Procrastination or Fear?

Somedays I wake up and I know what needs to be done. I know what I have to do. I know what I should do.

But then I don’t do it?

Does this sound like you?

I am not taking about eating well, or working out, or doing my job. This is the shit you have to do. Let’s call it what it is. This is the easy stuff. This is the stuff that in many cases inertia can get us through.

What I am talking about, is the harder stuff. The stuff you haven’t done before. The stuff you think you still need to research. The stuff you have been thinking about for a while. The stuff that will cost you money or it is going to cost you your time. Probably more importantly it is going to cost you your comfort zone.

What is it that is holding you back from the harder stuff? Is it fear or procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks. It is the force that prevents you from following through on what you set out to do.

Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.

So which is it? Well, I encourage you to read one of my favorite authors thoughts on procrastination. He explains it better than I can. Read it here.

I look at the definition of fear. The word that jumps out at me is PAIN. And that pain is real or imagined. Pain isn’t necessarily actual pain that you would feel from hurting yourself. I am talking about the perceived pain of giving up your time, your money, and your comfort zone.

We as humans don’t like this kind of pain. When we have to give up time. We look at it as if we are going without. When we give up our money. We often worry that it won’t be worth the money and we also think about what happens when we have less money and all the possibilities we might not be able to pursue because of it.

For me, every time I have had the fear, the emotional pain that I think will be associated with whatever it is I am considering pursuing. When I have overcome that fear. It has allowed me to expand my life in so many ways.

When I spent the money. I received great benefits from it. When I spent the time. I learned that it was well worth it on many levels. And in most cases I walked out if those situations with more value than the costs associated with it.

So what is it that is holding you back? Fear or procrastination?

To your success and your future.

Take action!

Leverage: Good or Bad?

Leverage is one of the most powerful tools we as humans can use.

Think about it.

With the right amount of leverage a person can move a large boulder weighing hundreds and even thousands of pounds by themselves.

When it comes to business and finance and most specifically real estate, leverage is the way individuals can create massive wealth.

A basic definition for leverage: use borrowed capital for (an investment), expecting the profits made to be greater than the interest payable.

We have talked about all the ways real estate makes individuals money. Check out this post here.

Income producing real estate is one of the very few businesses that you can invest as low as 3% in and own 100% of the asset. Yes. You can own 100% of something that you only have a 3% commitment/investment in to.

They key to that investment is whether or not that the investment makes you money. Owning a home and living there paying your monthly mortgage is not an investment.

Owning an income producing piece of real estate that pays you more than it costs to own is investing and leverage allows you to do this.

Think about this. If you were to go to your bank right now. And let’s say that bank is a publicly traded bank and you can actually buy stock within that bank. That bank will not loan you money to purchase their own stock. They would never do this. But they will give you a loan on an income producing piece of real estate.

Some of the detractors out there are saying:

Is too much leverage a bad thing?

And I would say yes. But if you are getting a return on the money you borrowed greater than the money its costs you to borrow it. Then you should be in a winning position.

Early in my investment career I took the conservative approach. I paid off five single family homes. But then I said, I must increase my portfolio and the quickest way to do this is by leveraging the wealth and assets I have already accumulated. I doubled my net worth when I made this decision and this is how.

There is a number in business that is looked at called Return on Equity (ROE): ROE is a gauge of a corporation’s profitability and how efficiently it generates those profits. The higher the ROE, the better a company is at converting its equity financing into profits.

When I took one of my houses that I had paid off. It was worth $100,000. Each year it generated about $12,000 in income. And profits (net income) of about $7,500.

So $7,500/$100,000 = 7.5% return on that $100,000.

Let’s say I take that house and I tap in to the equity. I access $50,000 of that equity and I invest it in a $250,000 income producing real estate. That generates $25K a year. and 15K a year in net income.

So now I still have the $7500 of net income from the house I tapped for the equity. And an additional $15K of net income from the new $250,000 asset.

