, I tend to pick up a really bad southern accent and I’m not very good at talking in a Southern accent, but I try.

So here’s the thing, we’re listening to the book The ONE Thing on audible in the car. As we’re driving around and I heard, you know, on the book, I don’t know who’s the actual narrator, but the book by the way is written by Jay Papasan and Gary Keller.

Gary Keller is a big name out there, but Jay Papasan was on our podcast so he’s awesome, so he gets a shoutout.

Anyway, it’s probably the best business book I’ve ever read in my entire life. Here’s the lesson that I learned today that really like I internalized and it finally made sense.

And I’m excited to share it with you. It’s the idea of what does he call it…

Goal-Setting in the now. It’s what he calls it. Or something like that.

But here’s the idea and I want to relate it to real estate.

Even though the book is not a real estate book, it actually relates really easy to real estate.

So I’m going to walk you through a common issue that a lot of people face and maybe you’re one of these people, and I’ll try to help you work through the solution to your problem.

So, we’re going to start with this way. We’re gonna say. Let’s say your goal in life or at least in the foreseeable future is to achieve 5 thousand dollars a month in cash flow

I use that number because that’s, you know, fairly normal like American family. You could probably quit your job at about $5,000 a month in mostly passive income on rental properties.

Now, I’m not talking about flipping or any of those things today. I’m talking about rental properties in particular.

But don’t worry about this. This concept will play to anything! Not even just in real estate. This will apply to anything you want in your life, this concept. So, let me break it down for you.

With the rental property idea. So you want $5,000 per month in cash flow, which means money coming in after all the expenses have been paid. You want $5,000 a month so, and we’re going to put five years as the timeline on that.

Because a good goal should have, you know, a definitive time line as well as being precise, and all the other smart things you know that they say that you should have in a goal. So my goal, we’re going to say for the purpose of this conversation, is to make $5,000 a month in cash flow within five years.

Now using the methodology of “the one thing,” we’re gonna work backwards from that goal to see what we can accomplish and so we’re going to start with we want $5,000 months in cash flow and to get there, we could divide it over the five years, say a thousand dollars per month.

So yeah, a thousand dollars per month every year we’re going to add. So we could say by the end of the first year, the first year $1,000 a month and then in the second, you’re going to add another thousand a month, third and so on and so forth…

However, I’ve realized that’s probably a little unrealistic knowing that you know as you get better and better in your real estate investing. You’re able to buy properties more and more easily so let’s actually take our goal of $5,000 a month and divide it up a little bit.

Let’s just say during the last year, during year five we’re going to buy $2,000 a month worth of property. So in other words, we’re going to buy enough real estate in year five to fund $2,000 a month. In year four we’re only going to do $1,000. In year three a thousand a month and then in year one and two, only $500 a month.

So hopefully that make sense. Like by the end of year one, we only need to achieve, by the end of year one, $500 a month in cash flow and then next year, in year two, we need to achieve another $500 a month in cash flow, which will make it $1,000 amount in total.

And then year three is $1,000, year four is $1,000, and year five is going to be $2,000. Because after five years you should be pretty good, you should be able to acquire you know, a lot more, maybe larger units or whatever.

Okay, so now we got our break down of our goals over the next five years.

So what we want to do is we want to do this goal-setting activity that the one thing teaches. And then say, okay if your goal is to achieve $5,000 a month in cash flow after five years, what is the one thing, what is the ONE thing you need to have accomplished then in year one?

So we’re going to break it from five years down to one year.

So during year one, what is the one thing you need to accomplish? Well, we already defined that. We want $500 per month in cash flow by the end of year one.

Okay, so now we’re getting more specific with our goals. That’s great.

Okay, so let me break that down further. If our goal is to achieve $500 a month in cash flow, what is that look like?

Okay, $500 a month in cash flow could be one of several things. It could be one single family house that produces $500 a month in cash flow.

I don’t know if you have that in your area. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Now, the specific you have to choose will depend greatly upon, you know, your area and how much money you have to work with, and your expertise, and a lot of things.

So I can’t tell you exactly what path. But let’s just say you could do a single family house that will produce $500 amount in cash flow.

But that might be tough.

You could maybe do 5 single-family houses that all produce $100 a month in cash flow. That’s probably a lot more easy to do. But you need to go through five loans and five whatever.

Or if you like me, you could do a 5-unit apartment complex or six-plex or four-plex or whatever.

But we will say for simplicity a five unit property. So a five-plex that produces $100 per month in cash flow.

