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Start Suffering to Start Living

We think you should suffer.

And what the heck, if you’re going to suffer, we think you may as well suffer a lot.

Suffer badly even.

Now, before you think we’ve lost our marbles, stick with this for a moment.

You are the hero of your own life and all worthwhile heroes have a journey they go through, don’t they?

And before the hero achieves victory, their journey always involves suffering of some magnitude.

Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, William Wallace, your parents even… They all struggled to achieve.

When Nick and myself began Rock Star, we struggled.  

The hours were crazy, the workload was huge, and the commitments we made taxed us, but out of that came a beautiful (but not perfect) business where we could help a lot of people AND live life on our own terms. No more 9-5 for us.

We started by stuffing marketing envelopes on our hands and knees in my garage on the cement floor, before graduating to a table that I borrowed from a friend. I remember being completely exhausted at 11pm almost every night for months only to find Nick arriving at my door to begin our nightly envelope-stuffing routine… Where we argued about who had the best envelope-sealing technique.

I also remember digging out the side of one of Nick’s properties by hand with him because he didn’t have enough money to hire a waterproofing company, but he had a brother and some friends.

We dug and dug and dug and it was the day after my first insanely busy year-end in sales. I was already emotionally exhausted and by the end of that day, I was also then physically exhausted. The next morning I woke up with the most horrible, nasty cold/flu thing that lasted for weeks.

I remember being completely stressed out, parked around the corner from an investor’s new purchase in Burlington that we had helped him with, preparing to go in and teach him how to sign-up a tenant/buyer because he was struggling badly. We got it done of course but those were not easy times… We felt very alone with everyone telling us that we couldn’t work with investors the way we wanted to.

Our first real estate broker talked behind our backs telling anyone who would listen that we would fail and fail badly. Not fun.

A lot of people want us to promise them that when they invest in real estate that it’s all going to go smoothly, and of course, we can never do that.

And if we could actually promise it, then the rewards wouldn’t be as great as they are.

If you stick through the entire journey of dealing with finding a property, finding a tenant, dealing with tenants, dealing with vacancies and lawyers and trash, and phone calls, and the tenant board, and banks, and brokers, and all the other wonderful things. Then, you reap enough benefits to change your entire life.

One member privately told us they are about to cross over one million dollars in new equity later next year from the properties we helped them with. And they’ve done that all while earning thousands of dollars in monthly cash flow. They’ve dealt with a ton of issues but handled them all head-on, and now they are their own heroes.

We can try to minimize as much of the pain of real estate investing as possible, but let’s face it, real estate investing ain’t easy.

There’s often a problem to deal with and by some strange magic, the problems never seem to repeat, they are always new ones to test yourself against.

And that’s what we feel the suffering of doing anything worthwhile is… It’s a test to see if you’ve got what it takes.

And the size of the test that you are willing to put yourself in front of determines the size of your results.

We don’t believe anyone should be looking to avoid periods of suffering in their lives.

In fact, we get excited when someone has found a purpose they believe enough in that they are willing to suffer through their own journey of accomplishment.  

We can only hope that our own children find things they can suffer through early in life.

A life of comfort isn’t a life of happiness. We get to meet a lot of people and we can tell you that happiness doesn’t involve comfort.

The happiest people we meet are challenging themselves over and over again.

Right now in our own Rock Star offices, several members of the team are going through new projects which have required a lot of work with very little results to date. But they’re on the right path, you can feel it, and some tiny signs of progress are becoming visible.  

It’s awesome to watch.

We would argue that if you haven’t had the privilege of suffering through something for a period of several years, then you haven’t lived.

We look back on some of our early property experiences as some of the most fun we’ve ever had. We look back at getting into sales as one of the scariest times of our lives. We look back on starting Rock Star as an insanely scary idea.

Today we get frustrated when we can’t find another project to begin.

Don’t misunderstand us, we’re not asking you to walk around stressed out of your mind at all times but we are asking you to perhaps change your perspective.

If your stress is coming from building your portfolio or building your empire, then perhaps that stress is worthwhile and good in more ways than you think.

We find that because stress can come from things that aren’t often perceived as “adventurous” or “exciting,” they may have negative associations in your life.  

Dealing with contractors who don’t live up to promises or properties that pose challenges doesn’t make anyone’s list of the most exciting things to deal with.

But these items, although stressful, are part of the journey and, in our opinion, should be valued as an integral part of your own journey… Full of growth, significance, and achievement.

Remember, even Yoda agrees…

Adventure. Excitement. A Jedi craves not these things.” - The Empire Strikes Back

Until next time… Your Life! Your Terms!

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