Common sense perspectives and finding a way to retire

Archive for the ‘Network Marketing’ Category

The Illusion of Knowledge

Posted by Paul on January 8, 2007

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”
Daniel Boorstin, 1984 Librarian of Congress

I am a naturally skeptical person (probably why I am an engineer) and I tend to analyse everything to death before I make a decision. But unlike many people I try to analyse things impartially and do not depend on opinions of the uneducated to form my ideas. Nearly everyone has opinions that are mis-informed about everything whether it is health, sex, marriage, money, business, network marketing, real estate and especially science (its really sad to me how poorly educated we are about science in the US since many of the political decisions of the day are being made based on poor scientific knowldege).

Global Warming is my personal scientific pet peeve. We have less than 100 years of fairly good scientific data on temperatures, yet we try to extrapolate that data over the life of the planet and think we can predict some disaster. Understanding normal variation is not something people seem able to grasp. Every weather event is treated like a unique event. This only demonstrates to me a foolish lack of perspective!

Getting good data is also of paramont importance when evaluating a new business as well. Now when you are investing $1,000,000 into a business you probably will do some due diligence. However, for businesses like Network Marketing with low entry costs, nearly no one does due diligence. So I found that people asked their “expert” friends about the business and they got information on how prices are too high or the market is saturated or whatever. When I got involved in the Amway business I did not ask one unsuccessful person what they thought of it. I investigated the pricing structure, the quality of the products, the payouts, the franchise “system”, and interviewed people that had made the business work.

Likewise, in the real estate business, I’ve investigated lots of different systems, bought several and evaluated how they work. I only like to talk to successful people about what works. I like real knowledge, not theoretical knowledge about what might work.

Know that doesn’t mean I won’t listen to people that have failed at something. Certainly they can provide valuable insights. However, most people really didn’t fail because they really didn’t try. So 99.9% of their opinions are worthless.

Meanwhile thousands of people listen to Barbara Streisand rant about global warming while flying around in her private jet ruining the atmosphere.


Posted in business, finances, investments, money, Network Marketing, real estate, science | 1 Comment »

Success Will Not Attack You

Posted by Paul on January 7, 2007

I heard the title of this post often at Amway meetings I attended back in the 80’s. I don’t suppose I knew what it meant back then but now I can assign some meanings to it based on years of experience in both Network Marketing and real estate investing.

  • Afraid that being successful will change you

I remember when it occurred to me that I might become very wealthy in Amway. It actually scared me to death! I wondered how I could be responsible for handling millions of dollars and dealing with hundreds of thousands of distributors. I thought that I could not change into the type of person I observed as successful in that business. Now I don’t know what the heck I was thinking. We grow as we accumulate wealth and the changes are gradual. Success wasn’t going to suddenly attack me in the middle of the night and change me into someone I am not. In fact, the changes happen first, then the success follows. Looking back now, I realized how much I personally grew during my years in Amway.

Now some people do fall into lots of money, so I suppose it attacks them and they can’t handle it. This is probably due to our subconscious belief that we are not worthy of the money since we didn’t earn it. If so, then you can turn that success attack around by changing your thinking. Change your thinking to prosperity consciousness.

  • Success takes commitment

I think that the most apropos meaning of this phrase is that you are probably not going to become successful without a real commitment on your part. I’ve blogged elsewhere that I was 99% committed to being successful in Amway. That didn’t cut it. I think real success takes going the entire way. Holding back just a little part of ourselves sabotages our efforts. In my first real estate venture I never really committed at all to success. After the first year I was just going through the motions and didn’t have a plan to succeed nor was I committed to doing everything I could to make the properties profitable. In my current real estate venture I feel 100% committed and have been working like it.

