Sunday, December 18, 2005
I jumped up with excitment after the awaited words - YOU'RE HIRED by Donald Trump on Thursday night December 15, 2005. No I wasn't hired but the 2nd best thing happened - Randal Pinkett was!
He is a native of Newark NJ and one of my business partners went to school with him in Rutgers University. Also he is a neighbor of mine. I thought that the 2nd runner up Rebecca was extremely good in her last task but like Randal said, "there is only one Apprentice!"
Although there is some outrage for Randal not asking Rebecca be hired I believe there are a few factors why she shouldn't have been:
* Her record was 1-2 versus Randal's 3-0.
* Her first loss she was loyal to Toral who not only did a dismal job but also created a question on Rebecca's leadership and decision making ability.
* Rebecca's first win was task 11 in which it was only Randall and Rebecca on the same team.
* All of Randal's suite mates respect him and his style of leadership. In fact 14 of the 16 other candidates agreed that Randal should be the apprentice.
* Randal has years of experience in the real world in leadership while Rebecca is focused more in media.
* Randal shined from Day 1 as he established himself as a major player in contributing to every team he is on.
* Alla, though she is abrasive and head strong, has a better record and exhibited stronger abilities as a leader in many of the tasks.
* There were other 2nd runner ups just as qualified as Rebecca such as Jennifer M in Season 2 or Tana in Season 3 (yes she has tough last task but her record is better than Rebecca).
* Randal was right - there is only ONE Apprentice. This is the reason for the show. It would dilute his win and his achievements.
Here are Apprentice related links:
Official NBC Apprentice Website
Yahoo Apprentice Website
Friday, November 25, 2005
I felt "when is this business really going to take off?". After a day of centering myself by taking a break by going to the Hudson Trail in NJ, I was reminded about the simple joys in life that don't cost money but instead just requires an open heart.
It is good and I gives thanks for the simple things in my life:
* My family - although it seems that there is continual disagreements as usual, I love my family and knowing that it gives me a reason to wake up.
* My friends - they are good and knowing them sharpens me to be a better person, it is truly a gift to have friends that don't necessarily criticize but instead support
* My God - having this life is a gift and I give thanks to God for it, it is very simple for me to forget where things have come from and it is a good to be reminded that life and beauty and love comes from the Source in life.
* My life - it has been a year of learning and creating, there are times that I don't but I am encouraged by times that I remind myself of the life that I have is a good life, going to the Great Life really focused on self love and to appreciate the value that I am and I show up in this life.
* My health - I know that I abuse my body from time to time whether it be an extra hour in the gym or the late night munchies but I am thankful for how it is good that I can walk, talk, exercise, and still be young in the things that I do
Oh.. the list can go on and on but I appreciate the blessings that I have in life. Things are much easier when I see life with a childlike playful attitude and show up in life with all the joy, love, and faith to enjoy it!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Maintaining a Positive Attitude
By Brian Tracy
When I was 21 years old, a friend of mine and I decided to go off to see the world. Many of our friends were going to Europe and hitchhiking around with rucksacks. We decided to be different and go to Africa.
We had no idea how serious and how difficult this adventure was to be. As we drove south across the Sahara Desert, we encountered endless problems, any one of which could have finished our trip ... or our lives.
The prospect of getting across that immense desert was so daunting, it could have stopped us dead in our tracks. Instead, we learned a lesson that turned out to be one that I have since applied to every aspect of my life.
The French, who had controlled Algeria for many years, had marked a path across the desert with 55-gallon oil drums spaced exactly five kilometers apart. As we came to an oil drum, the next drum would pop up on the horizon and the last oil drum would fall off the horizon, as if shot in a shooting gallery. Wherever we were, we could always see two oil drums - the one we had just left and the one we were headed toward. And it looked like our journey was never going to end.
We could have thrown up our hands and said, "This is impossible!" But we didn't. We adopted a Positive Mental Attitude and realized that to achieve our goal, all we had to do was take it one step (one oil barrel) at a time.
A Positive Mental Attitude is indispensable to success. By focusing on doing what lies clearly at hand ... by taking the step that appears immediately in front of you ... that will automatically lead you to the next step, and the next, and so on. Eventually, you will find yourself where you want to be.
But there is much more to a Positive Mental Attitude than this. You can have a positive attitude that immediately disappears in the face of adversity ... or you can have an attitude that is so strong, you are able to remain positive, cheerful, and optimistic, no matter what.
Of course, this isn't as easy as it sounds. Because we are all faced with four obstacles that tend to get in the way of our maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude: fear, worry, anger, and doubt.
We are afraid that we will lose our money, waste our effort, or forfeit our emotional or physical investment. If we are not careful, we start thinking of our potential losses rather than focusing on our potential gains.
Fear triggers worry, and we begin to use our power of imagination to create all sorts of negative images that interfere with our ability to perform effectively.
Fear and worry create anger and doubt. Instead of constantly moving forward in the direction of our dreams, we turn ourselves into victims and begin to blame other people and other situations for our problems.
There are six things you can do to eliminate these obstacles and develop a Positive Mental Attitude:
1. Instead of worrying about who did what and who is to blame, focus on where you want to be and what you want to do. Get a clear mental image of your ideal successful future, and then take whatever action you can to begin moving in that direction.
2. Focus on the solution instead of wasting time rehashing and reflecting on the problem. Solutions are inherently positive, whereas problems are inherently negative. The instant that you begin thinking in terms of solutions, you become a positive and constructive human being.
3. Assume that something good is hidden within each difficulty or challenge. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a major proponent of positive thinking, once said, "Whenever God wants to give us a gift, he wraps it up in a problem." The bigger the gift you have coming, the bigger the problem you will receive. And if you look for the gift, you will always find it.
4. Assume that the situation you are facing at the moment is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful. This situation has been sent to you to help you learn something, to help you become better, to help you expand and grow. One of the affirmations I have learned to use is this: "Every situation is a positive situation if I view it as an opportunity for growth and self-mastery." You cannot say that without thinking positive thoughts, feeling positive emotions, and seeing positive actions that you can take.
5. Assume that every setback contains a lesson that is essential for you to learn. Only when you learn this lesson will you be smart enough and wise enough to go on to achieve the big goals that you have set for yourself. If you are busy looking for the lesson, you cannot simultaneously think about the difficulty or the obstacle. And you will always find the lesson.
6. Whenever you have a goal that is unachieved, a difficulty that is unresolved, or a problem that is blocking you from getting where you want to go, sit down with a pen and piece of paper and make a list of every single thing that you could possibly do to resolve the situation. As you write, all kinds of insights and ideas will pop into your head.
A Positive Mental Attitude is indispensable to your success. And all it takes is for you to always take these six actions that are consistent with achieving your goals rather than actions that make you feel the negative emotions of worry, doubt, anger, and fear.
Today's Action Plan
Remember ... you can choose to be positive and constructive in dealing with any adversity. So, starting today, promise yourself that whenever you're faced with a difficult situation, you will sit yourself down, think it through, and then deal with it one oil barrel at a time.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Closing costs: 25K
Borrowing $ Costs: 15K
Marketing Costs: 12K
After Repair Value: 300K
Selling Costs: 8K
Gross PreTax Profit: 61K (in 6months)
I am sure that I left out some costs but either way it would have been a decent deal. I found out due to issues with my other rehab deal in Graduate Hospital requiring more cash to get it done I will not be able to get this done. I want to beat myself up for this but I am more disappointed that I will not be able to close this deal from the seller who is becoming a friend.
What I am learning:
* Don't overpromise what you can or can't do. Just be open and tell them you will do your best to produce.
* Keep an eye for the big picture but keep the small detail in mind.
* Put as little non refundable downpay (I am losing $2K on this).