$7,500 + 15K = $22,500. Now I am getting 22.5% return on that $100k versus a 7.5% return.

This is the power of income producing real estate and leverage.

To your success and your future.

What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?

One of my favorite questions I hear interviewers ask wildly successful people is this…

“What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?”

I think we as humans love this question because it requires someone to be somewhat critical of themselves and reflect on what they could have done differently.

Let me preface this by saying that I don’t consider myself wildly successful and I doubt at this point in time, I would be asked that question by any interviewer.

But here is what I would do differently if I had the knowledge I have now.

I would have skipped all of the formal education I have. Which is an associate’s degree in electronics, a bachelors degree and a masters degree in business. Additionally, I am certified trainer in three curriculums for Dale Carnegie Training. A real estate license, a certified coach for Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching.

Instead I would have picked one specific niche and went all in on that. One of the best quotes i heard many years ago was this “There are riches in the niches”.

The guy who told me this ran an aeronautical college.

I think at the time I heard this I was thinking more specifically about higher education and really specialized programs and how profitable they can be by being focused on one or two programs versus a big university with 100’s of programs.

But now over a decade later since hearing that quote I have a different idea about how valuable this little statement actually was.

When you are focused on one or maybe two things that are compatible with each other, you have the advantage to really focus on getting really good at whatever that is. You don’t have any distractions.

You also become the expert on whatever that is, which the marketplace highly values.

You dont clutter your mind with things that dont have to do with whatever you’re focused on. So the effort you put forth which is limited gets your best attention. When you focus on too many things one of those things will always not get the best you. Because our energy is not infinite. Our clarity and intelligence can’t be totally committed to the one thing. And it must be to get great at it.

In real estate most brokers don’t do commercial and residential. They do one or the other. Because it is too much to learn to try and do both. Engineers usually don’t do mechanical and electrical. They may understand both, but they are experts in one or the other. The top actors in the world only act. The tops athletes don’t do multiple sports, usually by the age of 10 they are focused on one sport.

A guy I really like a lot who is wildly successful and retired before he was 40. Was asked the question. I loved his response.

He said that he would become an expert on trucks. The larger trucks like F250’s and bigger. He said that in a short amount of time that he gave his attention to it. He was able to make about $2000 dollars per trade buying and selling trucks. All of this is possible because of the internet.

But he says you have to understand the marketplace on those trucks. How much they can sell for. How much the comparables are in certain areas around the country. But he said while he did it, with some help from his brother who was an expert on it he could easily hit the $2000 a day mark 4 times a week on average.

I don’t regret my path by the way. None of us would be where we are today without our uniques paths. I wouldn’t have the insight I have today without my path. However, I share this with the hopes I reach people on their unique paths and help them find the right path and a bonus would be reaching someone who is at a point in time in their life trying to figure out what their path could be.

Regardless of what you choose. The point is going all in on one particular thing. Being a jack of all trades doesn’t pay well. But if you are an expert in one particular thing you can charge a premium.

The good things is if you are smart enough to read this, you still have the opportunity to commit to one thing and you have the time to become the expert in it. And so do I. Let’s do it!

Go all in on something.

To your success and your future.

Why you must learn this lesson now to get what you want

One of the most important lessons I have learned in my life is this:

If you seek you will find.

Not very profound at all. But most people never seek.

I have talked about the magic of the seek before. The seek is the most important part of this statement. Because if you are actively seeking you will start to be exposed to what you ultimately are looking to find.

And sometimes during this process, you may actually identify that what you thought you were originally looking for is not the thing you should have been looking for. You may actually find something more significant.

My personal example is this.

When I was a young leader I made it a point and my mission to study and learn all I could about leadership. I became a seeker of knowledge around leadership and exposure to some of the best leaders on the planet. My goal was to become the best leader, n my mind and my teams mind, ever.

While seeking knowledge and experience around leadership. I actually found something more important that was not actually part of the original goal. What I actually found was my thirst and hunger for personal development.

