4 Real Estate Lessons We Can Learn from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Investing Success

by | BiggerPockets.com

Most real estate investors are unaware of the successes in real estate by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who once said, I made my first million in real estate, not in movies.”

So how do you become a formidable legend like this in real estate yourself?

How I Bought, Rehabbed, Rented, Refinanced, and Repeated for 14 Rental Properties

This is the dream right? Going from zero to 10+ rental properties, providing stable cash flow and long-term wealth for you and your family, and building a scalable business model to boot! Learn how this investor did just that, in this exclusive story featured on BiggerPockets!

Click Here For Your Free eBook

Real Estate Strategies From a Champion Bodybuilder

Arnold Schwarzenegger recently resurfaced on the cover of the May 2016 issue of Muscle & Fitness, in all his peak bodybuilding glory. He has been a philanthropist, politician, film star — and investor.

At just 20 years old, Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Universe title. He went on to win Mr. Olympia seven times. “The Arnold” continued to be a part of benchmark fitness competitions years later.

Many don’t know that Schwarzenegger started out early in real estate as a bricklayer. He invested those wages into a mail order business. He also invested the money , along with bodybuilding competition winnings, into an income-producing apartment building. His real estate investments have grown significantly since then, giving him an estimated net worth of as much as $800M.


Refine your craft.

Arnold differentiated himself as a legend in bodybuilding not only by doing hard work and lifting heavy things. Instead, he constantly tested new techniques and refined his craft. He found it was the finer techniques and individual methods that worked best and really made the difference.

Related: This Lesson From My Mastermind Group Completely Changed My Real Estate Business

Get your mind right.

He also had the right mindset. That included a big vision developing mental toughness. This industry isn’t easy. You have to have that vision — or at least something to keep you self-motivated when it gets tough. Arnold had the vision of the perfect body, of titles and medals, and of a big empire built on real estate. For me personally, it’s my daughter who keeps me going when times are tough, as well as leaving a good legacy once I’m gone. But ultimately it’s providing for her, being able to give her things and opportunities I never had growing up. It’s also about having the freedom of time to spend quality time with her and being there when she needs me. Everyone has to have something that drives them through those tougher days.

Become known.

Of course, Arnold also clearly realized that just being in shape wasn’t enough to hit his goals. He saw the importance of being in the spotlight and controlling the media, too. That meant he had to take action and get out there and put himself in the game — and in competitions. He competed, ran political campaigns, became the editor of several magazines, and has even starred in reality TV shows. He still has his own website and blog. Along the way, he has always been incredibly generous about sharing the results of his errors and successes with others.


Related: The 6 Non-Negotiable Habits of Elite Real Estate Investors

Be adaptable.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, he has successfully embraced change. He had different training tactics for on and off seasons. And he has progressed through various seasons of life and career. He is still reinventing himself today. In real estate, you might start out as a property scout for a mentor, then rehab your own houses, get into landlording, then one day try your hand at crowdfunding and lending the capital you have made. Don’t be afraid to evolve, grow, and diversify with time.

What do you think we can learn from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s memorable career?

Let me know with a comment!

About Author

Sterling White

Sterling White started in the real estate industry at a early age back in 2009. The company he co-founded Holdfolio is a real estate crowdfunding platform based in the Indianapolis market. Before founding Holdfolio Sterling and partner Jacob Blackett were involved in the purchasing and selling of 100+ single family homes nationwide. In his free-time he trains for a World Record.


  1. Douglas Skipworth

    Great post, Sterling. Just two weeks ago, I listened to Tim Ferris’s podcast interview with Schwarzenegger. I was unbelievably impressed with how intentional and determined Schwarzenegger has been over this life. There is no doubt we can all learn lessons from his successes (and even from his failures). Thanks for sharing.

Leave A Reply

Pair a profile with your post!

Create a Free Account


Log In Here