* Things do not go perfect in anything but it doesn't mean that you can't smile and just move on.
* Stay focused and keep working on making things happen. If I relax then things will be pushed out.
Right now the Graduate Hospital deal looks ok. We are lining up things. Today I found out that there may be a deal in Brooklyn NY in my home borough. I am excited about it as it can be really something new and beautiful. I love making new things. In the old comes something new.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Rise Early and Catch the Golden Worm
By Michael Masterson
I zonked out at 10:00 last night and woke up seven hours later. I got up and stepped into the shower. Forty-five minutes later, I was in the office. It's 7 o'clock now, and I've already done 16 things.
For me, going to bed before midnight had always been unthinkable. It was capitulating (see Word to the Wise, below) to a dull life. But as someone's mother once told me, nothing good happens after midnight. And it's true. Ask yourself: Name one thing that you do and/or enjoy more after midnight that you can't do/enjoy better the following morning? No ... not even that!
Every successful businessman I know (or have read about) gets up and gets to work early. It's such a universal trait of accomplished individuals, I'm tempted to say it is a secret for success. "Early to bed and early to rise," Ben Franklin said, "makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." I used to think that was propaganda from a Puritan. Now, I think it's an observation from a very wise man.
Healthy, wealthy, and wise. Today, let's talk about how getting up and getting to work early helps you achieve those goals - since my guess is that's the primary reason you read ETR every day.
In my experience, there is no better time to collect your thoughts and plan your day than early in the morning when the office is quiet. Not only are you undisturbed by phone calls and interruptions, but ahead of you is the potential of an unopened day. The solitude promotes a kind of relaxed, contemplative mood. You feel free to think in an expansive way. Later on, when the place is noisy and the pressure is on, it's difficult to pay attention to what's important. You feel your attention drawn in several directions at once. You feel the pressure of deadlines. And you may be hit with bad news, which could put you in a bad, unproductive mood.
A Near-Perfect Morning Routine
Over the years, I've studied hundreds and experimented with dozens of time-saving techniques and organizational systems. The simple three-step program that follows is the best of the best.
Step One: Getting Healthy (6:30 to 7:00)
The first thing I do every day is run sprints. After a four- or five-minute warm-up, I run eight 50-yard dashes, with 30 seconds of rest in between. Then I do a serious 10-minute stretching routine (yoga moves, mostly). Finally, a cold shower and a fresh set of clothes.
The whole routine takes about 30 minutes, but it will completely renew and invigorate your health. This workout is a condensed version of everything I've learned about health and fitness for the past 45 years. (I got interested in the subject when I was 10!) And it has dramatically improved my health. For example, I no longer have the back, shoulder, and neck pain that troubled me for so many years. I am as strong as I was when I was playing football in college. And I rarely get sick. (You'll learn all about this program and why it works so well from ETR's health expert, Jon Herring.)
Step Two: Planning Your Day (7:00 to 7:30)
I didn't always plan my days. I managed to get rich before I developed this habit. But since I've learned how to plan, my productivity has quadrupled. If you use this system, I'll bet you see the same improvement in your own life. I begin each day with a list of "to-dos" that I've usually created the night before. I add to that list by going through my inbox and selecting any items that are important enough to make it to my daily list. After my list is completed, I highlight all tasks that help me accomplish one of my major long-term Life Goals.
I used to scan my e-mail for things to do, but found that I couldn't resist the lure of trying to "knock off" a bunch of little things that wasted my time and drained my energy. Now, I scrupulously avoid e-mail in the morning. In fact, I don't even open it up.
I check phone messages and faxes and add any important items to my daily task list. Again, I don't respond to anything at this point. My job is simply to organize it all, to figure out what I will do today and what I can delegate or do later.
Now, comes the fun part. I get out a clean sheet of paper - or even an index card - and write the date on top. Referencing all the inputs I have just gathered, I select 15 to 20 that I intend to accomplish before the end of the day.
Be realistic when you do this. There is no way you can do more than 15 or 20 significant things in a 10-hour day. And you don't have to work more than 10 hours a day to accomplish everything you need.
Of the 15 or 20 items, highlight four or five of them. These should all be "important-but-not-urgent" tasks. (The urgent tasks you have to do. The important-but-not-urgent tasks are the ones that will advance your Life Goals. They are critical to your success, but you will almost certainly fail to do them unless you make them a priority. That's why you are highlighting them.)
To the right of each item, you might want to indicate how much time you think it will take. (I run a subtotal of the accumulating times to the right of that so there is some relationship between what I want to do and how much time I have to do it.)
As a general rule, it's a good idea to structure all of your tasks so that none lasts more than an hour. 15-minute and 30-minute tasks are best. If you have something that takes several hours to do, break it up into pieces and do it over a few days. It will be better for the extra time you give it ... and you won't get crushed on any one day.
This whole process takes less than 30 minutes, yet it saves me hours of wasted time every day. More importantly ... it helps me focus on what is truly important to my career. (At the beginning of the week, when I'm creating a weekly task list in addition to a daily one, I allocate an extra half-hour. Once a month, I create a monthly list that takes another additional half-hour.)
If you adopt this simple organizing and planning system every morning, you will see how well it works. Before your colleagues, competitors, and coworkers are even sipping their first cup of coffee, you'll have figured out everything you need to do that day to make you healthier, wealthier, and wiser. You will know what to do, you will know what your priorities are, and you will already be thinking about some of them. You will not have to worry about forgetting something important. And you will have a strong sense of energy and excitement, knowing that your day is going to be a productive one.
Step Three: Giving Your Day a Boost (7:30 to 8:30)
Here's the best step. Select the single most important task of the day - the one, highlighted task that will best help you accomplish your most cherished Life Goal - and get to work on that.
Don't worry if something else is more pressing. Don't pay any attention to what everyone else wants you to do. Heck, it's not even 9:00 a.m. yet. It's your time, so spend it on yourself!
If you are having trouble figuring out what your most important task is, ask yourself this question: "If I knew I was going to die in a week, which task would be most important to me now?"
Start with that task. Chances are, it will be something that moves you toward a goal that you have been putting off for many years. There is something in your mind that has so far made it difficult for you to accomplish it.
Don't worry about the negatives. As I said, this time is for you.
If you spend the first working hour of every day on something you deeply care about, it will give you more energy and a better feeling than you can possibly imagine. How do I know this is true? Because it's how I feel every time I do it.
This little three-step program is a truly health-giving, wealth-making, life-changing routine. It has totally transformed my life. I am sure it can do the same for you.
Remember, the entire three steps will take you only two hours. If you start working at 6:30 (and you should!), you'll have done more by 8:30 than your friends, colleagues, and competitors do all day!
Try it tomorrow and tell me if it doesn't work wonders for you!
A Clever Way to Keep Track ...
This system can be complemented by a file-indexing system that a famously organized newspaper publisher showed me several years ago. It requires two accordion folders - one with a pocket for each month and another with pockets for 31 days.
As you go through your e-mail or read correspondence and memos, put aside anything you want to follow up on. Place it in the first accordion folder - in the pocket of the month in which you intend to address it. When that month arrives, there will probably be 30 or 40 sheets of paper stuffed inside. You sort through them and place them in some kind of manageable order in the second accordion file - in each of the days of the month. Then, as each day arrives, you simply extract from that day's pocket the material you've filed there. This is a very easy way to keep track of all your vital data and correspondence without resorting to large, messy stacks of paper.
Success Is What Happens When You Do a Little Bit Extra Each Day
I suppose it's possible for success to come in a single windfall, but most often it arrives bit by bit. My three-step morning routine is a way for you to make yourself super-healthy and give yourself a significant advantage over the people you compete with.