Some may think leadership development and self development are the same thing. And my retort would be that leadership development is a component of self development. Self development is much bigger and includes a lot more than leadership development.

Seeking is a full-time job. It isn’t something you do casually. It is something that you are doing intentionally and deliberately on a daily basis. Seeking is not a casual event.

As a real estate investor looking to grow my wealth and financial independence I look at real estate on a daily basis. Sometimes multiple times a day. I am seeking opportunities that can help get me to my ultimate goal.

One of the questions I have had and have been seeking is how to buy bigger properties and get access to bigger deals. Bigger deals means more doors and requires a lot more money to buy those deals.

When I started seeking how to do this. I mean really seeking. Which means finding people and resources that can help me do this. I not only found out how to buy bigger deals, but I am actually learning that buying the bigger properties is not really the end goal. More importantly I am learning how to create a business that provides my partners and myself more money and financial independence.

I am still on the path of learning this, but I am intentionally seeking new and better information everyday.

Lastly, the seek requires action and most likely money. Until you are willing to put money into what you are seeking, you will never actually get to the goal.

Become a full-time seeker. What is a goal that you want to accomplish? What is something you have always wanted or wanted to do? Whatever that is become an intentional seeker of knowledge and resources that can help you achieve what you are seeking.

To your success and your future.

Why average sucks

When was the last time you looked up the definition of a word?
If you are like most people, probably not very often.
You either don’t read much, which means you don’t get exposed to a new words very often or you just ignore the word you don’t know.
I have made it a habit to not only look up words I don’t know the definitions of, but I also look up words I assume I know for sure.

It may sound silly to do, but I will tell you there have been many occasions where I looked up a word that I thought I knew for sure, but found that I was a little off exactly.

The word average isn’t one of those words I thought I knew and learned that I didn’t know.

Instead though, what I learned was there isn’t really anything good about being average.

Read some of the words in the definitions below.  Is that what you want?

  • having qualities that are seen as typical of a particular person or thing.
  • mediocre; not very good.
  • a typical amount, rate, degree, etc.; norm.
  • number expressing the central or typical value in a set of data, in particular the mode, median, or (most commonly) the mean, which is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number.
  • an amount, standard, level, or rate regarded as usual or ordinary.
  • constituting the result obtained by adding together several quantities and then dividing this total by the number of quantities.
  • of the usual or ordinary standard, level, or quantity.
Three ways to stop being average:
1. To get out of the class of average you first have to stop comparing yourself to everyone else.  That’s the hard reality.  There is a lot of average out there.

2. Realize that it is going to take so much more effort and most likely time to accomplish a goal that you have. Sometimes you can increase the frequency you do things which can decrease the amount of time.  But regardless it is going to take a lot more of everything to accomplish your goals. Unless they are too easy.
3.  Nobody is going to do it for you. It’s up to you.  The calvary is not showing up.  You have to do the work.  It’s on you.Be great today!

To your success and your future.

Three things that I learned that was a total lie

As a kid growing up I am sure I was told by much smarter people, grown ups, of things that I should do or shouldn’t do.  And I didn’t listen.  Because I was young and dumb.  But the older I get the more I realize that those grown-ups knew more because of their experiences.  And nothing can replace experience to teach us lessons.

With all of those lessons that I may have missed along the way, I did pick up a few lessons that I did listen to that were completely wrong.  And these people didn’t intentionally lie to me.  It wasn’t their fault.  But I learned them, and as I have gotten older I now realize they didn’t know what the heck they were talking about.

Money isn’t as important as you think. 

If I had a dollar for every time someone said this to me, I wouldn’t have to worry about money.  I am sure it was told to me as a child at times as well.  But more importantly, and more critical, was the fact that money wasn’t discussed.  Look, I know my parents did all they can.  I didn’t go without food, water, shelter, and clothing.  And I know for a fact that my parents did whatever they could to provide us with everything they could.  I had a great childhood.

