Who are you learning from? - Posted by SCook85

Posted by Marcos on July 10, 2002 at 14:07:16:

You talking about me again Phil.


Who are you learning from? - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on July 09, 2002 at 09:25:53:

It is just amazing to me at how many people I can teach how to do this business, and how few of them actually do what I teach them. I think there intentions are great, and they want to use what I teach, but then they talk to someone else and they get steered in a different direction.

I don’ think there is anything wrong with getting advice from “someone else” provided that the “someone else” is as successful or doing better then I am. But I know in most cases the person who is giving all the advice is sitting on the sidelines with a library of courses. They know all the courses inside and out, and can advise based off of what they have read, but they can not give you a single lick of advice from experience. Or they are just the old negative investors like DeDe encountered who are just getting by, and don’t want to hear of anything new.

Just because an attorney has passed his bar exam doesn’t mean that I think they can do anything when it comes to legal issues. If they don’t have experience, they don’t have a clue of what they are doing. That is why I suggest finding an attorney who is EXPERIENCED with real estate investors.

I recently received and email from someone who said “After much thought about legal issues, we have chosen do do an LLC out of Deleware.” This person has spent a couple of weeks debating what to do, they don’t live in Delaware. Who led the person down this road? Was it a successful investor? I doubt it. Just because someone teaches it doesn’t mean that they use it. I don’t know a single “successful” investor who would get hung up on such an issue as to where to incorporate. I personally know many successful investors, and everyone of us would just do deals in our personal names before we let another slide by us while we debate where to incorporate, if we should incorporate, what type of entity etc…

Keep in mind there are people who are in the business of teaching and not investing. They will write about anything they can to sell more product. Just because it is written doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it right now or ever. If you ever need to do it, you can implement it later.

I’ve been there with all of you not to long ago. I was a newbie 4 years ago (Perhaps 4 years isn’t long enough for me to even be teaching today). I had never done a deal. I got into my little clicks of “talkers” and “know it alls” and I had to make a decision to get away from these people and to follow the “DOERS”. The “talkers” from 4 years ago are still talking, or no where to be found. They know more about techniques then I do because they own many more courses then I do. It amazes me at how often someone who doesn’t do and criticize an experienced investor for the way they invest, and the lack of techniques that they use, but the bottom line is that they are investing. The key to success is to find something that works and then do it over and over. But you have to “DO IT”. You can work out the details as you go.

What is it that so many of you are scared of? What do you think is going to happen if you botch up a deal? Do you think you are going to jail? I would rather botch up a deal then to stay in the rut I’m in and say that at least I tried. People are forgiving and this is a people business, if you make a mistake while doing a deal, you usually get a chance to fix the mistake, and if you make another mistake, they usually give you another chance, and another, etc… until you can make the deal right.

Now I’m not suggesting that you be haphazard and know nothing when you get started. You do have to at least identify a “good deal”. A bad deal, with or without knowing everything is still a bad deal. If you make a mistake and go into a bad deal, then no course is going to help you to turn it into a good deal. But a good deal can always be worked out.

So who are you learning from? Is someone who makes $30k per year teaching you how to make $300k? Is someone who does 2 deals a year teaching you how to do 20? If you want to make $300k a year and do 20 deals you better learn and take your advice from someone who is doing the same thing.

Happy Investing,


Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.

Re: Who are you learning from? - Posted by Mark (SDCA)

Posted by Mark (SDCA) on July 09, 2002 at 17:05:38:

I have never understood why the success of the person has anything to do with the validity of what they say.
Are you saying that you will dismiss out of hand everything that anyone who is “less successful” than you says?
And “take as gospel” everything that someone who is more successful than you says?
(As an aside… what is the definition of “successful” anyway? Income per year? Income from real estate per year? Income per deal? Properties owned? Proerties bought?)

Isn’t it the information or idea itself that matters?? Either it is good or it isn’t.

My .02


Re: Who are you learning from? - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on July 09, 2002 at 10:12:26:

I agree with you Steve. There are way too many would be investors that remain would be investors because they don’t take action. They are looking for the next ultimate creative technique that they think will get them over the top. By sitting on the sidelines, no deals will be consumated. You don’t have to know everyone of the 547 creative techniques to do deals. Just get out there and do some deals. From the deals you will gain valuable experience. I alwys liked Ed Garcia’s statement, " the street is the best teacher."

So let’s get off the sideline and into the game. It’s the only way you are going to make money in this business.

You said it. - Posted by GL(ON)

Posted by GL(ON) on July 09, 2002 at 09:42:27:

I would also add, that you have to use your common sense.

If you try to follow some “program” or “system” like a robot it’s not going to work. You have to understand what you are doing.

It’s education and ideas, plus experience that count.

There is an old story about and interview with a millionaire that goes something like this:

Interviewer: What is the secret to your success?

Millionaire: Good decisions!

Int: How do you learn to make good decisions?

Millionaire: Experience!