  • Success mean taking responsibility for your failures

When I was in Amway I was able to observe hundred of people in my down line directly. I could see their words and (in)actions. What I mostly saw was people that failed to take responsibility for anything that happened. Blame, excuses, laziness, lack of commitment and failure mentality all permeated everything they said and did. I don’t have any ill feelings towards Amway or anyone involved for my failure to become rich. I lay the blame entirely on myself. People don’t fail in that business because its saturated or the products are too expensive. They fail because they fail to take responsibility to succeed. Likewise, for my first real estate venture. I could blame the WV economy, but in reality, I could have made it work despite the economy. Buffalo’s economy is just as bad as the one I encountered in WV, but I believe I can be successful here because of the same reason.

Success will probably not attack you. You have to attack your goals and dreams as if everything depended on your success.

Posted in money, Network Marketing, real estate | 1 Comment »

Quixtar Amway Prices and Poverty Thinking

Posted by Paul on January 5, 2007

I’ve read a couple of posts recently about how the price of the products sold in the Quixtar/ Amway business are “too high” by JLP at AllFinancialMatters and the GettingGreen. I think both of these bloggers are demonstrating a poverty consciousness of sorts.

Prices in and of themselves are neither too high nor too low. Now I don’t think that you should pay an excessive price for a product just to prove you have a prosperity consciousness. On the other hand I think that people that routinely buy exclusively based on lowest price without considering value are demonstrating a poverty consciousness.

I investigated the value of the Quixtar/ Amway products quite extensively when I was involved with that business (I don’t think that their pricing philosophy has changed but can’t vouch for it now.) What I found was that the products really performed far in excess of comparable products. Many companies make good quality products and people buy them. Some would say that a Mercedes or BMW is too expensive but these companies sell a lot of cars due to the value they provide.

GettingGreen seems to think that he can buy good stuff from Walmart. This is absurd. As my Chinese wife lies to point out to me China ships their crap to Walmart and keeps the good stuff for their own citizens. She gets so disgusted by their poor quality and high prices compared to what she was able to buy in China. Do you really feel that treating yourself to the cheapest crap on the planet feeds into a prosperity consciousness? (By the way – I don’t hate Walmart, I think it’s an excellent business – but the fact is that they just sell the cheapest crap made.)

When we don’t charge a fair price for the products we sell and think we have to sell everything on the cheap, we are buying into the notion that the world is experiencing the same lack that we are. This comes from the common emotional conflicts people have about money – that somehow we are taking something away from the buyer. That the world is a zero-sum game and we are cheating the buyer out of their money.

But if the buyer is getting a good value for their money, we are doing them a favor. We think that we should judge what is best for the buyer by convincing them they don’t need something of greater value if they can save a few dollars. This is a very presumptive and condescending attitude towards others.

The world is an abundant place. There is a surplus of food, money and resources. Affirming lack only re-enforces poverty thinking and dis empowers people.

Posted in money, Network Marketing | Leave a Comment »

Is Quixtar/ Amway a good or bad business?

Posted by Paul on January 3, 2007

I read a post linked from Carnival of Personal Finance today by a bloger called Getting Green about the Amway/ Quixtar Network Marketing business. It seems that this blogger has either some grudge about the Quixtar business or they are just closed minded. For someone who claims to be writing “for people who want to be millionaires” he is way off base.

I’ve blogged about my experience in Amway before. I spent over a decade involved with it before they changed their name to Quixtar. Getting Greens big objection to Quixtar is that is “hard work”! Well – duh!!!! (He also thinks the products are expensive – but I’ll get to that.)

This blogger must be a very young person who has no clue about success. (Maybe today with the Internet you don’t need hard work to succeed – I don’t know about that yet.) But any business takes hard work in order to achieve real success. You are fooling yourself if you think you will get rich easily.

