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What is the True Secret to Success in the Real Estate Industry?

Real estate investing can be incredibly rewarding. In fact, if you look at the average real estate guru, you will surely find pictures of big checks, or lavish vehicles. You might even see them riding on their private jet while on their way to spend a week on their own private island complete with private chefs and staff to accommodate their every need or desire.

Looking at it from the outside, being a real estate investor must be like living in a dream. The problem is that most real estate investing gurus are selling a lie.

Sure, you might have some big checks or even get to check off a few bucket list items, but what they don’t tell you about is the iceberg beneath the surface, the failures. Once in a while, you may hear a guru talk about failure and follow it up with a few hype sentences about overcoming failure and to just push through it. However, they don’t actually discuss the failures and what they had to walk through.

In March 2017, I began my real estate investing journey wholesaling real estate. Within 6 months, I began making significant money and thought that I had it all figured out. How foolish of me! After a networking event around November of 2018, I met a gentleman who I seemed to have good synergy with, and we decided to launch into another market. After just a couple of simple conversations, we began working together.

The beginning of the relationship was amazing, we were doing deal after deal and the spreads were unlike anything I had ever seen. We didn’t structure a formal LLC or anything of that nature, though. Instead, we would pursue a “Gentleman’s Agreement.” Within about 3 months, we were able to make around $400,000.00 in wholesale fees. The money was great, and things seemed to be going well, until I received a call from a number that I recognized. It was our assistant we had hired to help with some of the day-to-day activities, and they somehow didn’t realize it was me he called and began to ask if I was a “cash buyer.”

Me “playing along,” or so I thought, disguised my voice and pretended to be someone else. When I asked if this was one of “our properties” he began to say that my partner and I had broken up and this was being sold only through him alone. I then ultimately discovered that he had stolen nearly $350,000 in future wholesale transactions.

My heart sank and I was gutted inside. I trusted this man after all. I confronted the partner and ultimately separated from the relationship.

When I began this partnership, I initially kept my local market going. However, once the new market took off, I found that it was too difficult to do both so I made the decision to focus on just this new market as it was producing better results. Now that this partnership was lost, I had to start over from zero.

Here I am about 2 years into my REI career, and I hit the bottom. I had a wife 2 kids, and now, no business to speak of. We had a small “emergency fund” that helped us, but that was not going to sustain us.

Armed with a tenacious attitude that I would not let this “beat me”, I decided to continue and began with the fundamentals in mind.

What did I know that produced the results? What were the daily habits that led to success? I also leaned into some mentors that talked me through the difficult days. I applied myself, trusted the process, and sure enough, within just a couple months, I was able to get our company back up off the ground. Looking back, I realize how ridiculous and foolish I was back then. No real due diligence before the “partnership.” No paperwork to protect either of us.

Along with many other things. I did discover a few things about myself though.

I am not that great. I know that sounds self-deprecating, but its true.

Getting knocked down and losing it all forced much needed humility. Humility has allowed me to continue to be grateful for anything I have and to not take it for granted ever. Which, funny enough, has led to more opportunity. I also discovered that I can overcome massive failure and still be able to rebuild. I learned that grit and belief in yourself can pull you out of the hole. I also came to realize, we need mentors and close relationships to help us move forward. As I am sure without them, I would not be in the business today. It gets lonely and sometimes we need someone to talk us through things.

I’ve since had many more “failures” in the business, but in the end, I learned that it is only failure if you quit.

And that’s one of the most important things you can learn if you want to become truly successful.

It’s less about the technical skills and more about your mindset and ability to persevere through the challenges you will inevitably face.