Int: Where do you get experience?

Millionaire: BAAAD decisions!

Re: Who are you learning from? - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on July 09, 2002 at 18:06:21:


You can choose to take my post out of context to stir up a debate here if that is what you want to do, but you are way off base with your analyzation of my post.

My post was geared toward the newbie who either gets information from a successful investor or a “talker”. The “talker” can talk a great game and they usually know it all, when in reality they know nothing from experience. People ask me for advice all the time, only to go to an investment club and have what I told them discredited by someone who is struggling or not doing anything at all. This happens all the time, everywhere. People get into their little feel good clicks, and advise each other.

I take advice from people who have done more deals then I do and from people who do less deals then I do, but they are doing deals and are succesful at what they do. But I don’t take advice on how I should invest from a spectator. Any person who has been successful as a real estate investor will tell you that you get your best and real advice from someone who has been there and done that. You don’t have to do 100 deals a year to have done that, but you have had to at least done one.

Now lets talk a little bit about success. I am the first person to admit that success has absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing at all to do with how much money you make, how many deals you do, or how many toys you own. To the contrary, my passion is teaching people what true success is and that is simply being happy with what you have. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t have ambition, but the bottom line is that if you have a computer and can get on the internet you have more then 99% of the people in this world. Success should be measured by our own bar, not by what someone else thinks we should have in order to be successful. Some of the people that I consider to be the most successful in life are people who make what would be considered “poverty” income. They don’t want what I have, they don’t envy others. They are just happy and thankful for being alive and being able to get up and go to work another day. On the flip side I know someone worth over $30 million, and much of it is in cash. He is miserable, I surely don’t desire to be him. I can assure everyone that money will not make you happy, but appreciating the important things will. A ton of deals will not make you happy. I have scaled my business back to a point where it is manageable and to a point where it allows me to do the things that I enjoy doing, such as helping other people.

At one point I used to want to be like Donald Trump. Sure the guy does some great deals, but he is miserable, and I wouldn’t want his life for nothing. He can keep his money and boast about his deals. I prefer my simple yet happy life.


Re: Who are you learning from? - Posted by Stew(NE)

Posted by Stew(NE) on July 09, 2002 at 17:55:45:

I am not trying to stick up for Steve, I am more so attacking your argument (not you).

“I have never understood why the success of the person has anything to do with the validity of what they say.”

In some old Hebrew text, this is called “Fruits of the Spirit” If someone is saying that they are an apple tree, you should see some apples produced." If I am looking for “success” from a financial view in Real Estate. I would expect to see some “success” from my teacher.

“Are you saying that you will dismiss out of hand everything that anyone who is “less successful” than you says?”

I doubt any “real investor” would do this. Why? Because any investor that is out there doing it listen to “story after story”. You have to be able to take the bad with the good and figure it out using that grey matter above your neck.

“And “take as gospel” everything that someone who is more successful than you says?”

Of course not, if you have a plan then what works for a sucessful investor may be a terrible risk for you at your stage of development.

Last but not least

“Isn’t it the information or idea itself that matters?? Either it is good or it isn’t.”

The information just “is”. It is an inanimate concept. What we do with it using the grey matter determines what happens.

All of your points seem to relate to “black or white” There are shades of gray. For example, one idea mixed with another and a slight sprinkle of another can change the world. As Rich Dad, Poor Dad stated, BE (The idea) DO (The Actions needed) HAVE (Income per year? Income from real estate per year? Income per deal? Properties owned? Proerties bought?)may answer your questions.

Good Luck in your investing, I have read your post in the past with interest and will continue to do so.

New Book by Phil… - Posted by JHyre in Ohio

Posted by JHyre in Ohio on July 09, 2002 at 11:47:33:

the Kama Sutra of RE Investing, 547 creative techniques, LOL.

John Hyre

Re: Who are you learning from? - Posted by eric-fl

Posted by eric-fl on July 09, 2002 at 10:55:35:

Gasp! I didn’t know there were 547 creative techniques! I only know of 143 myself! Phil, please enumerate each the 404 unknown techniques in a reply to my post, along with a brief “how this would work” description of each. Thanks!

(Just kidding, for those to whom it’s not blatantly obvious…)

Re: Who are you learning from? - Posted by Mark (SDCA)

Posted by Mark (SDCA) on July 10, 2002 at 11:45:11:

This really has nothing to do with debate. It has do with a personal philosophy of mine. It also has to do with a lot of “newbies” who frequent this web site.