I also know that there were people around me that were better off.  Their parents had better paying jobs.  Which meant that they got the newer and nicer things. Kids are smart enough to look around and see the reality of situations, but instead of them only seeing the realities of the situation, I think parents can use that as a motivator to encourage their kids to understand the realities of the situation better by explaining to them the realities of the situation.

My parents didn’t talk about money which meant we didn’t think about money.  At an early age, I knew that money was important, because when I had it, I felt better, and I could go and buy all the damn candy I wanted.  And for me to be able to do that I had to have money.

I can remember poor person after poor person telling me that money wasn’t everything.  There are more important things in life. But just as I learned as a kid and I know it to be more true as an adult, money is necessary for everything.  I need money just to leave my house.  Gas is expensive, food is expensive, dry cleaning is expensive.  Everything requires money.  Not only do you need it to live, but if you have any desire to help other people, you will need money as well.  Never tell anybody that money isn’t that important, because it is.

Formal education is the most important education:

Do good in school, pick a great high school, and be sure to go to college.  I don’t want to discount any of these things.  We all need to understand the basics of which education teaches and provides.  I think most people get this.  Where it goes wrong though, is to only focus on this.

I never had a teacher, parent, counselor, etc. tell me that skills are more important than education.  Skills that I can use in the marketplace that can help me get what I want from the marketplace.

Here are just a few skills, that should be taught, instead of hoping students get them through the process of pursuing a formal education.

Skills such as influencing other people, selling their ideas, being a leader, communicating with tact and candor, taking initiative, problem solving, critical thinking, how to get attention for the things you want, marketing, etc.

Yes, you get some of these skills through the process of a regular classroom, but there wasn’t any course on how to get attention (marketing) in the marketplace.  And if there was, the people teaching the course, my teachers, didn’t know how to exactly do it themselves.  They were reading it to you out of a textbook, which meant their examples were weak and not very compelling.

Yes, a level of formal education is important, but skill development is what is even more important.  Children should learn how to make money, manage money, talk to people, take initiative, take risks, problem solve, etc. These are the skills that are more important.

Seek security:  

Everything I learned by watching everyone in my life was all about security. Find a good paying job with benefits. Go to college and get a good education so you can have opportunities.  Save your money. Don’t get noticed, stay under the radar. Do what you have to do.

Not once did I learn that everything in life that is worthwhile will be just out of reach of my comfort zone and my willingness to expand that zone is what will allow me to get whatever it is that I wanted.

Nobody taught me to seek discomfort.  To seek challenges.  To challenge myself to learn new skills and to be entrepreneurial.

Again, it wasn’t anybody’s fault that I learned these things.  This is what the people I was around the most were taught, and this is what was taught by everyone they knew.  We really are a product of our environment.

As the great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says: “You will be the same person you are today, five years from now, except for the books your read and the people you meet.”

As a child growing up, I didn’t read very many books outside the ones I had to read.  And I only met people who were in my circle of friends and family.

My suggestion to parents is to look for unique ways to challenge your children and get them experiences with what they will eventually be exposed to in the marketplace.  Teach them the skills that will help them get ahead and stay ahead.

To your success and your future.

The first law of motion

If you watch TV at all you have inevitably watched the commercial for Celebrex which is an arthritis drug. The commercial states that “a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest”.

This commercial is based on the first law of motion that Issac Newton published in 1687.  Which states that an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless it is acted upon by an external force.

This week I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine about this very concept. Not Issac Newton, we aren’t that smart.

We were talking about running. I was explaining to him that as a runner, it is very easy for me to go out and fall into a pace that my body is very comfortable with.  It could be an eight minute mile or a seven minute mile.  It just depends on your conditioning.  Whatever that pace is, it is easy to stay at it because your body can do it without efforting.

I am sure there are more scientific ways to explain it, but I am not scientific.

To increase your speed and accomplish running goals you have set for yourself, you must break the inertia, the temptation to stay at the comfortable pace.

