In the REI game since Y2K, JP's deal-making adventures run the gamut from rehabs to rentals to realtoring to wholesaling—from REOs to lease options to seller financing to raw land. Many 100's of deals later, his active real estate game is played remotely today (from home) in various U.S. markets, and intentionally with the smallest team possible. The aim is high margins with the least possible time & effort. Less, but better.

Real Estate is for FAILURES

This might hurt a little. And yes, you read it right. I'm calling out a harsh reality…

You. Will. FAIL.

Oh, and also, you weren't likely credible to start with.

And that's… (deep breathe here)… OKAY.

The simple fact of the matter is, the sooner you embrace this reality, the easier—and possibly even faster—success will come to you.

I know that sounds weird, so let me explain it.

And BTW: This is strongly recommended reading for anyone who feels constantly stymied by the possibly high cost of making mistakes or even an embarrassing failure in your real estate endeavors. And also (especially) for anyone who’s shy about your credibility in real estate investing in the first place—whether because you're still in a learning curve, or maybe haven’t done many (or any) deals yet.

If this in any way seem possibly familiar, then this bud’s for you. 🍺

And now for something completely different

We recently got a comment from one of our members that “got me in the feels” when I read it. I was inspired, and also motivated to offer some specific insights from my own real estate investing journey that have made all the difference for me to learn in the last 18+ years.

I’m responding here (via this blog post) rather than private email because I really think these lessons can apply to many people.

Romualdo's original message…

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!! I took this very personal because I really believed that they were talking about me and what I’ve been doing or not doing in the past month and 2 days since I started looking into REI!!

For me I look at REI like riding a bike for the very first time. I’ve seen other people learn how to do it, I’ve seen them fall and get cuts and bruises and I’ve seen them having such a great time riding a bike and more like…no hands on the handle bars, steering straight ahead, doing all these nifty moves and just being so UNCONSCIOUSLY COMPETENT!

I know where I want to be in REI but I know, just like riding a bike, that I will fall, get cuts and bruises which I know are needed so that I can ride a bike without even holding the handle bars.

And I know that to be UNCONSCIOUSLY COMPETENT in REI I need to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE every single part of the process, no matter how bad I may look doing it—i.e. making cold calls, talking to other investors in the field.

Two things that stick in my mind that makes it a mission for me to succeed in REI: First, I read that in RE there is a 90% failure rate. Whether it’s true or not, I WILL BE in the 10% of successful REI.

Second, I have this lifelong fear of what to do if someone asks me, “What makes you qualified to be an REI when you’re just a newbie?” This fear comes up whenever I think of my first calls to Sellers, Buyers, Investors, Banks, Title Companies, Real Estate Attorneys, Realtors, etc.

After 1 month and 2 days of reading REI books, studying for RE License, watching YouTube videos and webinars, and listening to REI podcasts and motivational audio books and yes…spending almost $1500 in REI courses, I’m getting more and more determined to be in the mindset I need to be in REI.

Just writing this comment helps me visualize my WHYs in REI. Sorry if I rambled. But thanks for jump starting me this morning with that video! GOD BLESS!

Romualdo—WOW. Man, what a moment of clarity you just had!

Love your bike riding analogy, and how you’ve used it as ‘proof of concept’ for yourself. If they can do all those fancy bike tricks (REI success) then why can’t you? Spot-on, man.

Regarding the second half of your dissertation, I do have a few salient thoughts to share with you that might help with a couple of the road blocks (speed bumps really) that you’re facing right now your journey.

But first—an enthusiastic high five on your transparency and tenacity, dude!

Thing #1: Fear of Failure

You said:

First, I read that in RE there is a 90% failure rate. Whether it’s true or not, I WILL BE in the 10% of successful REI.

Here's the bad good news ⇉ You're right, you will fail!

In all honesty, I have failed—many times actually.

In fact, every successful person has done so. Every. Single. One.


But actually, that’s not really true. Because here’s the thing…

Mistakes ≠ Failure

Pick any real estate investor you see or know who’s success you find impressive, and realize this about them: The enviable success they’re enjoying is not built from the stuff that you (and most people) probably think it is.

Most tend to assume that success mostly comes from things like:

  • Better opportunity
  • Special knowledge
  • Greater intelligence
  • Better hair

But in reality, all those things (well, the first three at least) are—more often than not—the result of experiences that successful people have and learn from.

I’m talking about the trial-and-error kind of experiences. Meaning unfortunate, and sometimes expensive, mistakes made.

Let me be clear: Every successful business is built on a foundation of mistakes made, lessons learned, and games changed by the “failures” a person experienced in the story, no exceptions.  There’s more than one “lesson learned from a mistake” rung in everyone’s ladder ascending to success.

Sure, mistakes hurt. Sometimes a lot. But that’s part of the growth process, isn’t it?