As far as business models go, the Amway model has a number of key components that really can help you succeed. The downside is that the cost of entry to this business is so low that people think it will be easy. Among the excellent attributes I saw:

  1. Access to millionaires – I always had the opportunity to listen to and meet and personally talk on the phone to people that were extremely rich. If you want to be rich – you have got to associate with wealthy people. Broke people think like broke people.
  2. A good “franchise” system (see E-Myth Revisited). One of the criticism’s of Quixtar is that people make money on tapes. Well, the tapes are part of the success system that leaders in that business have put together. When you purchase a Franchise, what do you you think you are buying – hamburgers? Heck no, you are buying the system. What does that franchise system cost? From $10,000’s to $1,000,000’s. The Quixtar franchise system is a bargain.
  3. Good quality products. The Green blogger complains about the cost of the products. When I started that business I too was sceptical about the prices. What I found out was that the products are very high quality and very good value for what they did. Now when you start a business you can have a low cost pricing structure like Walmart (My Chinese wife claims the Chinese ship all their “crap” to Walmart – the quality of goods in China is much higher :)). Certainly Walmart makes a lot of money, but so do stores that cater to high-end customers like Neiman-Marcus. When you are in sales is it easier to justify good quality or have to explain poor quality? I always found it very easy to justify the higher quality products to people – much easier than handling complaints.

When I was involved with that business, I probably had about 500 people pass through my organization. Probably 90% of the people did nothing but buy some products – no work at all. Like any business it is a numbers game. It is also a people business (my great failing). Success requires hard work, good people skills, perseverance and adherence to the system. Is it saturated? Hardly – the potential opportunity is worldwide and they have fractions of a percent of market share. In fact, I have never been contacted about it by anyone in my 54 years ( I sought it out).

Disclaimer: I am not now affiliated with Amway or Quixtar or know of anyone who is. I have not been involved with that business since 1995.

Posted in investments, Network Marketing | 1 Comment »

The Courage to Be Rich

Posted by Paul on December 21, 2006

I was reading an article titled The Courage to Live Consciously by Steve Pavlina and was reminded (again) of the root reason for my current financial state -living too much in my fears.

How would I live if I had no fear at all? Have you ever asked yourself that question? When I was involved with Amway I often asked myself this, but had long forgotten about the question or my answer. Recalling back to the days I used to travel long distances to show the Amway business plan to prospects, I often would be driving home late at night listening to self-improvement tapes and sometimes would catch a glimpse of this awesome lifestyle that I could lead should I succeed – great friends, financial security, wonderful family and spiritually connected. But by the next day, trying to do my job with only 4 hours sleep, I slipped back into negative thoughts about why I would not succeed (fatigue can kill dreams).

Now I’m not totally a wuss. In some areas of my life I have a lot of courage. I relish heights and have no fear of dropping off the side of a mountain, I’ve had 20′ boa constrictors crawl over my back. I love speaking in front of large crowds (I’ve given speeches before 10,000 people) and I have never had a fear of investing money. I don’t really have a fear of failure, but I do have a fear of success. And I have had a very real fear of being rejected by other people in one-on-one situations.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”.

Anais Nin

The word courage is derived from the Latin “cor” which means heart. Steve Pavlina seems to think that courage is more about mental decisions. However, for battlefield decisions the Marine that falls on a grenade is not making an intellectual decision, but a very real emotional one. He (Steve) thinks that our decisions are not “fight or flight” based because the real danger to most of us is mostly in our mind – not life or death decisions our ancestors (or today’s soldiers) faced.

Steve lists lots of practical advice to overcoming your fears (making list of possible negative aspects of you decision, breaking them down and setting goals to overcome them, becoming more educated, etc.). Maybe this helps some people, but I have tried this logic with only limited success.

So how do I gain the courage to be rich? My only good analogy is when I am at the top of a very steep ski slope and can’t see the trail past the edge of my skis. I simply push forward over the edge and trust in my ability, God and my instincts that I will make it down the slope. I am totally immersed in the moment, not worrying about falling, breaking a leg or anything negative.