And now I like multi-family and I like the idea, of you know, of consolidation and so I like that idea. It’s one loan.

It’s only one property, and I need that one property to achieve one thing. And that is $500 a month in cash flow.

Okay, so now I narrowed my goal down from five years down to one year and my one year goal is to achieve a property that produces $500 a month in cash flow and I want a small multifamily property because I like them, they work in my area. Okay.

So let’s take our one year goal and go down even smaller. What is the ONE thing that you can do this month to achieve that goal?

What is the ONE thing you can do this month to get a property by the end of the year? Okay, so it’s my goal to end the year with getting a property.

By the end of this month, let’s say I want to have identified that property and made an offer. Are we reasonable there? Knowing that we might make several offers on properties before we get the perfect one.

So, again in just a few months. And we’re going to have a few months’ worth of closing and we might even have a few months’ worth of, you know, rehab to do on the project or things like that to actually get it up to the $500 a month in cash flow. So I’m going to ahead and say that by the end of the month, I want to have identified the property and made an offer.

Okay, so I think, now by the end of the month, I would have achieved that one goal. So now we’ve gone from five years, to one year, to one month.

Okay so, what is the one thing you can do in the next seven days? In the next week, what is the one thing in the week that you can do to achieve that monthly goal of finding the property? Well in the next seven days you’re probably going to have to, you know, find, I don’t know, numerous properties that might match. It’s kind of like a general goal. But you need to find multiple properties that have consistent leads coming in within seven days from now.

Maybe you can even say, let’s go a step further. Let’s talk about direct mail. You don’t have to use direct mail, but I think it’s good for this story. So within seven days, I need to have my direct mail letters sent out.

Knowing that it’s going to take a few days for calls to come in, and then I’ll have the next three weeks to find the right deal.

Okay, so I went down from five years to a year, to a month, to a week. My one week goal, within seven days, is to have my direct mail letters sent out. Now this is not a conversation for how many direct letters you should send out.

But let’s just say we’re gonna send out 2,000 letters.

Two thousand letters to potential multi-family owners in my area. I’m going to send out 2,000 letters within seven days from now.

Okay, so what is the one thing that I need to do today to accomplish that seven-day goal? So I’m going to say that I want to achieve, you know, I need to send the letter in seven days, which means I’m going to have my list all put together.

I’m going to have all those letters printed, stamped, and sent to the post office in seven days. Okay, so in those seven days, we could break that down, and say, okay, well today I need to get the list. Tomorrow, I need to, you know, start addressing envelopes, address them for four days.

Do 250 per day or 500 per day. And then maybe I want to print them on my computer and basically work backwards seven days. So my one goal today, my goal today is to get the list. That’s all I need to accomplish today. That is my one thing. It is more important than everything else that is going on today.

Because it is the one thing that if I do it correctly, I will achieve my goal, you know, my five year goal. If I just keep lining my dominoes, as the analogy that is used in The One Thing goes, I’ll keep lining up my dominoes and hopefully within, you know, those five years I have my goals.

As long as I keep setting up the right dominoes. So my one goal today is to get the list.

Okay, so let’s break that down even smaller. What is the one thing that I can do this hour in order to achieve my daily goal?

Well, I’m going to need to learn a little bit more about direct mail. Because I don’t feel like I’m that knowledgeable yet.

I mean, you could mean a little bit more like I don’t know exactly what list to mail.

I don’t know where to get that list from. You know, I have some ideas.

I’ve heard of companies like Listsource or Melissadata. But I don’t know if that’s exactly where I’m suppose to get that from. And so what I’m going to do is I need to research. Okay, so my goal for the hour is to find out where to get the list and what list to get. I have one hour to find out where do I get the list and what kind of list do I need.

Okay, now I know what I’m going to do in the next hour. So what’s the one thing? I’m going to break it out even smaller. What is the one thing I can do at this very moment, right now, to achieve that hourly goal?

Well I’m going to go, I mean there’s a couple of things, one I could post on the BiggerPockets Forums and just ask or post directly.

I’m looking to do this strategy. I need to mail, who do I mail it to?

In within an hour, you’ll likely get responses.

Or I could call up somebody who I know who does direct mail. I can use BiggerPockets Chat and chat with somebody I know who does direct mail.

I can go search the site for direct mail if my question has been answered, which I guarantee it has. And then, I could read for the next hour and find exactly what list and where to get it from.