It actually gives you four advantages. You are smarter, fresher, and more enthusiastic - which makes you feel better and enjoy your work. You get a whole lot more accomplished than you would otherwise. You drastically reduce or (some days) eliminate emergencies that interrupt you and drain your energy. And, most important, you spend a much greater percentage of your time doing things that move you along toward the goals you desire.
Today's Action Plan
There is something about getting to work earlier that seems wiser, nobler, smarter, or just plain more industrious than working late. Getting to work earlier says something about being energetic, organized, and in control. Staying late leaves the opposite impression: that you are diligent but disorganized, earnest but erratic, hardworking but a drudge.
In How to Become CEO , Jeffrey J. Fox puts it this way:
"If you are going to be first in your corporation, start practicing by being first on the job. People who arrive at work late don't like their jobs - at least that's what senior management thinks. ... And don't stay at the office until 10 o'clock every night. You are sending a signal that you can't keep up or your personal life is poor."
So here's your Action Plan for today. I want you to figure out what time, on the average, you have been getting to work each day. And I want you to promise yourself that you'll get there at least 30 minutes earlier from now on. An hour earlier is better
Don't fool yourself. If you've been trying to get to work by 8:00 but get there at that time only two days a week, admit that your starting time is 8:15 or 8:30. Then fix your new objective.
Thirty minutes a day multiplied by 50 weeks is 125 hours of extra work. That gives you more than a two-week advantage over those you are competing against. You can accomplish a lot in two weeks, so don't underestimate what this will do for you.
It's not just about doing extra stuff. It's about getting a jump on things. Getting in early makes you better prepared, more thoughtful, better organized, and more effective in every area of your life.
Early to bed, early to rise. It will make you healthier this year ... and wealthier and wiser too.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
2nd Philadelphia Rehab 3bd / 1ba
10/5/2005 - Spoke with my partner. The contractor working on this is asking for $2k more to "finish" this. It will take at least $8K to complete this job and he says he will "honor" his word to finish this job. It is hard to believe as this job was supposed to be finished in July! It is obvious that he has given up on this project and has even misappropriated the funds for the heater. Supposedly he is waiting for his "friend" to fix it. There are alot of lessons to be learned here. Right now looking for a new contractor to finish this up.
5/12/2006 - Partner and I have been busy and now we have a reliable but not the best contractor to finish this up. It is a pain but we are looking to sell or rent out for a year and then sell.
12/19/2006 - We have finally made all the necessary repairs. This deal has been a very challenging one due to budget overruns and lack of a good contractor who does a complete job. We needed to hire handyman / laborers to get the job done. There is alot to be learned. We are using one of the top realtors in Philadelphia to market this for 3 months to see if we can snag a good buyer.
9/12/2007 - FINALLY the property sold... BUT at a loss :( Due to many things especially the budget, time, and rip off contractors this was a very painful lesson. It convinces me more to be on top of my game. I was marketing in the various papers in Philadelphia and most of the residents in Philly do not have cash or do not have the credit to close. The cash was the most important part. Right now it is a long arduous thing. I can't believe it is 2 years since we did this.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Check his blog:
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Leaving a Legacy - Principles to Live By by Jim Rohn
(excerpted from Jim Rohn's Twelfth Pillar of Success: Legacy, Part Two of the Jim Rohn One-Year Success Plan)
You know me, I am a philosopher. I love principles. Yes, actions are great and I talk about them regularly, but the important stuff is what lies underneath--the principles.
Here are what I consider to be the principles that we must commit to if we are to leave the legacy we desire:
1. Life is best lived in service to others.This doesn't mean that we do not strive for the best for ourselves. It does mean that in all things we serve other people, including our family, co-workers and friends.
2. Consider others' interests as important as your own.Much of the world suffers simply because people consider only their own interests. People are looking out for number one, but the way to leave a legacy is to also look out for others.
3. Love your neighbor even if you don't like him.It is interesting that Jesus told us to love others. But he never tells us to like them. Liking people has to do with emotions. Loving people has to do with actions. And what you will find is that when you love them and do good by them, you will more often than not begin to like them.
4. Maintain integrity at all costs.There are very few things you take to the grave with you. The number one thing is your reputation and good name. When people remember you, you want them to think, "She was the most honest person I knew. What integrity." There are always going to be temptations to cut corners and break your integrity. Do not do it. Do what is right all of the time, no matter what the cost.
5. You must risk in order to gain.In just about every area of life you must risk in order to gain the reward. In love, you must risk rejection in order to ask that person out for the first time. In investing you must place your capital at risk in the market in order to receive the prize of a growing bank account. When we risk, we gain. And when we gain, we have more to leave for others.
6. You reap what you sow.In fact, you always reap more than you sow--you plant a seed and reap a bushel. What you give you get. What you put into the ground then grows out of the ground. If you give love you will receive love. If you give time, you will gain time. It is one of the truest laws of the universe. Decide what you want out of life and then begin to sow it.
7. Hard work is never a waste.No one will say, "It is too bad he was such a good, hard worker." But if you aren't they will surely say, "It's too bad he was so lazy - he could have been so much more!" Hard work will leave a grand legacy. Give it your all on your trip around the earth. You will do a lot of good and leave a terrific legacy.
8. Don't give up when you fail.Imagine what legacies would have never existed if someone had given up. How many thriving businesses would have been shut down if they quit at their first failure? Everyone fails. It is a fact of life. But those who succeed are those who do not give up when they fail. They keep going and build a successful life - and a legacy.
9. Don't ever stop in your pursuit of a legacy.Many people have accomplished tremendous things later on in life. There is never a time to stop in your pursuit of a legacy. Sometimes older people will say, "I am 65. I'll never change." That won't build a great life! No, there is always time to do more and achieve more, to help more and serve more, to teach more and to learn more. Keep going and growing that legacy!
These are core principles to live by if you want to become the kind of person who leaves a lasting legacy.
Until next week, let's do something remarkable!
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Success is Easy, But So is Neglect by Jim Rohn
excerpted from The Challenge to Succeed audio series)
People often ask me how I became successful in that six-year period of time while many of the people I knew did not. The answer is simple: The things I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. I found it easy to set the goals that could change my life. They found it easy not to. I found it easy to read the books that could affect my thinking and my ideas. They found that easy not to. I found it easy to attend the classes and the seminars, and to get around other successful people. They said it probably really wouldn't matter. If I had to sum it up, I would say what I found to be easy to do, they found to be easy not to do. Six years later, I'm a millionaire and they are all still blaming the economy, the government, and company policies, yet they neglected to do the basic, easy things.
In fact, the primary reason most people are not doing as well as they could and should, can be summed up in a single word: neglect.
It is not the lack of money - banks are full of money. It is not the lack of opportunity - America, and much of the free World, continues to offer the most unprecedented and abundant opportunities in the last six thousand years of recorded history. It is not the lack of books – libraries are full of books - and they are free! It is not the schools - the classrooms are full of good teachers. We have plenty of ministers, leaders, counselors and advisors.
Everything we would ever need to become rich and powerful and sophisticated is within our reach. The major reason that so few take advantage of all that we have is simply, neglect.
Neglect is like an infection. Left unchecked it will spread throughout our entire system of disciplines and eventually lead to a complete breakdown of a potentially joy-filled and prosperous human life.
Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence. As our self-confidence diminishes, so does the level of our activity. And as our activity diminishes, our results inevitably decline. And as our results suffer, our attitude begins to weaken. And as our attitude begins the slow shift from positive to negative, our self-confidence diminishes even more... and on and on it goes.
So my suggestion is that when giving the choice of "easy to" and "easy not to" that you do not neglect to do the simple, basic, "easy"; but potentially life-changing activities and disciplines.