I think that business success will take a similar route. When I was in Amway I was 99% committed to my success. I invested heavily in tools, seminars, travel. I would drive anywhere to show the plan to people, but I withheld myself in one critical area out of my comfort zone – I wouldn’t drop off that cliff when I was in the presence of a stranger. I have a colleague I work with who I admire greatly for that quality. For him everyone is a friend whether a CEO or the girl at the drive-through window. In seconds this man establishes rapport with strangers, a trait I envy.

So is becoming rich just about courage? To a large degree it is and a very emotional decision. It is about putting yourself on the line, about immersing yourself 100% into what you are going to achieve and blowing up the bridges that would allow you to retreat. That retreat has for me been too easy ( I make a six figure income at a job). But my job will never allow me to get rich.

“Successful people expect the best, and they generally get it, because
expectations have a way of attracting to us their material equivalent,”

Tom Butler-Bowdon

When I started in real estate the first time 20 years ago, I didn’t have a plan, wasn’t organized and invested based on poor information. But I also failed to commit myself 100% to making it work, so I retreated to my job and let it bail me out. This time I am better organized, have good market data, have a planned exit strategy, know what I want to buy and am not letting emotion drive my purchase or selling decisions. But I still have the opportunity to give up – I’ve got 4 teenagers to care for with associated activities, a wife who wants my time and still have that 8 hours every day to exchange with my employer. I don’t have time to do this ( I could reason).

I’m 53 and I have no hope of retiring before my late sixties based on my financial position. I had not planned to be in this position, but that’s because I never did stick with a plan to do it. So its going to take relentless persistence to succeed. And ultimately, the courage to push myself over the edge.

Posted in finances, investments, money, Network Marketing, personal, real estate | Leave a Comment »

Using scarcity consciousness for gain

Posted by Paul on December 19, 2006

I’ve been posting about prosperity Vs scarcity consciousness here and here. Today a blog post popped up on my GoogleReader which seemed to prove the point by Derek Pierce.

He talks about using a “take-away” technique during negotiations. If the person he is trying to negotiate with starts to waffle he “takes back” something he had previously given. Here’s his explanation”

“The takeaway method works like gangbusters. But, you may ask why?
Well, it’s proven that we all are motivated by scarcity. In other words, if
there is a product or service that is freely available, then the desire for that
product or service is not that great. However, if there is a limit or some
deadline to that product or service, then it will increase your desire to have
the product or service. That’s why you see so many deadlines with

When I was involved with Amway, this is one of the common techniques also taught. If a prospect wasn’t sure that they wanted to join your business, you simply told them you were not sure if you could work with them, that your business was very successful and your time was limited you tried to give them something to lose.

In some respects, its sad that you can take advantage of people’s scarcity consciousness with such ease, but my experience in Amway convinced me that it is far easier to work with their existing mentality than to change it. Sometimes I spent hours with people trying to convince them that they could have more money, make their dreams come true, help their family and nothing would register. But the fear of loss motivated them time and time again.

One of the wage roll employees that I work with is forever complaining about his situation in life – he honestly believes that he is no better off (he makes $25/hr) than his father who was also a factory worker. I think this is quite an irrational perspective. Just consider the following:

  • health care has advanced tremendously. Survival rates from heart attacks and cancer have increased dramatically. This employee recently had a heart attack. Perhaps in 1965 he might not have survived
  • automobiles today last longer, run more efficiently, require less maintenance and are safer than ever
  • electronics are prolific and cheap – you can buy an HDTV and receive hundreds of channels (and the cost will be a lower portion of your paycheck than it was in 1965). Cell phones, DVD players, ipods and computers didn’t even exist back then
  • we spend a lower percentage of our income today on essentials like food and clothing than we did then leaving more disposable income for eating out (consider the proliferation of restaurants

Now I don’t think I can ever convince this fellow employee that he is living a prosperous life. So are people hopeless? No, I think that most people have hope, but few have belief and even fewer believe that they can have real prosperity.

Posted in finances, money, Network Marketing | Leave a Comment »

Is it holier to be poor?