It is hard to do, that inertia is so cozy, easy, and feels great that your mind wants to stay right there.  You may call it your comfort zone. But as long as you do this you will never increase your speed or times towards any distance goals you might want to accomplish.

I was a runner for close to six years before I learned how to really train.  For those first six years I definitely became a better runner, with better speeds and times, but it wasn’t until I started training my body to become very uncomfortable that I made significant gains.  By gains, I mean faster miles, longer distances, and winning races I competed in.

In running that training starts with forcing yourself out of that comfort zone for small periods of time over and over and over, until it stops being that uncomfortable to you. As you continue to do this repeatedly you eventually become better conditioned and you start moving the needle towards whatever goals you might have.

At almost 42 years of age, I am probably twice as fast I was when I was 32.  Its isn’t that that I am getting better with age.  That theory doesn’t hold up in athletics and age. Instead it is I am a more educated and I am better at training.

If I would have known how to train at age 32, who knows what I could have accomplished as a runner.

Whether it is running, biking, writing, speaking, investing, you name it.  For you to break any slump or cycle, you must break the inertia.  You must apply force someway and somehow to move yourself out of the comfort zone.

I am a real estate investor. I have purchased many single family homes. When I first started doing it, I was always a little scared.  I would just think things like this.  “Is this a really good deal”, “Will I be able to fund a tenant”, “What if something goes wrong”, “What if someone destroys my property”.  All of these question ran through my head.

Many years later, I never even think about those things. Purchasing single family homes is easy for me.  I never over think it.  However, it is too easy and too comfortable for me, that I can easily fall into the trap of continuing to only purchase single family homes.

For me to scale my real estate portfolio the way I want to, it is going to require me to buy bigger deals.  Multi-Unit/apartment buildings is now the direction I want to go and I must go.

Many of the same concerns and questions I had early in my investing career are popping up in my head. “Will I be able to find tenants for all of the units”, “What if all of my tenants move out at the same time”, “What if all of my hvac systems go out”.

As these questions pop up in my head it is easy for me to want to stick with the single family homes that I am comfortable with. But I am pushing through because I know I must get to the next level and the only way to do this is to go in the new direction.

I share these stories with the intent to inspire you to force yourself out of the comfort zone you find yourself in. Inertia is a bitch.  Without additional force and pressure from yourself or others you will never get out of the rut or zone you are in.

To your success and your future.

You have to make the decision now

You are what you are until you decide to become different than you are.  It is a hard thing to change but it can be done.  It just requires you to make a commitment and then do the work necessary to change your circumstances and your life.

I was recently speaking with a friend of mine about the current pandemic that we find ourselves in.  We were talking about how things were going with business, work, and life in general.

One of the things they said they were doing was watching a lot more television.  They  rattled off all of the shows they had watched. It was quite impressive.

I shared with them that I had been working out a lot more.  Instead of working out 60-80 minutes a day, it was more like 90-120 minutes a day of focused workouts.  In addition to more walks around the city where we live.

The conclusion that I have come to and you already know this as well.  We default and become more of who we are even during times of uncertainty, success, failure, and life as a whole.

My mentor explained it to me this way.  He said you have to decide if you are going to be a charitable person or not.  He said the amount of money you have or don’t have doesn’t matter.  You can be charitable when you are making fifty thousand dollars a year or a million dollars a year.

You are either charitable or not.  If you don’t create the habits and mindset to be a charitable person now while the stakes are lower, you definitely won’t do it when the stakes are much higher.

Many people are setting around saying to themselves “When I _______.”  Fill in the blank.

  • make more money, I will invest more
  • make more money I will give more
  • have more time I will volunteer more
  • am not raising kids I will go back to school

I am not sure where you are in journey but you have to decide now, the person you want to be and then do whatever it takes to start implementing the habits and decisions that will make you that person.

There is no “there” out there.  You don’t magically arrive one day. Life is an evolution. You have to continue to evolve, but the first step to evolution is to decide who you want to be.