To Your Success,
Reproduced with permission from the Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine. Subscribe at: www.jimrohn.com or send an email with JOIN in the subject to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, September 02, 2005
Thursday, September 01, 2005
How did I find it?
One of my friend's brother works in UPENN and just rode a bike and told me that he would live in the area as it was close to DREXEL UNIVERSITY. It was a shell that was completely boarded up or so I thought.
I went to the sale with a MAB or Maximum Allowable Bid of $27K as my initial comps were about $80K ARV or After Repair Value and thought that with sight unseen it was only about $15K to $20K of work. I did one drive by and it was an interesting area as around the corner was student rentals and even further was a school for the blind and various churches around. After the auction someone told me properties are going for 40K around the area - fixed up! I nearly choked when I heard that.
At the auction, I went head to head with a student who pushed the #s from 18K all the way to about 25K and .. I WON! It was the first bid out of 2 other bids that I made that I won! It was a great feeling and I was shaking after I went to the front to pay it off.
Excitingly we went there and opened the house and to my horror saw that the back extension was torn down with a wide gapping hole. Asking for a quick idea of how much it would be repaired for, a investor told me he can get a crew to do it for $36K.
In the meantime, I had an architect go through to draw plans on rehabbing the property. I have shopped the plans to over several contractors with prices from 45K to 120K !!!! Right now I plan to start rehab with my partner in the next 3 months as summer of 2005 is over but I believe I want to get ready for the spring time.
8/30/2005 - went to Philly with my friend and they are pricing the work out as they are contractors from NYC. I asked a realtor about how much is the value of this property and they said about 110K after fixed up with minimal "wow" factor. Just something clean. This is a big contrast to supposed comps around 40K last year! Talk about bad information.
9/29/2005 - I have taken over several construction bids on this. The range is from 35K to 120K! Suffice to say that one of my friends said it can be done for $50K without landscaping in the back. Another contractor told me if that they can do it they love to see the work done that low! Right now the shell is sitting and appreciating slowly but surely. In the future, I would be able to sell it as a shell but the creative part of me wants to do something for the community so I am still accepting bids. The insurance carrier hasn't gotten back to me on covering this shell.
1/5/2006 - I have been calling various lenders for a acquistion and rehab loan. I visited the house and a few people have taken off the wood and went inside without closing the property up. I am going to get it boarded in a week.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
An enterprising person is one who comes across a pile of scrap metal and sees the making of a wonderful sculpture. An enterprising person is one who drives through an old decrepit part of town and sees a new housing development. An enterprising person is one who sees opportunity in all areas of life.
To be enterprising is to keep your eyes open and your mind active. It's to be skilled enough, confident enough, creative enough and disciplined enough to seize opportunities that present themselves...regardless of the economy.
A person with an enterprising attitude says, "Find out what you can before action is taken." Do your homework. Do the research. Be prepared. Be resourceful. Do all you can in preparation of what's to come.
Enterprising people always see the future in the present. Enterprising people always find a way to take advantage of a situation, not be burdened by it. And enterprising people aren't lazy. They don't wait for opportunities to come to them, they go after the opportunities. Enterprise means always finding a way to keep yourself actively working toward your ambition.
Enterprise is two things. The first is creativity. You need creativity to see what's out there and to shape it to your advantage. You need creativity to look at the world a little differently. You need creativity to take a different approach, to be different.
What goes hand-in-hand with the creativity of enterprise is the second requirement: the courage to be creative. You need courage to see things differently, courage to go against the crowd, courage to take a different approach, courage to stand alone if you have to, courage to choose activity over inactivity.
And lastly, being enterprising doesn't just relate to the ability to make money. Being enterprising also means feeling good enough about yourself, having enough self worth to want to seek advantages and opportunities that will make a difference in your future. And by doing so you will increase your confidence, your courage, your creativity and your self-worth - your enterprising nature.
To Your Success,
Reproduced with permission from the Jim Rohn Weekly E-zine. Subscribe at: www.jimrohn.com or send an email with JOIN in the subject to: email@example.com
I received alot of assistance from this thread:
I am also consulting a CPA that I found from a referral.
* Working on getting my 1st rehab done in Philly. The contractor has not met our deadlines and is at the point where he underbidded and is working slower as he is looking for money to complete this project. We had a sticky meeting in which my partner and I are considering looking for someone to complete the work. The work is coming along but just slow. The contractor says he will not make any profit but he is completing it because he said that is what he would do.
* Finding deals in Philly for my contractor friend. I would put them up but I will wait until we are on the way. I want to put examples on what is going on rather than possibilities.
* Talking to my Great Life Buddies - we are living :) Things have been good and seeing them living is great. We have a special unsaid connection but for the most part it is a great memory in my life. We are all living and growing. Some are more happy and some of us are so busy that we don't have time to know if we are happy or not.
* Enjoying the NYC summer as I met one of my goals in watching the Shakespeare in the Park. It is really great! I am going to miss this summer.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Thought provoking documentary on the way modern man eats. After watching this film, I had to put down my double cheeseburger from McDonald's! Here are some factoids from the website:
* each day, 1 in 4 Americans visits a fast food restaurant
* In 1972, we spent 3 billion a year on fast food - today we spend more than 110 billion
* McDonald's feeds more than 46 million people a day - more than the entire population of Spain
* French fries are the most eaten vegetable in America.
* You would have to walk for seven hours straight to burn off a Super Sized Coke, fry and Big Mac.
* In the U.S., we eat more than 1,000,000 animals an hour
* 60 % of all Americans are either overweight or obese
* One in every three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime
* Left unabated, obesity will surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in America
* Obesity has been linked to: Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease, Adult Onset Diabetes, Stroke, Gall Bladder Disease, Osteoarthritis, Sleep Apnea, Respiratory Problems, Endometrial, Breast, Prostate and Colon Cancers, Dyslipidemia, steatohepatitis, insulin resistance, breathlessness, Asthma, Hyperuricaemia, reproductive hormone abnormalities, polycystic ovarian syndrome, impaired fertility and lower back pain
* The average child sees 10,000 TV advertisements per year
* Only seven items on McDonald's entire menu contain no sugar
* Willard Scott was the first Ronald McDonald - he was fired for being too fat
* McDonald's distributes more toys per year than Toys-R-Us
* Diabetes will cut 17-27 years off your life
* McDonald's: "Any processing our foods undergo make them more dangerous than unprocessed foods"
* The World Health Organization has declared obesity a global epidemic
* Eating fast food may be dangerous to your health McDonald's calls people who eat a lot of their food "Heavy Users"
* McDonald's operates more than 30,000 restaurants in more then 100 countries on 6 continents
* Before most children can speak they can recognize McDonald's
* Surgeon General David Satcher: "Fast food is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic"
* Most nutritionists recommend not eating fast food more than once a month
* 40% of American meals are eaten outside the home
* McDonald's represents 43% of total U.S. fast food mark
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
the last few seconds.
Transforming Bad Habits
by Brian Tracy
The habits of success have been studied by great thinkers and philosophers for at least 2,500 years. After personally studying the subject for more than 30 years, I have identified seven habits that you need to develop if you want to perform at your very best in everything you do.
1. You need to become goal-oriented - dedicated to setting and working from clearly written objectives every day of your life.
2. You need to become results-oriented. This involves two practices. The first is the practice of continuously learning so that you become better at what you do. The second is the practice of time management - setting very clear priorities and then concentrating single-mindedly on the most valuable use of your time.
3. You need to become action-oriented - the most important habit for material success. This is the ability to get on with a job and get it done fast. You need to overcome procrastination, push aside your fears, and launch yourself 100% toward the achievement of your goals.