Posted by Paul on December 18, 2006

A retired gentlemen that clips coupons made a strongly worded criticism of a post  I made the other day:

“It seems that you and a good majority of the world measure success by monetary value. Those that die with the most toys win”

He thought it more important to “help others” by serving food rather than working to generate wealth. Is he right? Are only poor people who “help others” assured of a blessing in the afterlife?

There have been several ministers that I have heard speak in the past 20 years or so who would disagree with that idea. – such as Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking) and Robert Schuler (Move Ahead with Possibility Thinking). Another excellent book I have read that disputes that idea is Paul Zane Pilzers God Wants You to be Rich.

There are many Christians who point to the Biblical admonition

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God”

and think it is holier to live a life without money. Few pay attention to the parable of the talents.
The most insightful part of this parable is the most severe condemnation that Jesus gives to the servant that did nothing with his talents:

“And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Jesus also says something about those that create more money with what they are given

“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.”

This passage tells me two things

  1. God’s given you something and you better do something with what he gave you
  2. If you do something he will bless you with abundance

when I was involved with Amway in Network Marketing business I showed the business plan to hundred’s of people. Many had been blessed with much in the way of gifts that would have made them very successful in Network Marketing. But, for one reason or another they declined the opportunity or started with great enthusiasm only to quit after a few days or weeks. I believe they were gripped by a scarcity mentality that didn’t allow them to believe they could get rich.

Now my critic may have thought I was attacking him for clipping coupons. I was not, as I shop for good deals and don’t believe there is anything wrong with being a good steward of your money. The point of my post was that people driven by scarcity mentality tend to focus on what they don’t’ have which leads to jealousy. Now, don’t get me wrong – I am no saint (I’m sure I’ve broken every one of the Ten Commandments). Just as being too focused on getting money at the expense of others can lead to sin, so can being focused on scarcity.

We are all given different abilities to produce something in this world. Someone with disabilities certainly may think that they have fewer opportunities to others but there are countless examples of those who have overcome every form of disability to do something astounding in the world.

While most people think that the world is a zero-sum game, this is an illusion. As Pilzer correctly writes – “any increase in wealth of an individual, always results in an even greater increase in wealth for society“.

God created the world with abundance, more than any of us can comprehend. God created each of us with abundant talents and has given us abundant opportunities to use those talents. Most of us have declined the opportunity (I plead guilty!), and we are left with a coupon clipping mentality. Now if you are putting the savings from your coupon clipping to good use for investments or business opportunities or charities, I’m sure you are using your money wisely.

I don’t believe that those pursuing a life of poverty through scarcity consciousness have the corner on holiness, nor do I believe that those who pursue money just for the purpose of having more things are in the right either.

What I do believe is that God created a world that the more successful I am, the more wealth there is for everybody. By working and creating and sharing we make a better place for all.

My perspective is that God was the Creator and he created us in his image – so we were made to create. That is our role.

Posted in finances, money, Network Marketing, religion | Leave a Comment »

How to get rich

Posted by Paul on December 15, 2006

One question that many people ponder over throughout their lives is the question of how to get rich or least financially independent. The vast majority of us have been schooled in the time-honored wisdom that the best route is to go to a good college and get a good job. Then we spend our lives exploring the stock market or real estate or network marketing or a business or buying lottery tickets or suing someone if all else fails, without really understanding the basic concepts that will realize our dreams.

I’m going to give you the secret (I sound like a salesman here, but I’m not selling anything) and it is so simple, welll….duh!

There are two immutable’s in getting rich:

  1. Leverage
  2. compounding (also known as interest or the time value of money)

If you understand these two concepts and use them positively, I can guarantee that you will be rich. Now most people spend their lives either not using these or using them in reverse. For example:

  • they work at a job (trade their hours for fixed dollars) and spend all that they make
  • they incur bad debt (reverse compounding)
  • they use leverage with extremely high risk/reward ratios (for example, lottery tickets)

Many of us have read stories of poor ministers or spinsters that die and have millions of dollars in their estate – these people lived on meager incomes but used compounding( the time value of money) in their favor to accumulate wealth. In WV I lived across the street from a 92 year old spinster who had several million dollars in AT&T stock. She had purchased some small amounts from her employer when she was working a summer job in high school and 70 years later – voila!

