Why Newbies Should Adopt Richard Branson’s “Screw it, Let’s Do it” Philosophy

by | BiggerPockets.com

I’ve been on a mission to read two to three books a month for months now, and I’ve taken the mission seriously. I’m kind of aggressively passionate about reading books, to the point that I will talk about books and quote from them pretty much anywhere and to pretty much anyone. If I end up in a conversation for more than a few minutes, books will definitely come up. And I might also use the batman voice that I practice when I really need to make a point, just because I think it’s funny.

As an aside, it may seem crazy to read two to three books a month. Don’t panic, but rather think of how much you will learn over the course of every month. I spend a lot of time driving, so I listen to books through Audible and get my car classroom time in that way. Rather than listen to the same 10 songs they play over and over on the radio, why not get inspired (and fired up) by someone doing something incredible or notable?

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Related: 5 Achievable Tasks for Real Estate Newbies Feeling Lost & Overwhelmed

This week, I’ve been enjoying The Virgin Way by Richard Branson. I really love this book. Richard covers leadership lessons, stories on many parts of the Virgin businesses (they have many billion-dollar businesses and 50,000 employees!), hiring, travel, people they’ve done business with, and even what a great prankster he is for April fool’s jokes—including the time he spent a night and the next day in prison! Anyway, there is a one-liner that keeps coming up throughout the book that captivates me:

“Screw it, Let’s Do it.”

In my career in real estate, I’ve lived this mantra from the beginning, although I’ve never used that exact language. The first day I bought a house, I bought two. My first year in real estate, we did around 10-12 deals with no experience and no money. At one point, I was working a full-time job and flipping seven houses at Christmas time. Last year in our business, having newly created our turnkey company from scratch, we flipped and sold 64 houses. And this year, we will flip well over 100 houses and top $10 million in sales with dozens of people on staff.

When we started just two years ago, if we had laid out the master plan to build the business and flip 100 houses, my partner and I would have laughed at each other and thought impossible. Well, it’s not impossible after all. We said some form of “screw it, let’s do it,” and we got after it in our business. We made 1,000,001 mistakes (approximate number and still counting) and built a business that is starting to think, operate, and run like a business should.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

If you are on the fence about an idea or a business venture and you keep going back over and over it, you might need to adopt or at least seriously consider this mindset. Screw it and go do it. What is the worst that could happen? Worried you won’t make any money for a month or two? Save up! Not sure what to do or how to do it? Find someone who does! Scared of not knowing the outcome? Everyone is at some point! We still have times in our business I am not sure what we will do, but I know we will figure it out.

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Related: Open Letter to Struggling Newbies: How I Landed My First Deal After a Cross-Country Move & Two Failed Jobs

I don’t want to look back on something I wanted to do so badly years later and wish I would have taken my shot. I’ve heard so many people talk about their dreams but are so timid and afraid that they don’t go after them. Whatever the little voice inside of you is dying to do, it’s time for you to listen a little more clearly to it. Think logically about what it would take to bring that to fruition, and lay it out.

You will not get it right all the time, and you will not make money with every business idea or every real estate deal. But get in the right attitude and believe in what you want to achieve. Surround yourself with people who also share the “screw it, let’s do it” mantra, and go do it. Keep pressing and pushing to do what it is that you want to until one day you realize, “Wait, I am doing it.”

Successful people aren’t successful because they are lucky. They are successful because they have learned to fail, to be uncomfortable, and to be tenacious. Set some crazy goals, believe in your mission, surround yourself with like-minded people who believe it and want it, and say, “Screw it, let’s do it.”

What philosophy or mantra helps you move forward and try new things?

Let me know your ideas and experiences with a comment!

About Author

Nathan Brooks

Nathan Brooks is a dad, husband, worship leader, and real estate investor in the Kansas City market. Foodie. Coffee addict. Crossfit junkie.

14 Comments

  1. james moore

    Hey Nathan,

    I love this concept as well because it is exactly how I started and how I have continued. While I have made lots of mistakes, my toughest lesson was learning to stay confident during uncomfortable circumstance and to embrace the fact that my success depended on taking calculated risks. I have and still am faced with lost of uncomfortable circumstances. But these things will not kill me but make me stronger inorder to get where I want to be someday. Facing adversity builds character and when you do something that you thought was impossible it has a way of building your confidence to take the next step forward to go to the next level.

    My blessings come not by my hardwork only, but in keeping myself grounded in my faith. If people want success, they have to have a belief system in something. Believing solely in yourself and your own power is something but it is not everything.

    Glad to see you are really growing and taking off.

    • Nathan Brooks

      James – we all have those things that make us uncomfortable, that make us stop, think, and review our path. Let it be an education and not a reason for “failure” or you “can’t” … we all have those moments, but they are indeed … just moments. Good luck.

  2. Jerry W.

    Nathan,
    Thank you for the article and words of inspiration. One of the biggest things needed for success is to take massive action. You fix the problems as they arise, you don’t sit around and worry about them. There is nothing wrong with planning as long as it does not become a substitute for action. I also want to say I admire the way you have structured your life. God Bless

    • Nathan Brooks

      Jerry – I always appreciate your spirit, your kind words, and your dialed in observations about life and business. God bless you brother, and thank you for taking the time to read the post and comment here. Have a wonderful week!

  3. Nancy Emineth

    Hello Nathan,
    This article is very inspiring and I thank you for writing it. About five years ago, I started teaching – it was always my dream to teach college classes. I remember thinking, I have never taught anyone other than my child, so what am I suppose to do in front of a class of freshmen.” Well, it came to me “Fake it until you make it.” I watched a Ted Video and it was the most inspiring statement that motivated me every time I stepped in front of the class. Your mantra is just as strong and I hope other newbies (real estate investors) can use your words to motivate them to action.

    Thanks
    From Nancy

    • Nathan Brooks

      Nancy – build around what your “why” is and what is motivating. Support it with a dream that you go to sleep dreaming about, and wake up planning for… whatever it is, go get it. Thanks for taking the time to talk about the “mantra” and truly – I wish for you whatever you are thinking and dreaming of doing.

  4. Ben Raygor

    Nathan. Great words. I tend too often to over analyze and need to hear this regularly. Keep sharing what you’re reading. Question – How do you decide what books to read throughout the year? Do you intentionally select topics that interest you or are you quick to read recommendations from friends and mentors or both or something else?

    • Nathan Brooks

      Hi Ben – thanks so much brother. I am really not sure how I decide on what books I want to read, but how about this – I can even do a blog post with 3-4 books I am fired up about right now and a brief description on what the book was about. I’d love to have some more recommendations (and I’m also working on a book podcast for just such a reason… stay tuned!).

    • Nathan Brooks

      That might be true Thomas. I think the question becomes, is it risk that you are really unsure about? There is definitely risk, but a lot can be mitigated with the right tools, partners/relationships, and the process to identify what you want to do and then execute on it. Best of luck!

    • Nathan Brooks

      Hi Megan! It can definitely be a rollercoaster sometimes, but that is part of life regardless I believe. For me, I love to have the reins, do what I can do to influence the most of my life/direction/business … as possible, and get after it! Take care!

  5. Dexter Humphrey

    Hi Nathan, Thank you for your words of encouragement. I am a newbie to investing and have been studying the subject for eight months every time I tried to move forward my wife would hold me back. It got so bad that I left and went to Trinidad for five while I was there I applied for fifteen tax sale properties and bought eleven of them I am now in the process of receiving the certificates for them. Now she says she is onboard with it.

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