Choose And Strengthen Your Key Relationships

As you may know I like to make the beta reading of my book open sourced so the community that will be using them can actually gain the information and request changes or additional information to be added as the book is being written.

This post is One Chapter of my coming book, “GET THE DEAL”. Which the idea has it’s origins from the live training with the same name that I have taught to thousands of real estate investors all across the country and have had time to refine the information to answer the questions most asked at those trainings. Without further ado I want to encourage you to read this chapter and leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Chapter Three

Choose And Strengthen Your Key Relationships

“Do what you did at the beginning of a relationship and there won’t be an end.”

 – Tony Robbins

When I first start talking about buying my first house I was 22 and I expected my family and friends to be a little concerned for me which they were. Some of them said things to warn me about buying a home so young, but for the most part my friends and family were extremely supportive and many even looked up to me for making this purchase.

I talk about this purchase in my first book, “Broke To A Quarter-Million” and I just want to add some context if you haven’t read it. I grew up in Fall River, MA and was working more than an hour commute away near Boston in the city of Framingham, MA. I bought the house in Taunton to cut down on my commute and start getting that holy grail of equity!

Now fast forward 4 years to the day I sold that house with the intention of buying a Multi-family rental property back in my hometown of Fall River. I thought because everyone was so supportive when I bought my single family home that my second purchase wouldn’t even be noticed. Boy was I wrong!

For some reason I received more negative feedback from my friends, family and especially the girl I was married to at the time about killing her dream of a single family, the dangers of rental property, the headaches, moving back to the city, and of course the old fear of Toilets and Tenants! After being beat up every time I brought it up, I eventually discovered that some of my friends didn’t mind talking about my future investment ambitions and other friends were adamantly against it. So much so, that some of my friends started telling me that if we are going to hang out we can’t talk about real estate or money.

I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to talk about the subject when these were the exact people who always talked about how much they hated their jobs! Now of course that didn’t stop me. Maybe I just have thicker skin than most people or I just don’t like taking advice from people who aren’t willing to take a little risk or delay gratification for something bigger in the end. Either way, I have pushed forward and over the years I noticed something very powerful.

The less time I spend with “broke people” who don’t want to keep growing the happier I am and the happier I am, like magic, the more money I seem to attract. Let’s dive into a subject that can be difficult for most people. The subject of evaluating the life direction of the people closest to you.

Before we dive into this chapter let me just prelude by saying you don’t have to get rid of anyone in your life completely, but to use a reference from social media, you can just choose to “unfollow” them and still remain friends from a distance.

Get Rid Of BROKE Friends

It’s the Friend Who Judges You For Your Goals that I am referring to. Your REAL friends will call you out when you’re making mistakes, but there’s a big difference between how you feel when your bestie is giving you solid advice (even if it’s tough to swallow), and how you feel when a pal is judging you and your dreams. Reality checks are often needed, but when the response to your big dream is “are you crazy, why would you want to do that?” or “I mean, I guess if you really want to,” you’ll know to start looking for some new supporters.

 It’s Time To Get Better Friends!

It’s widely known that one of the best ways to improve on a skill is to practice it with someone who’s better than you (think: volley ball, snow boarding, poker, yoga, Scrabble…) Yes, you will have to work harder, think faster and learn more fundamentals. You’ll sweat and have sore muscles, but after a while, your skills will improve and, eventually, you might even be good enough to teach someone else a thing or two. This idea of playing with someone better than you translates nicely to your personal and career successes as well, and that’s why it’s important to surround yourself with people who are winners.

First, let me backtrack in my life as an entrepreneur, and real estate investor in general. I remember the days when I started as a real estate agent. It took me six months to make my first full sale. I was sick of eating Ramon Noodles and drinking $1 hamburgers to survive. When I went to McDonald’s and bought 4 cheeseburgers, eating two and putting two in the fridge, that was the highlight of my week.

One thing that I’ve taken from those times and that I’ll never forget is to always stay true to myself. I never compromised my beliefs. I sacrificed making a profit, making money, and eating in those days because I didn’t want to compromise my beliefs. So the message to you is stay true to yourself no matter what. No matter how hard times get, you are who you are. You can’t impress everyone, and you can’t make everyone happy.

Be Who You Are And Attract Like-Kind People

I can be spontaneous, I swear a lot, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and I want the best for everyone I meet, but have always felt that you can take me as I am or watch me as I go. I’ve worked with a lot of investors over the years, and I’ve made a lot of money (and lost some money), but one thing that I’ve always done is stay true to my word. If I say I’m going to do something, I do it, and if I make a mistake, I put my hand up because it’s an honest mistake and I pay for the mistake that I made. Over time, people start to appreciate that and will respect you for it. You will start attracting like-minded people and people who want to work with you.

It’s hard to choose one precise way to get people to work with you. There are many things that will reward you, but if I could give one piece of advice it would be to stay true to yourself no matter what. Only work with people who you genuinely feel are the right fit for you and who you feel you can help. In return, they will get you to where you want to be. I’ve said this in many conversations, but real estate is a marriage; it’s not a one-night stand. You need to plant a seed now and reap the harvest later. You will learn to understand what delayed gratification trully means, because it’s going to take you and your partner(s) five, 10, 15, or 20 years to meet your goals. It doesn’t happen overnight. That is something that you really have to keep in mind.