I want to distinguish between bad debt and good debt. My Chinese wife believes that all debt is bad, but I think it is correct to say that investment debt that has a reasonable risk/reward ratio is acceptable (think of your home). Debt incurred to buy that HDTV is bad debt (but damn do I want one 😦 Guess I’ll have to achieve some financial goals first!)

So what is leverage? Basically it is when you use a tool to allow you to be more financially productive. There are many tools that you can use:

  • starting a business and hiring employees to get more work done (good risk/reward)
  • franchising your business (good risk/reward)
  • using the Internet to leverage your efforts (good risk/reward)
  • buying real estate with small down payment (good risk/reward)
  • investing in commodity futures (poor risk/reward)
  • using margin accounts to buy stocks (poor risk/reward)
  • investing in a college education (may be a poor risk if you choose the wrong major!)

What about ways to use the time value of money or compounding to your advantage:

  • saving 10-15% of your income -especially in a IRA or 401k (excellent risk/reward)
  • investing in stocks (could be good or poor risk depending on your diversification)
  • owning a completely paid for piece of real estate (good risk/reward)

I’m not so sure that college is the best use of investment dollars. With a typical education costing $40k/yr, the $160k invested at 9% for 35 years will yield $3,266,000.

So what should you do? Here’s my list:

  • put some money into an emergency fund
  • pay off all bad debt – use a snowball formula
  • accumulate 3 to 6 months of expenses into very liquid savings
  • invest 15% of your earnings into a Roth IRA or 401k (especially if its is matched)
  • buy a house from a motivated seller – don’t make an emotional purchase
  • start a business (our tax laws provide magnificent deductions for businesses not employees)
  • systematize your business (see E-Myth Revisted) so it doesn’t run you
  • invest in real estate

And stop buying lottery tickets! That’s my perspective.

Posted in finances, investments, Network Marketing, personal, real estate | Leave a Comment »

Maybe not luck at all

Posted by Paul on December 12, 2006

In the book Tales of Power by Don Juan he says “The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse”.

Steve Pavlina tackles this issue in a post on the Shrug Effect. His point is similar to Don Juan in that the average person is quick to dismiss the success of high profile people to the breaks they had in their life rather than be responsible for their own breaks. Spiritual people tend to count their blessings, secular people just look at their bad luck, but neither group tends to see everything as a challenge.

Now I can’t dismiss the possibility of luck. Certainly it was bad luck to be on one of the planes hijacked on 9/11. But I’ll wager that vast the majority of our life is governed by decisions we make from minute to minute. I’ve talked previously about luck and was hoping for some better luck in my new real estate ventures.

I think the cumulative effect of decisions we make from an early age often determine part of our personality, what kind of relationships we develop in life, our career choice and financial success. When I was in high school I would occasionally go to a school dance. But I wouldn’t dance. It was too far outside my comfort zone to ask a girl to dance. There were other young boys that were less attractive than me, had worse personalities but didn’t have the fear to take a chance. They learned from trial and error what the girls liked – often developing humor as a way to attract a girl.

Looking back to my college years I can see clearly that the people that succeed financially were not necessarily the ones with the best grades. It was often the ones who had the largest network of contacts. Was this my bad luck not to make hundreds of friends or a decision not to get outside my comfort zone and make friends. It was easy to study my engineering books and get good grades. That certainly got me a good job offer, but in my company it takes lots of people skills to climb to the highest levels.

The same certainly was true for my experience in Network Marketing with Amway. The people skills that I had failed to develop all my life through my fear of people stopped me from making it. And I still wasn’t willing to get outside my comfort zone – even for the millions of dollars of potential income. As I mentioned in my post on SMART goals, I never believed and wouldn’t try.

