G Letter

June 2016

Happy Father’s Day to my dad, the greatest man I’ve ever known, and all the dads out there. Dad always told me
that if you do your best, you’ll never have to look back and regret — sage advice from a wise man. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that we’re not doing our best when we take on new projects before we finish important projects we’ve already begun. Over time, we end up with half-finished messes instead of certified accomplishments.

This is why it’s best to complete any task worth doing as soon as humanly possible, even if it means taking on fewer projects. As the explorer Alex Mackenzie once said, “The key to successful time management is doing the most important task first and giving it your full concentration,
to the exclusion of everything else.” Although it does require some discipline to avoid distractions, it’s well-worth the effort. As the Dalai Lama put it, “Desire without self- discipline leads to self-destruction.”

The fact is, there just isn’t enough time to do it all. Even if you can do everything, that doesn’t mean you should. You must be willing to say no — no to new projects, no to new hobbies and meet-up groups, no to new TV shows, and sometimes you have to be willing to say no to yourself. Success lies in getting stuff done, not in being busy. The good news is that finishing is winning, and winning creates momentum. So stop starting and start finishing — onward and upward!

I’m looking for an elite group to reveal my most profitable real estate investing techniques to ...

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete an application by visiting www.tinyurl.com/glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program.

If your application passes, then either I or someone from my office will call or email you to set up a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 



G Letter

May 2016

My niece is graduating from high school this month. Wow, how time flies! I think back to her innocent smile as an infant, her dance recitals, her first bike, and I’m reminded I once told her that someday she’d be all grown up. Well, that someday has arrived.

While none of us can control the aging process, many of us let the “someday” belief system run the parts of our lives that we do control.

Someday I’m going to take the trip I’ve been dreaming about.

Someday I’m going to write that book I’m been talking about.

Someday I’m going to build the real estate business I’ve been thinking about.

As Henry Ford pointed out, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” For many of us, someday is an elusive target that we just can’t seem to reach. So what’s stopping us from living the lives we want to live?

One barrier that stands in our way is our current set of habits and routines. At this moment, our lives are precisely designed to achieve the exact results we’re currently getting. So if you’re not achieving the results you want, it means your life design must change.

Most adults make thousands of decisions every day. The harsh reality is that we “choose” to defer our dreams when we procrastinate and put things off. The good news is that you can choose to break this cycle at any moment of any day. As Emerson revealed years ago, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” So make someday today. It’s never too late to change your life. The choice is yours.

Onward and upward!

I’m Looking for an Elite Group to Reveal My Most Profitable Real Estate Investing Techniques to ...

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete the application by visiting tinyurl.com/glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program.

If your application passes, then either I or someone from my office will call or email you to set up a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 


G Letter

April 2016

Back from my annual winter South American sojourn ... rested, relaxed, and raring to go. Man, I love real estate. It’s spring again. Tax time too. Time to make some money, family! As you emerge from your winter cocoon, wanna know how to cast off the cobwebs and kick-start your real estate business? Get moving. Send out a marketing letter, follow up on a dead property lead, make a ca$h offer. When? Right now!

You don’t have to do it yourself, though. Remember, I can help.

The fact is, you don’t get tomorrow over again — you only get one shot. Being successful in real estate is more about what you do than it is about what you know. Be a real estate entrepreneur, not a wantrepreneur. Separate yourself from the tire kickers who talk a lot at real estate networking events but never do any damn real estate deals. The inescapable fact is that you earn your authority as a real estate investor in your market by your actions.

Consider the ladder of achievement:

100% - I did.
90% - I will.
80% - I can.
70% - I think I can. 60% - I might.
50% - I think I might.
40% - What is it?
30% - I wish I could. 
20% - I don’t know how. 
10% - I can’t.
0% - I won’t.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The future depends on what you do today.” Get off your ass and get going. Onward and upward!

I’m Looking for an Elite Group to Reveal My Most Profitable Real Estate Investing Techniques to ...

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete the application by visiting tinyurl.com/glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program.

If your application passes, then either I or someone from my office will call or email you to set up a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 



G Letter

March 2016


We’ve all been there ... you’re trying to eat healthier, but that delicious piece of candy is crying out to you, “Eat me! Eat me!” So what do you do? Chalk it up as a mistake and jump back onto the healthy food wagon? NO! Most people rationalize with something like, “Well, since I’ve already slipped, I may as well enjoy my mistake, right? How bad could it be?” Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in empty ice cream buckets and pizza boxes after a weekend of binge eating.