4. You need to become people-oriented. Virtually all of your happiness in life will come from your ability to get along well with other people. And getting along well with other people is based on a set of habits that you learned, or failed to learn, in childhood: patience, kindness, compassion, and understanding. But it is never too late to develop those habits. . And the more you practice them, the more you will internalize those qualities and actually become the person you want to be.
5. You need to be health-oriented. This means that you must make a conscious effort to eat the right foods in the right proportions. You must exercise on a regular basis to keep your body young and fit. And you must get enough rest and enjoy leisure activities that will enable you, in combination with diet and exercise, to live a long, full life.
6. You need to be oriented toward honesty and integrity. In the final analysis, the character you develop as you go through life is more important than virtually anything else. You set very clear values for yourself and you organize your life around your values. You develop a vision for yourself and then you live your life consistent with your highest ideals. You never compromise your integrity or peace of mind for anyone or anything.
7. The seventh habit that you need - the one that guarantees all the others will happen - is that of self-discipline. Your ability to discipline yourself, to master yourself, to control yourself, goes hand in hand with your success in every area of life.
My favorite definition of self-discipline comes from Elbert Hubbard. He said, "Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."
Every one of the habits I identified above - goal orientation, result orientation, action orientation, people orientation, health orientation, honesty, and self-discipline - can be developed. Following is a seven-step method you can use to make any or all of those habits a permanent part of your character and personality.
1. Write down the habit as a goal in the form of a present tense, personal, positive affirmation. For example, if you want to develop the habit of self-discipline, you would write, "I am an extremely well-disciplined individual in everything I do."
2. Repeat that affirmation as often - and with as much enthusiasm - as possible. The more times you repeat it, the more likely it is that your subconscious mind will ultimately accept it and begin to adjust your thoughts, words, and behaviors to be consistent with it.
3. Visualize yourself as if you already had the new habit pattern. Imagine yourself as already being exactly the person that you want to become. Remember, your subconscious mind is activated and programmed by mental pictures. All improvements in your life and character begin with an improvement in your mental images. Use visualization on a regular basis in conjunction with your positive affirmations.
4. Emotionalize the affirmation and the visualization. Take a few minutes each day to actually experience the feeling of being the excellent, outstanding human being that you have decided to become.
5. Launch into your new habit with conviction. (See Word to the Wise, below.) Assume the role, acting as if you had been hired to perform it in a movie or play. The more you behave exactly as if you already had the habit, the more you actually become the person you desire to be.
6. Tell others that you have decided to develop this habit. When you tell others about a goal, you motivate and encourage yourself to achieve it. You also force yourself to consistently act in accordance with your new resolutions ... because you know people are watching.
7. Review your progress on a day-to-day basis. At the end of every day, briefly recap your behavior to see if you are living in a way that is consistent with the values and habits you are trying to develop. Give yourself points when you are strong, and be patient with yourself when you slip from time to time.
It's not particularly easy to change yourself. But with patience, determination, and persistence, you can do it.
TODAY'S ACTION PLAN
In today's main article, Brian Tracy identified seven habits of successful people. How many of them do you already have? How many do you need to develop? Take charge of your future by making the decision, right now, to make each and every one of them an integral part of you.
Sunday, July 31, 2005
The Power of Choice – Success is a Choice
The Power of Choice is the most fundamental power we have as individuals to achieve our goals. The power of choice encompasses our entire life – regrettably, most of us never realize it before its too late. This great power holds the key to unlocking not just financial independence, but your happiness as a human being.
Choice is an amazing thing. Embrace it and use it to your advantage.
When we reflect back into our lives, we have the capability of analyzing the forks in the road – and where those forks have taken us. The forks are simple choices, both large and small – but each share the common thread of having the magnificent power to take us somewhere different.
You see, your life as it exists now, is the cumulative result of your choices – millions of choices which you’ve made. If you’re dissatisfied in your life, your choices take 100% full responsibility.
Yes, life is about choice. The choice to be positive. The choice to be negative. The choice to watch TV or read a book. The choice to eat donuts or eat fruit. The choice to sleep until noon, or rise at dawn. Choice surrounds us and our great country affords us that luxury.
Every day, you make hundreds of choices. You’ve chosen to read this. Not only does choice exist in our external actions, they exist in our internal mind.
The Power of Choice comes in two forms.
The Choice of Perception and the Choice of Action.
First, the Choice of Perception:
You choose to interpret events in your particular frame of reference. Your mind labels and categorizes events that surround you. When someone says “dog” some people see a poodle. Others see a Pit Bull. This is the Choice of Perception.
If you lose your job you can choose it to be a negative, or positive. When you’re pulled over for speeding, you can be angry or thankful. The Choice of Perception and its choices start right between your ears.
The other day while pumping gas in my car (the Lamborghini) I had a teenager ask me if he could snap some pictures of the car. “Sure, go right ahead!” I replied. After a few minutes of pictures and various rants and raves about the car, he exclaimed, “I gotta get as many pictures as possible cuz Ill never be able to afford one of those”.
Choice. He made a choice to believe he will never own one. Small choice? Or big choice? His Choice of Perception was poor. This poor choice of perception will forever lead him to average results. Unfortunately, he doesn't even know it.
Going back 11 years to my teen years, the difference between he and I was this: When I was 14, I saw my first Lamborghini sitting outside an ice cream store. As a gazed in wonderment, I thought to myself, “Some day I’m gonna own one of those”. My Choice of Perception was strong.
If you maintain strong choices of perception, your focus ultimately becomes your reality.
I moved to Phoenix in 1997 poor and broke. I mailed out dozens of resumes hoping to get a “safe secure job” – weeks passed and I received no phone calls. Instead of framing this event as a failure, I chose to be positive. I took further action and increased the work efforts of my small business. If I didn’t, I would have been homeless on the street as rent was fast coming due. I made choices; both in perception AND action.
The Choice of Action is the second choice power we have.
Not only are the choices you make in your internal mindset important, but the choices you make in your external activities.
To move ahead in life, you must understand that the smallest of choices impact your life. Most of us believe only the big choices impact our life; Should I take that new job? Should I marry Jennifer? Should I start a business? Should I buy that car? Do I get that MBA? This is false.
The smallest of choices, in your daily life, are the ones that can make the biggest impact.
Back in 1997 I made a choice to visit a chat room to “see what was going on” – at the moment, it was a very simple choice. It was nothing big as I was just wasting time on the Internet. However, in that chat room, I would meet my best friend whom forever would impact my life and my business. Had I not met my best friend, my life as it is today, would be 100% different. Where would I be had I not made that choice to enter that chat room?
What seemingly simple choices have you made that made the biggest impact on your life?
Watch out with the Choice of Action!
Its power can take you places and throw your life into bliss or chaos. Be mindful with the Choice of Action.
In 2004 I bought a new Viper. One month into ownership I decided to street race someone while having to much to drink. Unfortunately, not being that familiar with the car and having liquor in my system, I was unable to control the car – the car started to spin and crossed over into traffic careening into palm tree.
I made a choice and the choice was disastrous.
This poor choice would forever impact my life. That night I was lucky – I did not kill myself or anyone else. Had I killed someone, my life would have been 100% different – no amount of money in the bank can keep you from prison. No amount of money can purge your soul of the horror of being responsible for taking someone's life so foolishly.
That night I was carted away and charged with DUI. The Viper was totaled and I later found that I would have been killed had impact been driver side vs. passenger side. My life was spared as where others.
The Choice of Action can throw your life into chaos or bliss: I decided to illegally drag race. Conversely the Choice of Perception was this: Instead of being regretful that I got caught, I was overwhelmingly thankful – thankful I did not kill anyone or destroy other people’s lives. I now choose not to race anyone on the street – I now choose not to drink and drive and have adopted a zero tolerance policy. Choices. Choices of Action and Choice of Perception.