I’ve been busy creating a business plan and goals based on The E-Myth Revisited and feel much more confident that I will succeed – not because I’ll have better luck, but because I have made the decision to treat each challenge as an opportunity to get better.

From A Separate Reality

You should know now that a man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what he will think when he has finished acting. A man of knowledge choses a path with heart and follows it”

Posted in finances, Network Marketing, personal, real estate | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Paul on December 11, 2006

I’ve been thinking a lot about goals for my real estate business recently. I’ve read that most people never set goals of any kind and fewer than 5 % of people actually write down their goals. I guess I have been one of the few that do this but not sure why I haven’t achieved all my goals.

At the corporation where I work we have been forced to set goals (and document the results at year end) for many years. We use the S.M.A.R.T methodology.

SMART stand for:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Tangible
  • When I was involved in the Amway business, the successful people constantly discussed goal setting and writing goals down. They would even supply specific formulas to attain each type of goal. For example to make X$ you had to:

    • Sponsor XX people
    • Show the business plan to XXX people
    • Contact XXXX people
    • Meet XXXXX people

    I would write down these extensive plans about how to achieve my goals. I could easily make call, show the plan and sponsor my fair share of people. But I could not meet people and never generated enough momentum to keep new people coming in faster than others dropped out. For me, meeting XXXXX people was an unrealistic goal because I did not believe that I could achieve it.

    So after attending a real estate seminar I am again writing down some goals

    For 2007 our goal is to purchase 4 single family homes with at least $20K profit potential and sell at least 2 of the properties I own.

    To break that down into details:

    1. Find sources of funding of at least $500K
      • develop relationship with a loan broker
      • get a source of hard money financing
      • develop some sources of private money funding
    2. Create a source of motivated sellers
      • work with Realtors to find old listings, desperate sellers
      • direct mail 50 letters per week to people filed in lis pendens (pre-foreclosures)
      • direct mail 100 postcards to absentee owners per week
      • put up bandit signs
      • set up website (www.JinnaProperties.com)
      • business cards
      • install phone line
    3. Make 3 purchase offers per month
      • call all contacts from advertising
      • look at 10 properties per month (use Realtors if not enough from ads)

    After reading The E-Myth Revisited I decided that I needed some other goals. Gerber has us ask “How must my “business-as-a-product” work in order for it to successfully attract not only customers but also employees who want to work there?”

    1. Create a business mission
    2. Create systems to automate all of the above so that the business does not run me

    I was reading a blog by StevePavlina today and read this statement

    I remember the moment when my financial situation began to turn around for the better. I can trace everything back to a specific shift in my mindset that happened in late 1998. Up until that point, my focus was largely on ego-driven goals, and no matter how hard I worked, my financial situation kept getting worse. Eventually I was so fed up that I abandoned that mindset and replaced it with a new one. I said to myself, “Living just for myself is getting me nowhere. I’m going to concentrate on making a contribution instead. If I go broke, then at least I’ll go broke doing something worthwhile.” ”

    I can remember when I was in Amway and the people that made it to the highest levels of success were on a mission. They were not in it just for the money anymore but seemed to have a higher purpose that allowed them to overcome their fears and move outside their comfort zone. I remember I had that sense for the first 3 months I was in the Amway business, but somehow started having a fear of success, fear of failure and no longer could see the people I was talking with as successful. In fact, I inwardly was very cynical of most people I talked with despite their braggadicio attitude. So it became more and more difficult for me to talk to anyone about the busines.

    So part of my overriding concern for my real estate business is that I just not focus on the specific monetary goals, but develop a mission statement. I think, just like in Amway, I need to be able to convince the sellers that I am not just there to take advantage of them but have a greater purpose to help them solve their problems.

    Posted in finances, Network Marketing, personal, real estate | Leave a Comment »