This trend toward exception unfortunately not only applies to eating, but also to the rest of your life and your real estate business. “I’ll follow up on those leads later,” you think (or tomorrow, or next week/month etc.). Anyway, I think you get where I’m going here. The problem is that willpower doesn’t have an on/off switch. It’s like a muscle. It can be strengthened, but it can also wear out and get fatigued.

The key is to do your best not to take the first step in the wrong direction and, if and when you do (believe me, you will ... I certainly do), to get your ass back up and get going in the right direction as soon as possible! The longer you linger, the harder it will be to right the ship. Don’t let a minor slip turn into an avalanche where you slide backward over the cliff. Everyone experiences some form of habit regression periodically — so what? No big deal. Don’t dilly dally, get back on course as soon as possible, and you’ll be fine!

Onward and upward!

I’m Looking for an Elite Group to Reveal My Most Profitable Real Estate Investing Techniques to ...

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete the application by visiting tinyurl.com/glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program.

If your application passes, then either I or someone from my office will call or email you to set up a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 



G Letter

February 2016

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and everyone in my Real
Estate Insider Family. Rather than just fretting about being someone else’s Valentine this month, consider that your most important relationship is with yourself. Do you love yourself unconditionally? Do you even like yourself? If not, you may be looking for love in all the wrong places. It’s impossible to love others if you don’t love yourself first — after all, you can’t give from an empty well.

Loving and respecting yourself creates a healthier, more abundant and fulfilled life. Many of us mistakenly believe that change happens from external things, but it is far more effective to change ourselves first, because positive change and progress ultimately starts from within.

You have to be happy on your own — this is a choice that you must make yourself. When you choose happiness over anger, and self-love over self-loathing, you open yourself to life’s great pleasures. It helps you see the opportunities in front of you, and it helps you discover your true, authentic self. Changing our perspective on life is empowering, liberating, and motivating. It gives us a sense of freedom and achievement that is separate from being a means to successfully reaching our goals. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Onward and upward!

I’m Looking for an Elite Group to Reveal My Most Profitable Real Estate Investing Techniques to ...

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will
take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete the application by visiting http://tinyurl.com/ glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program. If your application passes, then either I or someone from my office will call or email you to set up a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 



G Letter

January 2015


People with aspirations can, in general, be split into two groups:

1. Doers

2. Dreamers

Doers make the world go ‘round.

That said, dreaming isn’t all bad ... and the truth is, most doers are also big dreamers.

But the key is turning dreams into real-world action.

You’ll never have the life you want — the career you want — the real estate business you want — if you spend your whole life just dreaming.

You’re on my list and get my newsletter because you have dreams.

You want to be a better real estate investor.

You want to build a bigger real estate business.

You want to grow your personal fortune.

You want to live a better life.

These are all good and noble things to want, but to get what you want and turn your dreams into reality, you must take action.

This lesson applies everywhere in life.

Doers take decisive action over and over again. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t — it really doesn’t matter because in the long run, doers normally win. So, how do you force yourself to act even if you’re a little scared or overwhelmed? Napoleon Hill said, “Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage.”

It’s time to get to work. SO ... How Will You Make 2016 Wildly Successful? Onward and upward!

I’m Looking for an Elite Group to Reveal My Most Profitable Real Estate Investing Techniques to ...

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will
take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete the application by visiting http://tinyurl.com/glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program. If your application passes, then either I or someone from my office will call or email you to set up a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 


G Letter

December 2015

Few days bring as much anticipation as Christmas Eve, especially for children who lie awake at night, waiting to get up at the crack of dawn to tear open their presents under the Christmas tree. The truth is that anticipation is a big part of fun for everyone.

Pleasant anticipation is an important source of happiness. Having something to look forward to makes us feel good and creates a healthy atmosphere based on positive expectations.

There are four key stages we experience when we enjoy an event:

1. Anticipation (looking forward to the moment)

2. Savoring (enjoying the moment)

3. Expression (sharing the moment with others)

4. Reflection (looking back on the moment — enhanced when you capture it with pictures, videos, mementos, or journal/diary entries)

Having something to look forward to brings happiness into our lives even before an event actually takes place. In fact, sometimes the happiness in anticipation is greater than the happiness actually experienced in the moment — in Latin this is called memoria praeteritorum bonorum, which means “the memory of the good pasts.”

Anticipation requires having something happy in your future to long for. When you look at your schedule for the next week, month, or year, are there things that you can look forward to with pleasure? If the answer is no, then I challenge you to pencil in something that you will anticipate with joy and gladness. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and have a safe and happy New Year! Onward and upward!

