Reflections on father's day, business, fear, and this whole real estate thing - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on June 19, 2000 at 09:37:21:

Thanks for the recommendation. That sounds like something that might really help me at this point. I’ll look into it.

Reflections on father’s day, business, fear, and this whole real estate thing - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on June 18, 2000 at 17:40:01:

I decided to take my dad out for some father-son bonding today. He wanted to go see a movie and after that I took him out to eat. I really haven’t done much over the past few years to express my gratitude to my dad for what he did for me when I was growing up, so I felt really good being able to spend some time with him.

About 7 years ago, I moved away from the little town that I grew up in to pursue bigger opportunities here in the “big city” of Pittsburgh. Since I now live a little over an hour away, I rarely see my parents. Since I drove out early to see my dad and had some free time before I was to pick him up, I drove around the old neighborhood where I grew up. I even stopped by the house that I grew up in, which currently has a realtor for sale sign in the front yard.

My father has owned a business for 25 years, which is the same amount of time that he has owned the house that I grew up in. (By the way, I’m 26.) Late last year, my parents put their house up for sale, and my dad, who had run his business out of his house for the past 25 years, moved the business out to an office, and then sold it. My parents then moved into a rental house.

I found out a couple weeks ago from my brother who lives in the area that my parents had lost their house to foreclosure! I couldn’t believe that this had happened, and was sad that they had not at least mentioned it to me, so that I could have tried to help. I mean, I do have a little experience helping people out of difficult situations involving real estate!

Well, I discussed with my dad the sale of his business. He told me that he had financed the sale of the business, and would be receiving payments for the next 5 years for it. He then told me that he would then collect social security to live off of. (He just turned 60)

I remember, as a kid, running to the bank to make deposits for my dad’s business. From my calculations, he made a couple hundred thousand dollars a year from his business. What the heck happened??? My dad was a great businessman with lots of good customers. He never had to advertise because his new customers always came to him through word-of-mouth referral. He made so much money and had a huge, beautiful house. Now, he was left with no money, savings, house, or retirement after 25 years of hard work. His retirement plan is now simply to live off of social security.

I gave this matter some long, hard consideration and thought. My father, while being a great businessman, never learned the rules of money. I have found myself in the same situation too, many times. The age of 60 seems SOOOOO far off in the future, I’ve got plenty of time to get my finances straightened out before that happens. Besides, I’m a very intelligent person that already knows so much about investing and money, that it won’t take any time at all for me to prepare for “retirement”, right?

I have a lot of respect for my dad, and he is an extremely intelligent man, but he just never learned the rules of money. He figured that working hard and making a lot of money while he was working would naturally provide for his future. I am extremely saddened that, after all those years of hard work, providing for his family, and earning a high dollar amount, that he would lose his house to foreclosure, and be forced to sell off his business, just to make ends meet.

I have just finished reading Robert Kiyosaki’s new book, Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing. I have read all of Robert’s books so far, and am still trying to get my thinking in synch with his ideas. I have been working very hard on a plan for my real estate business to get it to the point of providing for me for years to come, but am realizing more each day how little I actually know. I have been reading intently, and found that while I have made money in real estate, I have been managing my business so poorly, that it amazes me that I have made any money at all. I have SOOO much to learn!

I have stopped all activity of my business, so that I have time to build a solid plan that will let my business endure and become something that can sustain itself and provide income for years to come. There are many ways to do this in the business world, but I believe that real estate is one of the best ways to achieve this. It is easy to create passive, long term income from real estate. I’ve already done it, even though I was only half-heartedly trying. I have learned that it is far more important to build a business first, then let the business buy my assets, in this case real estate. My dad made the mistake of building his business, but did not use the business to buy his assets. He simply assumed that because the business generated a high income, that was all he needed to do.

Many people who are new to the real estate game are very nervous about getting started. After all, it scary getting in front of a seller and talking to them about a creative deal that is foreign to them. It is scary to get rejected. It is scary to appear stupid. It is scary to deal with $100,000 properties (or scarier still, higher than that!) when you are still renting your little $300 a month apartment. Fear is a huge factor that, I believe, holds many people back from taking that first step, and all the steps that follow, towards creating a successful real estate business. (And after careful study, I do believe that the only way to truly succeed long term in this game is to build a business that does the investing.)

Well, how about this? Is it scary to lose your home that you have worked hard for and paid for with 25 years of hard work? Is it scary to get a notice from the sheriff telling you that you had better get all your crap that you have accumulated for 25 years out of your house since you can’t afford to pay any more? Is it scary to realize that after 25 years of working hard to build a business that was supposed to provide for you, that you now have to rely on the social security system to provide for you???

I cannot even fathom having any more fear about approaching a seller in ANY situation and offer them the most outlandish deal on their house. What can happen? They say no? They say they are insulted by my low offer? Some will, Some won’t, Someone’s waiting! NEXT! There are far worse things to fear than having to deal with rejection from 1, 2, 20, 50 ,100 or more sellers. How many offers can YOU make in a day, week, or month before at least ONE gets accepted??? Is ONE deal a month worth your financial future??? Is 99 rejections???

