Eight years ago, I found myself in a little bit of a financial pickle. I had worked my way up to a good paying sales job at the paint manufacturer where I was working, but it didn’t provide enough money to support my stay-at-home wife and 2 daughters, and we were expecting a third. We were running out of room in our 1300 sq/ft home, and every time we had a car repair, we had to re-work our budget, and often cut out groceries, or our weekly date night to do it.
I met my mentor, Steve Burris, around that time. He was flipping houses in addition to his full-time job as an executive at Hobby Lobby, and started buying his paint from me. He had an idea for a real estate company, and asked me if I was interested. I had always been interested in real estate, but couldn’t find a way into the business.
Almost all brokerages require you to be a full-time agent, (or to make any money, you have to be), and I couldn’t quit my job and risk not making any money for 3-6 months, which is the usual time as a realtor to get your first paycheck. In my initial conversation with Steve, I told him I couldn’t quit my full time job to start real estate. He said, “Oh no, I wouldn’t ask you to. This would be part-time.” A portion of the idea for the real estate company was to provide support to part-time agents. I was in. I immediately submitted my application for real estate school, and got started.
The part-time money was great. Every couple of months, I’d have a closing, so it was like getting a 10k/year raise in my current job. It only required a few extra hours during the week, and an open house from 2-4 on Sunday afternoons. During the same time, work at the paint manufacturer was getting tougher. The recession of 2008-2009 caused builders to slow or stop building houses, which really hurt the paint business. All of a sudden, the company was coming down on the salesmen asking why our numbers were so low. I’d had enough, so I decided to pursue real estate full time.
At the paint store, I had a base salary, so even during low months, I knew I’d have some money. There were no guarantees in real estate. If you sold a house, you made money. If not, you’re in trouble. Because I had a family to support, I did everything I could to sell as many houses as possible. As a part of the real estate system I was in, I was heavily encouraged to bring other people into real estate as well, and help them do what I’d done. Before I knew it, I was selling millions of dollars of houses a year, and had a team around me to both support my real estate business, but I was helping them build their own at the same time.
There were a lot of mental and emotional roadblocks along the way. Conquering rejection and fear was the first part. Fortunately, with a young family, I didn’t have the option to let those two things get in the way. After that, I had to get comfortable with making money and being successful. Interestingly enough, we all have these dialogues running through our mind.
I realized my passion. Besides being able to teach people to follow a plan, I was able to help them identify what mental and emotional roadblocks were in the way, and overcome them. In my fourth year in the business, and after 18 months, I had successfully mentored four real estate professionals, to net $100,000 a year, doubling their annual income.
It wasn’t just about the money, though. They had been able to achieve increasing levels of freedom for themselves and their family. Some were able to pursue their interest in real estate investing, others were able to now send their children to private school. One was able to achieve his dream of adopting a child. It became a catalyst to change their lives. Since then, I’ve been able to help many others achieve their financial goals and personal dreams, and in the process pursue what fulfills my life; helping others.