Repetition and Frequency and why you need both for success

A good question to ask yourself is “How often should I get a check up on my health?”

At my age, health, and background, my doctor believes once a year is sufficient.  As I age, it will become more frequent than that.

Someone very close to me goes to the doctor more often.  It seems like at least once a month, if not more.  They have several chronic illnesses and they have several medications that they are taking.  Which requires more tests and check ins.

Repetition and frequency for them is more important because of their situation.

Success in your health, life, career, etc. all comes down to the repetition and frequency.  And you have to do both of these to have any success in life.  I believe the more you do them both the quicker and more success you will have in the thing you want success in.

Repetition is the act of doing something over and over again. The more we repeat something, the better we should get at it.  I say should, because the level of complexity of the thing is also part of the equation.

If you take a job that now requires you to give more presentations than your previous position.  When you first start that job and start giving presentations.  You most likely won’t be very good at it.  But over time you will become better at it, or at least you should become better at it.

This is where frequency comes in to play.  The definition of frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event in some time period.

This is the game changer and why you need both repetition and frequency to have success.

What if you had a job where you delivered a presentation once a month.  By the  third month you would become better at it.  However, if you had to get up every single day and do it, your number of occurrences would be 2900% more, than doing it once a month for three months.  You would have 87 more occurrences. In each of the occurrences you would have refined your presentation and delivery and gotten better at it.  Which in turn you would get better results from it.

Most people can do some level of repetition in their life.  That is the easy part.  But where they typically fail is in the frequency part. They allow too much time in between occurrences of the the activity they are repeating.

I like to use fitness as an example. If you are over weight and unfit and decide to change.  You can’t say I will start working out once a week. Its not enough frequency (occurrences).   You could repeat the exercises once a week for the next seven months and you would most likely not change much.  Because of this you would end up quitting. Plus your body would not change much.

If you instead decide to workout every other day, your would dramatically increase your chances of having success.  You would start to see results sooner, which would motivate you to keep going.

The more often you do something the more success you will get from the act or the results from that act.

If you want to have success in anything in life, I believe you have to increase the repetitions and the frequency. And yes you can accelerate your results depending on the frequency you do the repetitive act.

So the question becomes how quickly do you want to change something?  How quickly do you want to change your financial situation?  You have to either increase the frequency you are paying towards your debt. Or you have to increase your output (work) to be able to earn more to put towards your debt.

Take a look at any area in your life today where you are not getting the results you want.  Now look at the frequency at which you do the activity that should deliver the results for you in that area.  What if you increased the frequency? I guarantee if you do you will get better results.

To your success and your future.

 

 

Never quit, but you can pivot

One of my favorite topics to write and talk about is goals.  Not because I consider myself to be an expert in setting and achieving them.  It is quite frankly the exact opposite.  I actually come up short on them more often than I would like to admit.

How I learned the value of never quitting but learning how to pivot as necessary.

When I was 33 years old.  I became a student again.  This was seven years after I completed my MBA.  I consider all of my formal education, K-12, associates degree, bachelors degree, masters degree.  That formal education something I just had to do.  It was required.  Not because it was forced on to me by my parents. I knew to compete in the world I had to be prepared with those credentials.

At 33 is when I started to take my personal education more serious and became a student once again.  I became a strategic goal setter.

At 26, I was a landlord.  I had purchased a duplex.  I had always had a desire in the back of my mind that I wanted to own real estate one day that I would rent. I am not sure why this thought entered my mind.  No one in my immediate family that I knew of had owned real estate.  The only thing that I can remember as a young kid that would have prompted me to think this way, could have been a good friend of mines grandparents who I spent a decent amount of time around when I was younger.

My friend was a really good student.  One of his motivations to be a good student was very simple.  For every A he would get on his report card he would get $50 dollars from his grandparents.  B’s were worth $25.  I can remember him showing me the money after every report card. I was jealous. Keep in mind this started around middle school up until tenth or eleventh grade.