If someone tells one of them, you might try XXX instead of YYY, I dont want the first thing out of their mouth to be How much money did you earn last year or how many deals did you do last week?
Because it really is irrelevant as to whether XXX is a good idea or not.
In fact, a VERY similar example comes from Nothing Down by Bob Allen. Some realtor calls up Bob while he is on the radio and says Nothing Down is impossible. So Bob asks the realtor how much he earned last year. The realtor doesnt want to answer but eventually says less than 100K. Bob’s somewhat snide aside is that he guessed it was A LOT less than 100K.
So does this mean that if the realtor had been a heavy hitter from Coldwell Banker and said 250K per year then Bob would have said, "Oh yea… since you make 250K per year you must be right. Nothing down IS impossible."
The answer, of course, was no. The realtor was wrong. But how much MONEY he made had nothing to do with it. He was wrong because he was wrong NOT because he made less than 100K per year.
So I would rather see people evaluate IDEAS rather than messengers.


Great Philosophy… but - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on July 09, 2002 at 23:10:35:

those that need to hear this most are the talkers, as they are infectious to the unknowing Newbie. However, they are too busy talking… to hear and understand what you are saying.

But you make some very valid points, and hopefully those that need to steer clear of the “Talkers” are listening… and comprehending your message.


phil and kama sutra?? AAGGHH!!! [nt] :slight_smile: - Posted by Brian M. Powers(MI)

Posted by Brian M. Powers(MI) on July 09, 2002 at 13:00:41:


LOL - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on July 09, 2002 at 12:54:13:

John and Eric,

I didn’t actually count them, but bet there has to be at least 547 creative ways to buy real estate. Please don’t make me list them. Life is short and I’m enjoying my summer.

I once read a book co authored by Bob Allen and his brother Richard Allen of “Nothing Down” fame. The books’s title was something like "How To Make An Offer So That Everyone Wins “. It was a great book and a spin off of “Nothing Down”. Throughout the book were little cartoons about creative financing and one of the cartoons depicted Bob Allen in front of a seminar sweat pouring off his forehead saying, " and now for my 483rd creative technique.” So there has to be that many any way. LOL.

BTW John, congrats on your independence from the job. Nice going.

Along with all the required forms! - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on July 09, 2002 at 15:16:12:

In a simple, step by step cookie cutter format that we can do in our spare time with no cash or credit required!

(a joke)

Lists, risks, Liabilities and fear - Posted by John Behle

Posted by John Behle on July 09, 2002 at 15:12:37:

I taught a 5 day seminar in Philadelphia many years back. I remember one of the people sent me in a fax later that had around 40 items she NEEDED to know about.

I wish I had the list, it was a classic illustration of Paralysis of Analysis. All I remember at the moment is one item on the list.

She wanted a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Form”.

Somebody could be in this business a long time before they might need to take back a property "in Lieu of Foreclosure. Interesting too, how she turned a concept into a form that she needed. Had to have. Couldn’t start without it.

I’d wager VERY heavily that she never has started. For some, I think the Paralysis of Analysis is just fear they need to get some handle on. For many, it is a HUGE excuse and a drug. I think there is actually a drug effect to education. I’ve seen it among students. Many years ago I started the local investment groups in my state. I’d see people go from seminar to seminar, speaker to speaker. Sometimes they would ask the same questions of each speaker each month. Some would be found carrying around their seminar manual from their 2 or 3 day intro seminar a year or two later.

I knew a few that just learned and learned and learned and … One actually went on to work as a consultant for one of the coaching services though he had never bought a piece of real estate. He actually was also single and still living in his parents condo at over 40.

Another was interesting. Living in the basement of a church. The nicest business card I have ever seen in real estate. Bright guy. Scared to death, but masked in “need more education”. He pursued his “education” to the point where I don’t believe he had any excuses any more. He actually hit a point where he couldn’t legitimately argue why he was not ready to start.

He came to an REI meeting one day and was all interested in his new idea of a “Pooper Scooper” business for people’s back yards. Didn’t do it of course. Went back to window washing. Latest I’ve heard is he is a “marketing consultant”, but I think still has not bought any or any substantial amount of real estate. I think he might have bought a timeshare with a girlfriend from an outfit he worked for.

The point. Education is valuable, crucial, ongoing and essential to success and profitability - BUT - There comes a time where the rubber hits the road or there is a problem. From my observation, it is one of the mind that needs to be addressed in that arena and no amount of training, coaching or hundreds of home study courses is going to make much difference. In fact, I believe these are the people that are most drawn to coaching, infomercials and the promise of “get rich quick”.

Take the course. Take step one. Fill out the forms. Fax it in. We will fund it. You will be in the Carribean in a matter of weeks. “Truuuuuuuussssst in meeeeeeee” - like “CA” the snake in Jungle Book. Hypnotized by Hype.

Re: LOL - Posted by JHyre in Ohio

Posted by JHyre in Ohio on July 09, 2002 at 12:59:47:

Thanks Phil.

Re: Lists, risks, Liabilities and fear - Posted by phil fernandez

Posted by phil fernandez on July 09, 2002 at 17:49:42:

Hey John,

Nice hearing from you again. Your post makes me think back to a CREOnline Convention a couple of years ago. There was this guy that had been to every darn convention invented by man. He had all of the courses, but still had not done a deal. I felt sorry for him.