At the beginning of October Rock Star Real Estate will be 5 years old.
Somehow we've managed to make it this far.
The team has grown, our impact has grown and it sometimes feels like a minor miracle we've made it this far.
We've gone from two guys stuffing real estate marketing packages in my basement on a table borrowed from my high school buddy ... almost going delirious from licking hundreds of envelopes each night ... with zero clients, zero leads and zero revenues ... spending money we didn't have ... to a team of 22 great people, hundreds and hundreds of clients, multiple millions in revenues and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment property purchased.
By no means are we sharing any of this to brag ... we don't feel we've accomplished all that much just yet (stay tuned!).
We're just sharing this for context.
However, we are VERY proud of our team and the people we get to work with every day.
There have been many ups and downs along the path and this week we're going to share a few of them with you.
We began writing out the list and realized there are so many little lessons we're going to continue this article for Rock Star Inner Circle Members in their monthly newsletter in October.
Let's begin shall we?
These lessons are in no particular order of importance ... but each of them has been very important to us!
When I told my sales VP that I was quitting my job right before the company was going public on the NASDAQ for a $1 BILLION dollar market cap I think he thought I had lost my marbles.
My wife and I decided she would stay at home to raise our kids. My son was 4 and my daughter was just born.
There was a mortgage on my house and I would be walking away from a six figure salary in the software industry.
Nick was doing the exact same thing ... walking into the unknown.
And because we didn't know what we didn't know it really helped us. We didn't have to freak out over all the things that could possibly go wrong.
We just put our heads down and go to work.
It's kinda like investing in real estate. The people who over analyze generally don't take action. The people who jump in and figure things out on the fly seem to get the most done.
Lesson: Just go ahead do whatever it is you've been thinking about. Adjust on the fly.
I'm sure when Nick told his wife he wouldn't have a salary and we would only be able to pay him $300 a week (cash) to kick off the business it was a mild SHOCK.
When I mentioned to my wife that we wouldn't have any more dental or medical benefits, or "stock options" granted over to us or semi-regular fat commission cheques that we could use to finish our basement and go on summer vacations I'm sure it was the most exciting news.
But they supported us.
At one point I was waking up at 4:30am, leaving the house and 5:00am and returning home at 6:30pm only to go back out on the road looking at properties until about 9pm and then work at home until 11:30pm.
This went on for at least two full years.
People said I looked like I was going to die.
Maybe I was! LOL!
But through it all they stuck by us. Without that we would not have managed to survive.
Lesson: Supportive family members are important. Find some or change the ones that you have (seriously).
This is a biggie.
Although we are in the "real estate business", our roles are "chief marketing officers of Rock Star".
Without new leads, new prospects, new customers for the business we don't have much of a business.
The actually process of helping people with their investments is WAY easier than mastering the marketing to attract new clients.
Because we understood, very early on, that a consistent stream of new clients was critical to our survival we focused on marketing from day one.
Way too many people believe that if the "provide good service" or their product is "top quality" they will be successful.
If you can't get people to ring the phone or walk into your storefront you won't be around very long.
Lesson: You, and only you, must be the chief marketing officer of your business. This role cannot be outsourced.
A lot of people have read the book, "The 4-Hour Workweek", by Timothy Ferriss.
And they mistakenly believe that they can work 4 hours a week.
What they miss is that it took Mr. Ferriss several years of 90 hour weeks (or whatever it was) ... to build his business.
He then implemented systems that allowed him to pull back and only work 4 hours a week.
The key here is that he worked his butt off for years first.
We have NEVER, EVER met anyone who went off on their own and didn't invest many hours in developing their business.
As we mentioned early our own days were jam packed with work.
I used to wait at the front doors of the cafe at 5:00am for the owner to open the doors so I could go in, order my breakfast, and begin working.
One Saturday after a training class, and taking people out on the road to look at properties afterwards I almost collapsed out of exhaustion when someone said they wanted to put in an offer on a property.
I just didn't have the energy to do it ... but somehow did it anyway.
Lesson: You'll Need to Work Longer and Way Harder Than You Anticipate (and the rewards are worth it).
Both of us were running around like chickens with their heads cut off for a few years.
Finally, at a business mastermind meeting another business owner told us that if we didn't hire an assistant he was going to kick our asses at the next meeting.
Somehow that got our attention.
So we reluctantly hired our first assistant at $11/hour.
We thought it would definitely bankrupt us. LOL!
We panicked if she didn't have enough stuff to work on.
We internally freaked out if things weren't done exactly the way we would have done them.
And it was the best move we ever made.
A lot of people, who don't want to do any work, hire their first assistant before they have the cash flow to support it.
This is bad.
But many people do the opposite. They are so busy running around from one emergency to the next they don't stop and organize themselves enough to integrate some help into their business.
As soon as the cash flow is rolling, even when there's just a little bit extra every month, it's time to hire help.
Lesson: You need leverage points. Hiring good people are great leverage.
Here's some of the other lessons that we'll go into detail for members in the Rock Star Inner Circle monthly newsletter:
Investing in Education Actually Does Make You Smarter
Proving People Wrong is a Massive Motivator (aka People Want You to Fail)
People Will Give You Advice & You Must Ignore All of It
It Looks Easy from the Outside
Money Comes from Systems (You Need Two Great Ones)
The First $100,ooo is the Hardest
Unexpected Problems Should be Expected
Good People Are Hard To Find (aka People Will Steal From You ... Regularly & Repeatedly)
Following Up With People is Where The Real Money is Made
You Can Do More in One Year Than You Think
Having Thick Skin is Mandatory
Chaos is Normal (No Self-Respecting Entrepreneur Has a Clean Desk)
Getting Pissed Off is Productive (Living in Harmony Doesn't Get Stuff Done)
Hanging Out With Successful People is Important
There is More Security in "Going it Alone" Than in a Good Job (Robert G. Allen Was Actually Right)
People Don't Work Hard & That's A Good Thing
Emotional Balance is Possible But Balancing Work & Family is Not
Writing Out A Plan is Suprisingly Effective (To Our Shock & Horror)
Hiring a Coach with Actual Experience is Worth Every Penny
Ignore The Masses Is Always the Best Choice
Never Have a Single Point of Failure
Taking the Time to Design Your Life is The Most Productive Time of Your Life
If you're not a Rock Star Inner Circle Member and you want to receive our monthly newsletter and audio CD you can sign-up here.
If you're local to Great Toronto Area then ignore what I just said and come to this Training Class before signing up.
Until next time ... Your Life! Your Terms!