To me my friend was rich, because his grandparents were rich.  I couldn’t imagine having that much money handed to me. Being around his grandparents I knew that they owned a lot of rental property.  That was the extent of my knowledge.  Outside of that I didn’t know exactly how much or how long, etc.

This is the only thing that I can thing of that would have planted the seed of me wanting to own real estate.

Fast forward back to age 33, I had owned the duplex for seven years.  I had not purchased anymore property up until that point. At 33, after purchasing a goal setting seminar.  I decided to set a goal of owning ten rental properties by age 40, and I wanted them all to be paid off by that time.  I didn’t know how I was going to achieve this goal. But I said if I can buy one house every quarter.  I could get there.

I set this goal and reminded myself of it daily.  For the next three years.  I purchased another five houses.  Now at age 36, I had seven total tenants and 6 properties. Seven if you included my own personal home.

I was well on my way.

Like most of life though, things happened and things changed.

In 2015, I met my future wife.  My dad died unexpectedly and about a year later in 2016, my wife and I decided to pack up and move to Florida.  When deciding to move to Florida, we also decided to sell the duplex I had owned since I was 26.  This is something I regret now, but at the time it made a lot of sense. I had also sold my personal residences a few years before.  We now had just the five rental properties. Two of them I paid cash for and the other three had mortgages.

Once we made it to Florida.  I took a position where I was 100% commission.  Meaning if I don’t sell, I don’t make any money.  For about the first year, my income was really unpredictable.  I had good months and months were I didn’t make any money.

Now during this time, I continued to put all of my money that came from the rental properties back in to paying off the mortgages I had.  Once I paid each mortgage,  any remaining money I would put towards the principal of my lowest dollar amount mortgage.  I knew if I could get one of them paid off quicker, it would make the next one even easier.  Because I would have more money to put towards it.

Once I started making some more predictable income with my new position in Florida, it was around the year and a half mark.  Also, at this time.  My wife and I decided that we were going to pack up and move again.  We didn’t love Florida, and we were now moving to Dallas.

During this time in Florida, I continued to look at real estate every single day.  My income wasn’t predictable enough at the time where we felt comfortable enough to buy anything.  But I continued to look and knew if I could find something I would figure out a way to buy it.

Now that we are in Dallas, I once again found myself with zero income.  This time, I was going to go out on my own.  I had been freelancing for years.  I knew where some opportunities existed and where I could make a difference and build a business.  So I poured all of my resources in to doing that.

Keep in mind I still had that goal of 10 rental homes by 40 and all of them paid off.

At this time I am now 38/39.  I am putting a lot of money into my business.  Pretty much most of everything I would make would go right back in the business.  I did this for about a year or so.  It was hard.  Really hard.  And it wasn’t bringing me any joy.

Once again, I pivot and take a position with a great company last fall. By this time I am now 40.  I was excited to take this new position because once again, it was 100% commission, but the product was a great and it had great market presence. I knew I could crush it.

This past February I turned 41.  I didn’t make the goal of ten houses by age 40 and all of them paid off.

I was only able to get four of the five paid off.  Yep.  I am sitting here today, and my goal wasn’t accomplished and if you gave it a measurement.  I guess you could say it took me a year longer, and I only accomplished 40% of what I wanted to accomplish.  This is true, if you look at it this way.

However you want to look at it.  Here is what I know.

Life is really hard. Things change.  People change. Our priorities and our goals change.  The world around us changes.  I know that with out the constant reminder to myself of what my goal was, I wouldn’t have even accomplished the 40%.  It may have been zero.

One of my favorite shows of all time is Boardwalk Empire on HBO.  if you haven’t watched it. You should.  The main character says something that has stuck with me ever since. He said “You always need to have something planned, because you need something to look forward to.”

I believe goals are a lot like this. You need to have them set because they give you something to look forward to, but even more importantly they give you a direction and more importantly motivation to do what it takes so you can achieve them.