Well, I guess my point here is that I am SO incredibly thankful that I have found this website and all the people here because it has opened my eyes and awakened my brain. I now have a slight advantage over all the newbies that visit this site. I have done some deals, so I know the basics. What I am most grateful for, however, is the opportunity to go beyond the fear of being broke at 60, hoping that the rumors aren’t true about the social security system being broke in a couple of years.

One last comment. I love my dad, and I am now working with a renewed vigor to build my business, so that I can help him with any financial issues that he may have. I also intend to never have to hope that a son of mine will have to do the same for me.

Re: Reflections on father’s day, business, fear, and this whole real estate thing - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on June 18, 2000 at 23:15:13:

Sorry to hear of your Dad’s misfortune. I am only 41, but have spent 20 years kicking butt in my own business. I started to invest in Real estate 13 years ago, “just because”. It has since then, bailed my butt out of a couple of hard times I’ve found myself in. Since finding this site, I have come to see that I have spent my life working to buy equipment to keep me working to pay for the equipment in my store. Real estate has been my savior in life, and I am now committing to it full time. My store will run itself, or it won’t. Time will tell.

Laure F :slight_smile:

Re: Reflections on father’s day, business, fear, and this whole real estate thing - Posted by eric-fl

Posted by eric-fl on June 18, 2000 at 22:03:45:

Hey Matt,

Do you believe in coincidence? I find that the older I get, at my ripe old age of 29, that I believe in coincidence less and less. Paths usually cross for a reason.

It’s very interesting, shortly after reading your post, I installed Microsoft Office 2000 Premium on my machine (I just upgraded my OS to Win2000). After installation I was checking around, and noticed this thing called MS Office Small Business tools. In there, there is a Business and Marketing plan creator. When it first started up, it gave me three pages of real basic questions, so I figured it was just another chintzy wizard to make a pretty Word document.

I was wrong.

After that, the thing launches into a multi-faceted, interactive program, the first part of which has no less than 24 articles and steps to take, for outlining the first of several steps to creating a fully comprehensive business and marketing plan - one that, I believe, could even be presented to bankers, vc, or angels for financing, it is that thorough, it is that good. I am really impressed with it, and I am no MS groupie - but I have to give credit where credit is due. I would caution that one could probably get too caught up in planning a business to get it started, but in your position, with an already running concern that you want to really get organized, it might be just the ticket. Please make an effort to at least look at this thing, I promise you it’s worth it - I think it might be exactly the kind of thing you are looking for, given the nature of your post.

Re: Reflections on father’s day, business, fear, and this whole real estate thing - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on June 18, 2000 at 21:03:58:

That is such an inspiring post Matt. Thank you.

It took me a while to realize that what some people call a business is really nothing more than a “job” where you are the boss. Except that there is no pension plan, medical/dental, life insurance, paid holidays or vacation. You just work and work and work and if you can’t work anymore, the whole business is gone. You might be able to salvage some accounts or goodwill but that is about all. So sad.

Thanks for sharing.

Re: Reflections on father’s day, business, fear, and this whole real estate thing - Posted by George

Posted by George on June 18, 2000 at 20:11:21:

Thanks for your inspiring words…I am one in a very similar situation. However, my father has always been an underachiever and has never really taught us the value of money…I once blamed him, but like you I realized that I must learn from him…ANyhow, my family always seemed to struggle…and my own family is struggling some now too. I learned about REI some time ago and have made a few offers only to be rejected…but thanks for your encouragement. Please look at today’s messages as I am looking at making some more offers this week to allow what my father went thru make a positive difference in my life, like you. I work with kids from broken homes and I always tell them that they can take two directions from the legacy left them. You have inpsired me…but hopefully you can provide me som specific advice on the deal i posted today. Thanks again. Godspeed!!!

Re: Reflections on father’s day, business, fear, and this whole real estate thing - Posted by Stew (NE)

Posted by Stew (NE) on June 18, 2000 at 18:51:57:

Very Good Points. Thanks for the motivation. I have used my dad as my motivation also. A very, very hard worker. He worked in the steel factory for not a whole lot of money. Since he had dropped out of school in the 8th grade to help his husbandless mom with his younger brothers and sisters, he never came close to having the chances that he provided me. The steel factory and the industry closed and died and the accountant stole all the money in the pension fund. So he died last year, on my birthday, with cancer, with nothing in the bank. I was glad that when ever he called me to help him pay the rent and sometime when he didn’t, I always was able to catch it up for him. In RDPD, he talked about how reverse role models are still role models and valuable lesson can be learned from them. It appears your dad taught you well as did mine. We just had to look a little harder for the lesson. I remember how happy my dad would be if he had money in his pocket. I now know that the last place money belongs is in your pocket. My daughter is heading off to college and thanks to the work ethic my dad gave me, I have been able to give her. I am now trying to teach her more about money, so that it’s not in vain…and I pray that she won’t have to help me in 20 years. I now talk about money more freely with the kids and let them do our real budget on the computer. I know I am rambling so I will cut it short. Thanks for reminding us why we started on this risky path…because the well-worned path is riskier.