Everyone learns to walk. EVERYONE.

Consider: When babies learn to walk, it’s hilarious how much and how often they fall down, isn’t it? And sometimes hard. Sometimes there’s even a bruise, bloody nose or other injury they suffer.

But it’s just part of the process of learning, right?

And should any toddler learning to walk ever let that fear of getting hurt get in his way from wanting to keep trying… Well, you’d have lots still crawling around, right? Or maybe riding segways or something.

All because they let their fear or failure (falling down hard) keep them from really trying at all.

So in truth, the only mistake (big or small) that you should see as a failure, is the one you never extract a learning-lesson from… the mistake you endure, but let breeze on by without so much as a “So, why did this thing happen, and what the heck can I learn from it?”

When you fail, fail forward.

fail-forwardMistakes aren’t failures, unless you see them that way.

In fact, every mistake is pregnant with opportunity for you to level-up, learn and be better moving forward.

So back to my bad news/good news assertion: I’m genuinely grateful for every mistake that I make, after the ‘sting’ wears off—not because I enjoy it, but because I know there’s a gem inside for me somewhere and I’m thankful I get to become better because of it.

Every obstacle you face is a rare opportunity for you to grow, learn and be better sooner than later.

Strongly Recommended Reading: The Obstacle is the Way ⟵This book really rocked my world and made me look at “failures” a whole new way.

Now, for your second “speed bump”…

Thing #2: The Credibility Conundrum

You also said:

Second, I have this lifelong fear of what to do if someone asks me, “What makes you qualified to be an REI when you’re just a newbie?” This fear comes up whenever I think of my first calls to Sellers, Buyers, Investors, Banks, Title Companies, Real Estate Attorneys, Realtors, etc.

Dude, I get it. I really do.

But here’s the thing: Right now, the only person saying those things to you is yourself. It’s that “little guy” on your shoulder, whispering those insecurities in your ear.

That's 100% negative self-talk…

And it’s kinda paralyzing when you let it keep yammering inside you.

You’ve got to shut that little guy on your shoulder up. Thump him on the nose and say, “Why you gotta whisper that crap in my ear, man! Get off me, and go bug someone else!”

Also, realize this: What people mostly want and trust (sellers, or anyone else) is your confidence and calm certainty.

It’s not as much your years of experience, the number of deals you’ve notched on your belt, the quality of your “credibility kit”, or previous testimonials, how much you’ve invested in your education, or anything else.

Those things don’t hurt, but what people care about most is:

  • Does Romualdo seem honest? (can I trust him?)
  • Does Romualdo seem competent? (more about confidence than credentials)

In Conclusion ✒ I am an Author.

I am an author

A piece of my own story recently that might resonate with you in this…

I’ve always enjoyed writing. In recent years I’ve felt more and more like “author” is another hat I could comfortably wear.

Only, I’ve never written or published a book. My wordsmithery is enjoyed thus far in the blog posts I write (like this one!), the training materials I help craft (for Awesome REI!) and various journals and emails and whatnot.

So, not typically the kind of credentialed work of someone who can call himself “an author” at networking parties.

Then one day, I realized that the only one telling me that I’m not a legitimate “author” is myself. There’s no rule book or law that says you must have published a book in Barnes & Noble or Amazon in order to be a “legit author”.

This was my own flash of clarity recently, and I decided right then and there that I’m not going to let my own limiting belief stop me from confidently claiming ownership of an identity that feels true: From that point forward, I became comfortable and confident wearing AUTHOR as part of my self-identity. Now, I can say that just as easily as “real estate investor” or “worship leader” or other ‘hats’ I’ve worn for many years.

That day, I thumped that little guy on my shoulder and shut up his stupid, self-limiting whispers.

So Romualdo—no matter how many deals you have (or haven’t) done, no matter how many REI miles you’ve walked (or not), and whatever else…

I believe in your tenacity.

Heck, I don’t even know you, man… but I know you’ve got the REI chops to stand in these shoes and calmly say with confidence:

“I am a professional real estate investor, and I have the skills and resources to solve your house problem, and make a profit in the process. If I run into something I don’t know or understand, I have close friends and colleagues in real estate who can step in and help me.”

[Side note: I’m not suggesting this as a script for seller conversations… it’s what you need to say and believe internally in order to never-again see yourself as not credible enough.]

So, there ya go… this blog post is already too long, but when I read your comment it really ‘got me in the feels and all this just kinda came out.

Rather than sending this as an email just to you, Romualdo, I’m going to share it in a blog post. I have a feeling it will connect with more people who need to hear it.

Keep failing, man. Sharpen your ax from each failure, and each one will take you a step closer to that ultimate success ahead of you.

Thanks again for commenting! 🙂

—JP out.

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