A Dream Come True – All You Must Do Is Believe In YOU…
“Murph, brother! It is so good to see you. Thanks for hooking up with me today!” words from my buddy Jason, that changed the course of both our lives, as we sat down for lunch one afternoon in 2006.
Jason and I went way back to riding bikes and chasing girls in 6th grade. I lived in Burnsville and he lived in Apple Valley. We both went to Valley Middle school. Jason was a skater and trouble maker. I was a jock and always looking to push my boundaries. I think this was why we liked each other so much. Our friendship lasted all but one or two years as my athletics took up more and more time — I found myself only hanging out with those whom I played sports. While Jason took a different path… But, I will never forget the times we had.
Many years passed — then I saw Jason at my 10 year high school reunion. I didn’t expect what I saw. I had heard stories about Jason and his struggles to make ends meet just out of high school. But, when I saw him at our 10 year reunion he was wearing a well manicured suite, black shoes that looked like a marine polished them, white shirt with not a single wrinkle, clean — short — sharp hair cut (I always remembered him with long hair) and he looked lean and healthy. I couldn’t help but walk up to him as I needed to know his story.
Come to find out Jason was in the Marines for 5 or 6 years, I don’t remember… He traveled the world and got his feet back underneath him again. “Man brother, I am so glad you are doing well!! So what are you doing these days?” I asked. He went on to tell me he was selling some online products, similar to Mary Kay, but it was supplements or something like that. He then asked, “So what are you doing Murph?” I went on to tell him about my real estate life, how I got there and what my plans were for the future. “Man brother you always had things figured out. Even when we were kids. So, would you be willing to hook up and tell me more?” Jason said. “Of course!” I responded.
“Of course!” I responded.
A few weeks later Jason and I hooked up for lunch. We sat down and I will never forget he started telling me his story, starting from our senior year in high school. I couldn’t believe the struggles he had gone through — then he found himself at a crossroads. He needed to get his life back together but, didn’t know how. So, he joined the marines and it changed his life. He got back on his feet, completed his service and on that day he was doing better than ever. I’ll never forget thinking to myself, “Man if he can make it through all that and be where he is today. This guy can do anything.” I then asked him to tell me about what he was doing for work.
“Cool!” Jason responded. As he told me about this product based business he was working with. He told me about how you can find it on the internet, how you visit the website and become a member. What you should tell your friends to become members and once you get people to start joining as members how you would make a small commission off everything they bought on the website…. “I don’t think I need to tell you anymore.” Jason said as he saw a look of boredom on my face.
Now, don’t get me wrong I liked Jason’s story. But, what I didn’t like was the trap he got sucked into. These types of businesses, in my mind, are like traps. They suck you in and milk you dry. Next thing you know you are pimping this to everyone you know. Sure you may make a few bucks but in the end you never have a real business.
“Your Turn Murph! What the hell have you been up to brother.” Jason said, as he began to sit forward, putting his elbows on the table — his eyes getting wider as he leaned in and a big smile began to form on his face. “Well my friend, I have been in the real estate game since 2003 and am doing quite well.” I responded. As I went on to tell him about my story, how I helped my uncle build his house, how I invested in Arizona real estate and made a killing, how many homes I sold, the rental property I had and where I was headed.
STOP!” Jason said, “This is amazing Murph!! How did you decide to do this and why?” Jason asked. “Well, my friend it all started with a book. Retire Rich, Retire Young by Robert Kiyosaki.” I told him. “This was the book that changed my life.”
From that minute forward I told him how I read the book 5 times along with many other books by Robert Kiyosaki. “From that point forward I knew my path brother.” I said to Jason. After several hours, lunch ended and we went our separate ways. Both promising to keep in touch and do it again.
I knew in my heart, Jason was going to change his path after listening to my story. I saw it in his eyes, the dream of one day having his own real estate empire and becoming a somebody.
3 months later Jason called me up. “Bro, I need your advice. I am working at this real estate relocation company and want to get my real estate license. How do I do it?” With a huge smile on my face and a warm feeling in my gut I said, “No problem bro.” and gave him everything he needed. Then I asked, “So, why are you getting your real estate license.” Knowing the answer already. “Brother, your story motivated me. But then I bought that book Retire Rich, Retire Young. I don’t know what came over me. I could see it. After reading the book I knew exactly what you were saying. Plus, seeing and hearing your story. I thought to myself — I can do that.” Jason said, with intense energy and passion. “I know you can!! Proud of you for believing in yourself and going for it.” Was my response. “If you ever need anything, just call. I am here for you.”
Long story short, Jason went on to become a real estate agent, he joined a very powerful team with a top agent in the state of Minnesota. Jason went on to be a leader in the office and managed several people underneath him. He went from 0 to $120,000 of income in 2 years. All along the way we kept in touch and I helped him in every way I could. There was no greater feeling of fulfillment than to see my friend succeed.
“Murph, when can you meet for lunch. I gotta pick your brain.” Jason said when he called me in the spring of 2008. “Murph, I am working with investors helping them find homes and flipping them. I have even partnered on a few by throwing in my own cash or managing the job for them.” Jason explained. “So, what do you need from me buddy?” I asked as I was not following… I want to get out and be my own agent, like you — I don’t want to be on Wade’s team anymore. But, I am nervous.
Because I knew Jason’s real estate story so well I knew all about how he got most of his business and how he became close with Wade, the team leader. At that time I was beginning to build my own team. So, I knew as a “team leader” what it took and how much work Wade had put into Jason. Obviously, look at his success!
Well, my friend that is a very hard decision which can only be made by you. What I will say — you must do what is necessary to reach your goals and dreams. “ I want to be a real estate investor like you!” Jason shouted. “How do we do that!??” he asked. You have a very good thing going for you Jason. Don’t be in a rush. You are learning a ton about real estate sales and investing. You have a book of investors who are loyal to you. Don’t screw that up. But, I don’t see any reason why we can’t “Get In The Game” I said, knowing this is what we both talked about at lunch in 2006. “Jason, why don’t we take a few of these HUD properties you are finding and “flip” them ourselves. The banks are giving away thousands of properties. There is more than enough for everyone. We just need the guts to go for it.” I said with fire in my eye and passion in my heart. “Hell Yeah Murph!” Jason screamed.
Jason then took a deep breath, leaned forward, put his hands on the table as he was looking down — gradually lifting his head with a very serious look of sincerity and said, “I want you to know something Murph. I would never be in this position if you didn’t meet with me for lunch in 2006. If you didn’t tell me your story and inspire me to be something more. You have always been someone I looked up to when we grew up. I want you to know you are still someone I look up to today. Thank you for helping me. I owe you everything.” My response, “No you don’t! I opened your eyes to a different way. Showed you an alternative path. It was your choice to walk that path. It was your hard work that got you where you are today.” with a tear in his eye he said, “I love you brother.” This was the beginning of a 5 year partnership that would see Jason and I rehabbing almost 50 properties from 2009–2014. While doing this Jason was simultaneously helping investors find, rehab and sell almost 100 properties a year. At his peak Jason was making $250,000+ in real estate commissions over a one year’s period. Plus, the money we were making on our personal rehab projects together; with our development company, “Better Homes Development.” One year, Jason even made more money and sold more homes than ME!
You know what. Seeing Jason sell more homes and make more money than me… was the best feeling ever. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.