We make good ones and we make bad ones.
All of them – impact our life and throw us into different directions. To be happy and live a life of success, make more good choices vs. bad choices.
Your choices become who you are. Your life is a reflection your choices, in action and perception.
At this very moment – whether its an trailer, apartment, house, or a mansion on a hill – YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE because you made those choices.
How do you choose to frame your surrounding events? What language do you use in your mind?
“Ill never …”
“I can’t. …”
“If I could only … “
Or do you choose better words?
“This is a challenge Ill overcome”
The Power of Choice starts early in life -- its impacts are life lasting.
The choice to cheat on your English writing exams, or study.
The choice to have unprotected sex.
The choice to skip class, or attend class.
The choice to lie or to be honest.
The choice to watch TV, or read an educating book.
The choice to drive 105 mph in a 55 mph zone.
The choice to associate with negative people.
The choice to overindulge in food or liquor.
The choice to drive home after drinking too much.
The choice to cheat on your significant other.
The choice to steal a pack of gum from the supermarket.
The choice to go out with your friends when you really wanted to stay home
Some Choices Have Unintended Consequences
At age 16, David thought it would be cool to ignite a smoke bomb in the school bus. This day he makes a choice. At the time it would seem like a harmless prank. 14 children suffered smoke inhalation that day. Fortunately, those 14 children recovered quickly. However, it was David’s 10-day stay in juvenile detention that would forever lead David’s life down a different path.
David met Rudy in juvenile hall. Rudy would later teach David the “rules” of the perfect burglary. For years, the rules which Rudy taught David allowed him to make thievery a career. David’s luck would soon run out and would later spend 9 years in prison. Today, he is homeless and still engages in petty crimes.
Had David not met Rudy, where would he be? A fireman? Banker? Businessman? Choice, and the path of its consequences, start early.
At age 18, Alyssa leaves home to live with a 29 year old man she met at the local bar 4 months earlier. She has unprotected sex on multiple occasions and later becomes pregnant. Unfortunately, the pregnancy is unwanted and Alyssa is brutally beaten by her boyfriend when she tells him the news. Alyssa later aborts the pregnancy in a motel bathroom and leaves her boyfriend only to return home to her parents.
Had Alyssa not moved in with a man she did not know, she’d be able to conceive today. Alyssa will grow old childless. Choice, and the path of its consequences, start early.
A multimillionaire by age 28, Andre had everything: A beautiful wife, money, a healthy daughter, riches, and a thriving restaurant business. Andre is on top of the world. One Friday night after having a few drinks to celebrate his night manager’s birthday, Andre gets in his car and drives home drunk. He mentally chooses to think “I’m OK”.
On his way home he kills a family of 4 while traveling down the interstate. Andre is arrested for drunk driving and carted off to jail where after a trial, he will later spend the next 15 years of his life. His life will never be the same because of not ONE CHOICE, but multiple choices. The choice to drink. The choice to drive. The choice to think “I’m OK” – the series of choices is plentiful – his exit strategy was clear – he didn’t choose wisely.
Poor choices lead to poor results.
As you move forward in life, ask yourself, am I making good choices? Good choices of action? Good choices in perception? Do you choose to be a victim?
Do you blame others or take responsibility?
Someone once said, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. If you continue to make the same choices, you can expect the same results.
If you are unhappy in your life, make better choices. There’s no time like today.
For more on this article and replies to it, you can click here to go to the Rich Dad thread.
Monday, July 18, 2005
The Seminar Pitch: A Real Curve Ball
Earn up to $100,000 per year!
At the world’s most successful seminar, we’ll show you how
to multiply your money in 6 months or less -- with little risk.
Our experts will teach you the latest insider secrets for making money fast.
You can’t afford to pass up this valuable opportunity.
What a pitch! You may have received a letter or seen an infomercial promoting a seminar or conference that promises to help you make a lot of money. Seminar hucksters say they’ll give you valuable information about how to invest successfully or operate a profitable business. Their "success stories" and testimonials seem to show that anyone who attends the seminar can make money from the investment and business program they’re selling. Some promoters may even claim to have gotten rich from their own investment in the program.
If you attend one of these seminars, you’ll hear a series of sales pitches for a variety of business opportunities and investments. Consumers who invest in these "opportunities" frequently find that the pay-off isn’t as promised -- and they can’t recoup the money they spent.
The Federal Trade Commission wants to alert you to the secrets of the seminar squeeze. Be wary of promotional materials or sales pitches that make these claims:
* You can earn big money fast, regardless of your lack of experience or training.
* The program or business opportunity is offered for a short time only.
* The deal is a "sure thing" that will deliver security for years to come.
* You’ll reap financial rewards by working part time or at home.
* You’ll be coached each step of the way to success.
* The program worked for other participants -- even the organizers.
Don’t Get Hit By The Pitch
Promises of quick, easy money can be a powerful lure. If you buy into a business opportunity at a seminar, you may find that the products and information you purchased are worthless and that your money is gone.
You can avoid getting hit by the seminar pitch. Here’s how:
* Take your time. Don’t be rushed into buying anything at a seminar. Avoid high-pressure sales pitches that require you to buy now or risk losing out on the opportunity. Remember, solid opportunities are not sold through nerve-racking tactics.
* Investigate the business you’re considering investing in. Talk to experienced business people and experts in the field before spending your money.
* Be wary of "success stories" or testimonials of extraordinary success. The seminar operation may have paid "shills" to give glowing stories.
* Be cautious about purchasing from seminar representatives who are reluctant to answer questions, or who give evasive answers to your questions. Remember that legitimate businesspeople are more than willing to give you information about their investment or sales opportunity.
* Ask about how much money you need to qualify for the investment or sales opportunity, and ask about the company’s refund policy. Get this in writing. Keep in mind that you may never recoup the money you give to an unscrupulous seminar operation, despite the operator’s stated refund policies. Taking precautions before you invest is a more effective way to safeguard your money than trying to get a refund after the investment’s been made.
To File a Complaint
If you’ve been victimized by a seminar promoter, contact your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General, and Better Business Bureau.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
ARV = $220 to $250K
Fixup costs = $40 to $50K
1st lien bank mortgage = $175K as of Feb 2005
Other liens = $12K
Final payoff after short sale: $125K including all closing costs and paying off credit card judgements, taxes, and utility bills.
There were many challenges to this getting done as the title search revealed extra emcumbrances on title among other things. It found things that were paid off but was not dismissed or recorded as satisfied. This made the whole thing drag.
My friend and I agreed to take 25% of the finder's fee. It was flipped to our short sale teacher to rehab and rent or live in. He was going to be paid 50% net of flip value.
We were happy to close and now looking for more short sales. The client even said she was happy and she wanted to know if we would hire her as a paralegal!
It is a good win although a small one. Many are happy including the bank :)
Sunday, July 10, 2005
81xx 17ave - spoke with HO (homeowner) and they were visibly upset after several knocks, the HO was agitated with the multiple knocks and said, "I don't want to be a XXXX but..." SLAM the door! Alot of the dust moved from it. The HO gave feedback about the following - 1. lack of business cards and 2. lack of business address (as I previously proposed meeting at a Dunkin Donuts to outline a plan of attack)
87XX 17ave - spoke with tenant who was a very good guy who was sharing alot of info about where the HO was, I shared with them a little about the situation and asked him about the HO, I saw the HO and spoke with him. The house was newly renovated 2 months ago and is now being rented with negative cashflow. HO has import / export business that is viable. HO just was disorganized in paying the mortgage. Good person.
7x Bay 2x - HO wasn't home and dropped off a letter to his bro in law. Bro in law is a good guy working in NYS Sanitation.
2xx Bay 3x - HO wasn't home and dropped off a letter to followup.