Stay true to yourself. Even if that means for six months you have to eat oatmeal for breakfast, Ramon noodles for lunch and those $1 hamburgers like I did. Could I have made sales back in the day? I’m sure could have. Did I want to make sales? No, because I didn’t believe that those people were a right fit for me or for my company, and I genuinely didn’t believe that I could help them get to where they needed to be. So I decided to stick to my guns, and I didn’t sell. It was tough, but six months later, I made my first full sale as a real estate agent. Fast forward to today. I’ve done hundreds of real estate deals and changed the lives of hundreds of people for the better.

Relationship With Your Spouse

Is it too much of a romantic idea that your significant other should be your best friend? Confidante? Business partner? Part of your support system?

Too often, we focus only on the real estate strategies and systems we use and implement on a daily basis to grow our real estate investing businesses. While this is critically important to your success, you may be neglecting to care for your proverbial “goose that lays the golden eggs”. No, I’m not referring to your spouse yet. I’m talking about your mental health, happiness, and self-esteem.

Associating with a close group of positive and like-minded go-getters can be a great way to add value to your daily life. We only have a limited number of hours in everyday; aim to invest your time and brain power toward positive self-growth and business growth. Perhaps the ones we care most about, our wives/husbands, may have the biggest impact on our day-to-day mental health and daily motivation.

I know that I disregarded some of the principles to a healthy relationship with my first few relationships which eventually lead to a painful divorce which I mentioned in my first book. I have since dated some of the most beautiful and supportive women as well as a few who couldn’t care less about my business.

What I can tell you from these experiences is that your business will be MUCH more fun and far more profitable when you can find a way to get your spouse on-board. They don’t have to be involved in the day-to-day work, but when you keep an open dialogue about what you are doing and genuinely ask them for their opinions and feedback it will go a long way toward making your life much more enjoyable. Remember that a happy investor makes much better decisions and has a much better outlook on their business.

Let’s review a few areas in your investing business where having a supportive partner can be ideal.

Areas in Real Estate Where a Significant Other’s Support is Vital

1. Brainstorming

Ideas need a place to grow. Having a like-minded significant other to share in your excitement and business development may be crucial to your long-term business success, as well as your relationship success, moving forward. Starting any new business or investing niche can be both frightening and exciting beyond belief. Having a best friend and trusted business partner by your side may be a great idea to keep yourself surrounded by like minds when at home.

An actionable step you can take is to brainstorm and list 3-10 new ideas most days. Brainstorming new ideas while working out or walking with your partner can be a great daily addition to your workout routine. This exercise may help keep your creative brain muscles working and stretching. These brainstorming sessions may eventually lead to implementing new ideas and/or completing new profitable branches to your business.

2. Education

Real estate investing will require you to know more about real estate. Whether you have decades of investing experience or are just getting started, this may require you to learn more, become licensed, investigate concepts, and/or stretch yourself beyond what you already have been doing on a daily basis. The couple that learns and grows together often stays together.

An actionable step you can take is whenever something real estate related is learned or discovered, aim to share this information with your significant other the same day. If working with a mentor, aim to brainstorm possible questions to get answered pertaining to the topics learned. Your answers should lead to more questions.

3. Motivation

Real estate investing is not easy. Life is not easy. We oftentimes need reassurance we are doing the right things, or sometimes we simply need the permission to think outside the box and try something new. We may look for this approval from our significant others.

An actionable step you can take is to lead by example. Start encouraging your partner towards personal and/or business goals he or she has been putting off or feeling negative about. Look for every chance to add value and strength to your significant other’s life.

4. Leverage

With a like-minded partner, there are now two of you able to accomplish twice as much, especially if you have different skillsets. Decide early on the roles of each partner. Keep in mind advertising and marketing for sellers can be a two-person job.

Disclaimer: This section discusses why investing with a significant other may be helpful to your real estate investing business and to the health of your relationship. While the view expressed here is only one outlook, there are many thousands of happy couples actively investing with only one partner performing active roles in the investing business. Even in these relationships, it may be valuable for the active spouse to feel supported, encouraged, and a winner by his or her partner.

Remember the law of reciprocity or the better known “golden rule” (they work well together). In order to receive you must first give and if at first you don’t receive, give and give again until you find the right “give” or amount of “giving” that works.  The golden Rule states, “do to others what you would like others to do to you”.

For couples who are interested in investing together I strongly suggest reading the book, “The 5 Love Languages” so you can better understand the right ways to communicate support to each other. This is not always as easy as the “golden rule” would have you believe because we are all wired differently and it is up to you to make yourself aware of the way your partner communicates best.

5. Memories

Life is a series of moments and memories. Looking back over the past 12 years, I can remember spending many of my best times with close friends and loved ones that were helping with various real estate projects. My close friends regularly share hilarious stories and lessons learned from these past shared experiences.

I’ve heard many gurus say that success isn’t about the goal alone and that the journey is really the most important part. Goals are necessary for success in anything, but in order to truly enjoy reaching your goals it is going to be the memories that you make along the way that you will remember most of all.

Alchemist Insights

If you are actively investing in real estate, things tend to happen quickly. You will not be the same person mentally that you are today as you will be in 6 months. You will be stretched and challenged and you will have experienced much internal growth. These changes are normal as this business molds you. An investor will either learn and adapt, or fail. Through all these changes, it is important that both you and your significant other experience these high and lows together for the good of the relationship.

Review Chapter Four

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