This week we were running some numbers and it looks like as a team at Rock Star we're very close to approaching $500,000,000 in properties purchased.
That means we've helped investors buy almost half a billion dollars in property.
That's pure insanity.
In 2006 Nick and I helped the very first investor that wasn't a family member or a friend buy one property for a total of $199,000 (if memory serves correctly).
Now in 2014, we're approaching this massive number.
Along the way, we've learned a lot of lessons.
About who our real friends are.
About who will talk behind your back and hope/expect/want you to fail.
About who is pulling for you and truly hoping you'll hit it out of the park (turns out there are very few of these)
About the amount of effort, it takes to pull something like this off (turns out it takes a lot!).
And just yesterday we were reminded of one thing that was going on before this all started that can't be ignored.
For some of our VIP members, we were interviewing one of the most successful master franchise owners of the UPS Store.
This guy has a ton of experience growing businesses all over the world. During the call, he was sharing all sorts of different technical aspects of his business and we stopped him halfway through to ask him about something we've found very insightful about action takers.
We wanted to know if he had a "morning routine".
And because he's such a hard-charging kind of guy we almost expected that he didn't.
But we were curious...
Did he have any habits he used to start his day? Did he have a "system" to his success?
And what he said next didn't shock us, but it did surprise us.
He said he followed Robin Sharma's morning routine strategies.
Robin Sharma is the Toronto based author of the book, "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari".
Here was a guy who had created millions of dollars in revenue and he boils down his morning routine to something we can all follow ... something that is readily available to all of us ... outlined by an author right here in Toronto.
His comment instantly reminded us exactly of how we got to the point in our lives where we would have enough confidence to quit our jobs and start our own business.
Both Nick and I were pretty frustrated with what we were doing in life about ten years ago - we were both making good money but it wasn't satisfying. We felt were cogs in a wheel stuck on Hwy 403.
And we turned to books, which became our mentors.
I used to read a lot starting right after University ... it's funny how in University I hated reading and then after University, I began to read more than ever.
After my son was born I did most of my reading from 5:00 am to 6:00 am before my son would wake up.
I'd read for thirty minutes or so and then I'd spend 10 or 15 minutes of quiet time visualizing different things.
You could call it meditating I guess.
Our Mom had taken us to a week-long meditation camp hosted by "The Silva Method" when we were kids (who does that by the way? ... we love you Mom!)
This camp taught us the principles of meditation, visualization etc.
And these lessons stuck with us. I personally didn't go on to use them very frequently over the next ten years but if I had an important exam or stressful event in my life I'd sometimes get quiet and meditate and visualize my desired outcome.
Did it work? Don't really have any data on that.
So here I was in my late twenties, with a beautiful wife, a son, a mortgage and a job that I hated.
So at this point in my life, I broke out into a daily morning reading/meditation routine and stuck with it for several years.
There's one specific visualization I had that will never go away.
I dreamed of helping investors buy properties. I even thought it would be cool if Nick and I rented a bus and met them all at the Canadian Tire parking lot close to my house (yes, I'm serious) and took them all on a tour around McMaster University to show them how student rentals worked.
If you fast forward to today ... we don't pick anyone up in a bus and we don't meet anyone at Canadian Tire but we do have an office about ten minutes away from where we both live.
And we do "educational tours" of various communities where you could own rental properties.
Now I don't believe for a minute that this meditation was the reason we got to this point.
I know a LOT of people still meditating for a million dollars to drop on their heads via the "law of attraction".
But I do strongly believe that the quiet time in the morning, every morning, for years ... had a large impact on me.
It gave me enough clarity and confidence to go seek out a different career path.
It gave me enough time to brainstorm, quietly, by myself, different business ideas.
It also somehow setup my energy for the day where I felt like I could conquer the world.
To actually create a brokerage that has helped a lot of investors has taken more time than we ever thought, it's been harder than we ever thought, it's taken more money than we ever thought, it's taken a lot of study and it hasn't been a straight path.
And the most important piece is this: somehow we've been blessed in finding an amazing and inspiring group of people who would become the Rock Star Team. Without a great team, none of this would be possible.
It's as if those mornings by myself, reading and thinking and meditating, helped turn me into the person I needed to become to play a role in all this.
We're not here to tell you reading books or meditating is going to change your life.
But both Nick and I are pretty convinced of this:
Creating your own morning routine that includes some quiet time alone ... perhaps only ten minutes ... to think through the day, to think about your life, to question what your legacy will look like may play a critical role in changing your path.
Running out the door with your phone beeping, kids screaming, with coffee in hand ... reacting to whatever is the loudest at that moment won't change your life.
It's our humble opinion, that in order to change your current journey, you need a different type of energy every day.
And if you carve out some quiet time for yourself every day it may be the one ingredient that changes your life.
We did not start this by thinking we could help investors buy this much property ... but here we are.
And we're not done yet.
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!