5x Bay 3x - talked with neighbor regarding the reason for vacancy, the issue is it is in court for 2 parties fighting over ownership. 1 party has ownership due to unethically having the previous owner deeding property in the will before being deceased. The remaining heir is fighting for full rights to the property.
* My style lends itself that I have business cards. Many of the HO in preforeclosure want to feel that there is someone reliable and professional to help with their situation. Female HO are very volatile.
* Better marketing collateral - business cards, letters, etc... (it is amazing how small things can build or destroy credibility in front of the client)
* Door rings no more than 3x. More than that it becomes a hard sell. If the owner is hiding then leaving a letter w/ business cards seem to be the best way.
* Fear is to be tamed. I don't feel it can be totally eliminated for myself. It is a defensive mechanism but instead I concentrate on the vision behind the vision to assist HO in preforeclosure and at the same time get paid for it. Building the system.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Twelve Outrageous Secrets of Success Your Guru Never Told You, But Your Mentor Will!! by Claude Diamond
Secret #1: If your Life Stinks, it's your fault. (Hey, I warned you!) Success begins when you take full, unmitigated, unequivocal RESPONSIBILITY for your life. You stop blaming lawyers (well, maybe lawyers), politicians, luck, the weather, etc. How many times do we hear from others how it's always someone else's fault? Your Success ALWAYS begins and ends with you.
Secret #2: Throw away your Useless 40 Pound Success Planner. These things are the most useless, supposedly time saving devices ever created. They are designed to save you time, but all you do is waste it by filling out the silly thing. Heck, you even need a three day seminar to learn how to use them. Try using a simple composition book (yep, the black & white one from grammar school) or a basic weekly calendar book. I use one and my appointments and goals are always in front of me. It works great! It's time to simplify.
Secret #3: Whoever said 'Money isn't Everything' never had any. Yes, Yes I know all about good health, etc. What I mean is how can you be a good
Husband or Wïfe, Mom or Dad, a role model to your kids, an upstanding person of character, a contributing member of your community, a person of faith when you are up all night sweating about paying your bills?
Secret #4: TURN OFF THE TELEVISION! Television is a narcotic for the
masses. The average household has a television on for 8 hours plus per day. Watching Gilligan and his buddies on that insipid island won't make you rïch, but what will get you to wealth is making more time for the goals you have set for yourself, for research, learning and implementing ideas. One of the biggest excuses I hear when Mentoring others is that there is no time for anything. Hogwash. There is all the time you need to find your greatness if you place a value on it.
Secret #5: Walking on Hot coals will only give you a hot foot! There are more silly ways for you to spend money in search of success than ever
before. I can't tell you how many folks I have Success Mentored who have literally spent tens of thousands on gimmicks. You don't need to find your center, eat tofu or wear a crystal from the planet Zongo. You just need to learn simple principles of common sense and apply them.
Secret #6: If you hang around or take advice from losers you will become one, too! You are a product of your environment. Oh boy, this is a toughy,
but let's go for it. I discovered a long time ago that when I hung around with losers I became a loser, too. How many times do you find yourself wanting to hang out with folks who have no desire for greatness, just recreation, gripping sessions, whining and the like. The good news is that if you surround yourself with Wïnners you can become one, too. You must create an environment of Success. It's that simple.
Secret #7: You can't petition the Lord (for wealth) with Prayer. (I heard this on some rock album in the 60's). NO, I am not trying to proselytize,
but I figure that praying to the Almighty to wïn the lottery while waiting in line at the 7-11 quaffing down your mango Slurpy™ isn't what spirituality is all about. Save your talks with the big guy for stuff that's really important.
Secret #8: You have to be your own Cheerleader. Nöw don't go into the attic and get your daughter's high school pom poms out. What I mean here is you have to be in your own corner. Success is about having self esteem, believing in yourself, having a little respect for YOU. If this sounds self centered then you're correct. It's all about you, your confidence, your attitude when you really get to the bottom of it.
Secret #9: Character does Matter. No matter what you see and hear from our politicians it really is smart to do the right thing at the right time. I
know this sounds corny, but when you do the right thing at the right time you feel good about yourself, you never have to look over your shoulder, you never have to remember a lie you told. Ask yourself this question. If you were walking down the street with your child and you found a wallet with the owner's ID intact would you have the character to return it or would you hope your child forgets about it and you pocket the loot? How can you expect anything more of your kid (or anyone else) when you, as their role model, can't lead by example?
Secret #10: Find A Mentor. Mentor defined: A wise and trusted teacher. I know of no other technique of Success that has given me greater results
faster than having a One-On-One relationship with a wïnner. The positive influence, guidance, teaching, motivation and laser like focus is what Success is made of. This technique goes all the way back to Homer's ancient Greece and has stood the test of time. Seminars, books and tapes are fine starting points, but there is no substitute for an ongoing supportive, role model relationship. Decide what it is you would like to do, learn and accomplish with your life, then find someone who is already doing it Successfully to help you to discover your greatness. Don't start from scratch or reinvent the wheel when you can have the life you want beginning today with the right Mentor.
Secret #11: Become a Coach or Mentor. Enabling others to stay focused and motivated is such a great feeling! There is no greater joy than sharing in the success of another person who you played a part in helping. Specialized niche Coaching & Mentoring is becoming the höme busïness opportunïty of the 21st century. Find a Mentor and Become a Coach or Mentor and make a difference in your life and in that of another person.
Secret #12: You have everything you need right nöw to Succeed. You are endowed with the same seeds of greatness as anyone you have ever envied or
admired. It's just a question of finding your passion, discovering your greatness and pursuing it with a disciplined HUNGER. So many people accept mediocrity as their standard when they are capable of so much more. Don't settle for less; excel and find the life you deserve, your greatness within and the life you are destined for. You have everything you need right nöw! So just go for it!
by Brian Tracy
After studying the research done in cognitive psychology (see "Word to the Wise," below) over the last 25 years, I've come to a simple conclusion: The degree to which you feel in control of your life will largely determine your level of mental well-being, your peace of mind, and the quality of your interactions with people.
What cognitive psychologists call a "sense of control" is the foundation of happiness and high achievement. And the only thing in the world over which you have complete control is the content of your conscious mind. If you decide to exert that control, even when you are surrounded by difficult circumstances, your future potential will be unlimited.
Your aim should be to work on yourself and your thinking until you reach the point where you absolutely, positively believe yourself to be a total winner in anything you sincerely want to accomplish. When you feel unshakable confidence in yourself and your abilities, nothing will be able to stop you. This state of self-confidence comes from (1) understanding the functioning of your remarkable mind, and (2) practicing the techniques of mental fitness over and over, until you become a completely optimistic, cheerful, and positive person.
In his book "The Act of Will" , Italian psychologist Dr. Roberto Assagioli laid out a series of psychological principles that can help you understand the way your mind works and how you can take control of it. One of his principles is that images or pictures, either from within or from the outside, will trigger thoughts and feelings that are consistent with them. In turn, those thoughts and feelings will trigger behaviors that lead to the realization of the pictures.
This has been referred to as the Law of Reversibility, and is one of the most important success principles ever discovered. Simply put, you are more likely to act yourself into feeling than you are to feel yourself into acting.
For example, when you become absolutely convinced that you are a total winner and you are meant to be a complete success in anything that you really want to do, every picture or image that somehow represents winning to you will trigger thoughts of what you could do to achieve that same state. The picture will also trigger the feeling of excitement that will motivate you to take action.
A friend of mine who was a sales manager had a simple technique to make new salespeople successful, and it worked more than 90% percent of the time. When he hired a salesperson, he would take that person to a nearby Cadillac dealership and force him to trade in his current car for a new Cadillac. The payments on the Cadillac were substantially more than the new salesperson had ever imagined himself making, so he would strongly resist getting into the commitment. However, the sales manager would insist until, finally, the salesperson bought the new Cadillac and drove it home.