So I have broken down a five year goal into bite size chunks to know exactly at this very second right now, what should I be doing, I should be posting a thought in the Forums or I should be reading this one article and then, at the end of all this to sum up — I’m gonna write down everything I just said, I’m going to write it all down. Once I have that written down and I know exactly what I’m going to do, now I’ve got a plan, a battle plan to go forward. And I know exactly where I’m going next and next and next to be able to achieve my goals.

So that is how you use the one thing. The one thing methodology to be able to help you achieve your wildest dreams

If you haven’t yet pick up a copy of the book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, I highly, highly, recommend it. Life changing book, best business book I have ever read.

I think you’ll love it. I mean what I just talked about there was just one tiny section of that book. And there’s a hundred more ideas just like it, things to help you achieve your goals. So go ahead and pick up a copy of that today.

Just go to biggerpockets.com/1thing.

And it will send you right over to Amazon to get the book.

With that, let’s get out of here. Thanks for listening and I hope this helps you achieve your goals.

Let me know in the comments below this if you like this idea. What your thoughts are.

And if you are watching this on YouTube, make sure you click the little thumbs up button on this YouTube video and subscribe on our YouTube channel.

So thank you very much and I will see you around.

For BiggerPockets this is Brandon and Heather. Signing off.

Alright, everyone, thank you so much for hanging out on this episode of the #AskBP podcast. Again, this is a totally different episode than normal.

Hopefully you enjoyed it. If you are watching this on YouTube make sure you give me a thumbs up. If you are listening in iTunes or on Stitcher, make sure you leave us a rating and a review.

And let people know that you like the show and of course if you have questions you want answered directly here on the #AskBP podcast, I’ll encourage you to do just that.

So go ahead and send me an email at [email protected] or shoot me a tweet @BrandonAtBP or @BiggerPockets on Twitter and just make sure you use #AskBP.

So again, thank you so much for listening today. Hopefully this thing was life changing for you.

Yeah, I’ll see you around BiggerPockets and on the next episode of the #AskBP podcast.

I probably should end today with a success quote as well.

So today’s success quote actually is from Theodore Roosevelt and he said: “In any situation the best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing you can do is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

I’ll say that again.

“In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The next best thing you can do is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” That’s from Theodore Roosevelt.

I love that. It kinda ties in today with the one thing, that whole methodology and the book so make sure you check out that book as well. With that, let’s get out of here.

For the #AskBP podcast, I’m Brandon your host today.

And remember, in your pursuit of your goals and dreams, don’t just learn, but take action.

For the #AskBP podcast. I’m Brandon. Signing off.

Submit your question today on Facebook, Twitter or the BiggerPockets forum by using hashtag #AskBP and for more incredible real estate investing tools and education including a free download of our book the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing, head over to BiggerPockets.com.

And sign up for your free account today. We’ll see you on the next show.

About Author

Brandon Turner

Brandon Turner (G+ | Twitter) spends a lot of time on BiggerPockets.com. Like... seriously... a lot. Oh, and he is also an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, traveler, third-person speaker, husband, and author of "The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down", and "The Book on Rental Property Investing" which you should probably read if you want to do more deals.


  1. Deshan Kennedy

    Great podcast Brandon! I recently read The One and I agree, its one of the best business books I ever read! I have the question everywhere I’m working at and the question has helped me in all of the important areas of my life.

    Thanks for the podcast Brandon (and Heather)!

  2. Jeff McCaskey

    Great episode there B, but I bet many people would love to ask you at least ONE additional question if they could – or they will find out later they have this question and want to be able to ask you…..
    Drum roll…….
    What do I do if I make out this list of plans and goals and I find myself unable to complete one or more of the steps on time?? (If I still want to make my 5yr goals, how do I restructure my actions so that I can still get there on time).
    I personally haven’t read this book and I usually can set goals and make them happen for myself, but sometimes we have issues with family, jobs, health etc etc and many people will want to know how to restructure this plan if something gets in the way at any one point. This assumes a person lost time to some event and now has to do more in less time – what do the gentlemen authors say in this particular instance?
    Good job on the podcasts and elsewhere on BP fast talking B!

  3. Jamie Larson

    Hey Brandon!

    Thanks for this podcast. I know this wasn’t meant to be a podcast on numbers and cash flows but when you bring up examples that state cash flows as $500/month, are you talking about cash flows after expenses have been deducted? Are you taking into consideration tax benefits at the end of the year? I ask because I am looking at a property that has a 9% positive cash flow yield but could only be grossing roughly that amount per month if tax benefits are taken into consideration. Thanks!

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