No matter how unsure or insecure the salesperson felt, when his spouse and friends saw the new Cadillac and he experienced the pleasure of driving it down the street, he began to think about himself and to see himself as a big success. And in almost every case, it turned out to be true. Those people went on to become great successes at selling their products.
Take every opportunity you can to surround yourself with images of what success means to you. Get brochures on new cars. Get magazines with pictures of beautiful homes, beautiful clothes, and other things that you could own as a result of achieving the success that you are aiming for. Each time you see or visualize those images, you trigger the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make them materialize in your life.
In her book "Wake Up and Live" , Dorothea Brande said that the most important success secret she ever discovered was this: "Act as if it were impossible to fail, and it shall be." She goes on to explain that you need to be very clear about the success that you desire, and then simply act as if you already had it. Act as if your success were inevitable. Act as if your achievement were guaranteed. Act as if there were no possibility of failure.
You can control your actions easier than you can control your feelings. So if you choose to exert control over your actions, those actions will have a "back flow" effect and trigger the feelings, thoughts, and images that are consistent with those of the person you want to be, of the person who lives the life you want to live.
Your brain is a multi-sensory, multi-stimulated, extremely complex, interactive organ. Everything that you think, imagine, say, do, or feel triggers something else. It's like a series of electrical impulses going out in all directions and turning on lights everywhere.
By understanding the way your mind works, you can make your mind work for you as a powerful engine of growth and development. You can consciously surround yourself with a series of sensory inputs that bombard you with messages and cause you to think and feel like a total winner.
And if you think like a winner and do the things that winners do to keep their minds positive and optimistic, you will be a winner.
Books by Brian Tracy
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
I rung the door bell
ME: "Hello I am here to see Mrs. AM is she here?"
Mrs. A: "What is going on?"
ME: "I left a message with her and wanted to talk with her regardining an issue with the house."
Mrs. A: "She is not here and she will never come back" Slam the door.
* I waited for a few minutes debating on how to ring the doorbell and seeing what else I can say to start the conversation. I didn't want to talk with her about the foreclosure unless she is the owner. Many things going in my head. Next thing I know she opens the door*
Mrs. A: "Why are you here? I told you she is never coming back. Why don't you leave?"
ME: "I am a 3rd party vendor who talks with lenders regarding the house. I am here to help the situation."
Mrs. A: "Look you are not dressed professionally [I was in a white clean tee shirt, black jeans, and black sneakers with a napsack.], you don't have any identification for the 3rd party company you are from and you don't have any cards, you ring my doorbell and stand out here. Just get out of here."
ME: "I am here to help Mrs. Are you the owner of the house?"
Mrs. A: "Leave now or I am calling the police."
*Looking at the situation the shields are up with her and I wasn't sure how to take them down. I left in stride and went on my next run.*
It is a learning experience that I am still digesting. The 2nd was foreclosing but it was less than $12K in arrears. I figured some of the things gave me feedback:
* It would serve to have a stronger script and verbal rebounding skills.
* Dress more professionally.
* Offer the owner a business card for them to feel that I am for real.
Hopefully I can illuminate more with any successes that I do have.
The ultimate expression of life is not a paycheck. The ultimate expression of life is not a Mercedes. The ultimate expression of life is not a million dollars or a bank account or a home. Here's the ultimate expression of life in my opinion, and that is living a good life. Here's what we must ask constantly, "What for me would be a good life?" And you have to keep going over and over the list. A list including areas such as spirituality, economics, health, relationships and recreation. What would constitute a good life? I've got a short list.
1) Productivity. You won't be happy if you don't produce. The game of life is not rest. We must rest, but only long enough to gather strength to get back to productivity. What's the reason for the seasons and the seeds, the soil and the sunshine, the rain and the miracle of life? It's to see what you can do with it. To try your hand, other people have tried their hand; here's what they did. You try your hand to see what you can do. So part of life is productivity.
2) Good friends. Friendship is probably the greatest support system in the world. Don't deny yourself the time to develop this support system. Nothing can match it. It's extraordinary in its benefit. Friends are those wonderful people who know all about you and still like you. A few years ago I lost one of my dearest friends. He died at age 53 - heart attack. David is gone, but he was one of my very special friends. I used to say of David that if I was stuck in a foreign jail somewhere accused unduly and if they would allow me one phone call, I would call David. Why? He would come and get me. That's a friend. Somebody who would come and get you. Now we've all got casual friends. And if you called them they would say, "Hey, if you get back, call me we'll have a party." So you've got to have both, real friends and casual friends.
3) Your culture. Your language, your music, the ceremonies, the traditions, the dress. All of that is so vitally important that you must keep it alive. In fact it is the uniqueness of all of us that when blended together brings vitality, energy, power, influence, uniqueness and rightness to the world.
4) Spirituality. It helps to form the foundation of the family that builds the nation. And make sure you study, practice and teach. Don't be careless about the spiritual part of your nature, it's what makes us who we are, different from animal, dogs, cats, birds and mice. Spirituality.
5) Don't miss anything. My parents taught me to miss anything. Don't miss the game. Don't miss the performance, don't miss the movie, don't miss the show, don't miss the dance. Go to everything you possibly can. Buy a ticket to everything you possibly can. Go see everything and experience all you possibly can. This has served me so well to this day. Just before my father died at age 93 if you were to call him at 10:30 or 11:00 at night, he wouldn't be home. He was at the rodeo, he was watching the kids play softball, he was listening to the concert, he was at church, he was somewhere every night.
Live a vital life. Here's one of the reasons why. If you live well, you will earn well. If you live well it will show in your face, it will show in the texture of your voice. There will be something unique and magical about you if you live well. It will infuse not only your personal life but also your business life. And it will give you a vitality nothing else can give.
6) Your family and the inner circle. Invest in them and they'll invest in you. Inspire them and they'll inspire you. With your inner circle take care of the details. When my father was still alive, I used to call him when I traveled. He'd have breakfast most every morning with the farmers. Little place called The Decoy Inn out in the country where we lived in Southwest Idaho.
So Papa would go there and have breakfast and I'd call him just to give him a special day. Now if I was in Israel, I'd have to get up in the middle of the night, but it only took five minutes, ten minutes. So I'd call Papa and they'd bring him the phone. I'd say, "Papa I'm in Israel." He'd say, "Israel! Son, how are things in Israel?" He'd talk real loud so everybody could hear - my son's calling me from Israel. I'd say, "Papa last night they gave me a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean." He'd say, "Son, a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean." Now everybody knows the story. It only took 5 - 10 minutes, but what a special day for my father, age 93.
If a father walks out of the house and he can still feel his daughter's kiss on his face all day, he's a powerful man. If a husband walks out of the house and he can still feel the imprint of his wife's arms around his body he's invincible all day. It's the special stuff with the inner circle that makes you strong and powerful and influential. So don't miss that opportunity. Here's the greatest value. The prophet said, "There are many virtues and values, but here's the greatest, one person caring for another." There is no greater value than love. Better to live in a tent on the beach with someone you love than to live in a mansion by yourself. One person caring for another, that's one of life's greatest expressions.
So make sure in your busy day to remember the true purpose and the reasons you do what you do. May you truly live the kind of life that will bring the fruit and rewards that you desire.
To Your Success,
Monday, June 20, 2005
Click here to read Locutus9's foreclosure faq on the Rich Dad Forum
Friday, June 17, 2005
I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.
The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?
It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.
And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.
It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:
Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.
None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky – I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.
I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me – I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.
I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.
I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.
My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.
I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.
This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.