I’m Looking for an Elite Group to Reveal My Most Profitable Real Estate Investing Techniques to ...

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will
take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete the application by visiting http://tinyurl.com/glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program. If your application passes, then either I or someone from my office will call or email you to set up a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 


G Letter

November 2015


I want to wish you and my entire Real Estate Insider Family a warm message of thanksgiving. I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate YOU. A single expression of gratitude is never really sufficient, so Thank You, Thank You, Thank You ... that’s Thank You to the power of three for all you math aficionados! In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to take things for granted, but I have so many things to be thankful and grateful for ... including a happy, healthy and loving family, supportive friends, amazing coaching students, consulting clients, and business partners.

I’m grateful for the lifestyle that real estate has afforded me over the last 15 years I’ve been actively investing. I’m thankful for the two most important decisions I’ve made in my professional life: 1) using a credit card cash advance to help buy my first property, and 2) becoming a full-time real estate investor in 2002.

Neither one of these decisions was easy, but they were both necessary. I knew I wanted more out of life, but it took me time to get over my worry and fear. I knew I wanted to get to the top of the mountain, but until I realized that I had to actually climb the mountain, my circumstances didn’t change. The interesting thing is that once I made a commitment and started taking action, my fears and worries began to dissolve. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Studies have consistently shown that people like you, who take the time to invest in their education, earn more money and achieve a more lasting success over time. In this season of thanksgiving, be thankful for what you have and express that gratitude by making effective use of the people and resources around you to get to that next level of achievement. Here’s some great news for you ... After coaching and mentoring hundreds of people over the years, I’ve realized that YOU have already achieved something in your life that is more difficult and challenging than what is required to become a successful real estate investor, so you’ve already proven that you have the commitment and determination to accomplish what you focus your mind and energy on! The bad news is that now you don’t have any excuses. Good luck. Onward and upward!

I’m Looking For An Elite Group To Reveal My Most Profitable Real Estate Investing Techniques To ...

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will
take what I share, and put it into action immediately, complete the application by visiting http://tinyurl.com/ glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program. If your application passes, then either I, or someone from my office, will call or email you to set up

a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 


G Letter

October 2015

As Halloween 2015 approaches, let’s take the time to consider the scariest, spookiest, most blood-curdling thing about real estate investing: The fear of making a mistake.

No one likes to make mistakes, especially mistakes that could involve losing money, but the fact is that you will make mistakes. The easiest way to avoid making mistakes is to sit on the sidelines and do nothing. As famed investor Warren Buffett points out, “If you don’t make mistakes, you can’t make decisions.” Even when you make mistakes, don’t berate yourself; just learn a valuable lesson so you don’t repeat the mistake, and move on.

Never let your fear prevent your real estate investing success. Fear is the enemy of success. Large rewards only result from taking risks, because risk and reward are actually two sides of the same coin. If you are ruled by fear, you’ll never take enough risks and never achieve the success you deserve.

I’m not saying it’s easy — I’m saying that conquering fear is necessary if you want to be successful. You just have to retrain your brain to get past the momentary fear and push toward the payoff you desire.

I’ll admit that there was a time in the past when I was willing to tolerate being truly miserable. Thankfully, those days are behind me. I was able to break through by changing my thinking, and you can too. Good luck. Onward and upward!

I’m Looking For An Elite Group to Reveal My Most Profitable Real Estate Investing Techniques to.

If you’re coachable, open to instruction, and will take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete the application by visiting http://tinyurl.com/glcoachingapplication.

After you complete the application, here’s what will happen:

I will personally review your application to make sure you’re a good fit for my program. If your application passes, then either I or someone from my office will call or email you to set up a one-on-one interview and strategy session with me. 



G Letter

September 2015

Back To Work/School: Get Better, Find Your Focus


"School is never out for the pro". ~ Cavett Robert 


Summer is over. Time to find your focus, make a commitment, and set a deadline. Let’s get better and get results now. If you want to live better, then you should be constantly working to make today better than last year, last month, or last week. You create personal fulfillment in your journey to get better and improve. When you grow, so does your real estate business.

You aren’t a kid anymore, so I’m going to give it to you straight — real estate has its share of obstacles and challenges like all businesses. Real estate investing is like being in Florida — there are thunderstorms every day, but that’s why we have umbrellas. Besides, if you hide indoors forever, you’ll run out of food!

The work that is necessary for success in real estate investing is ongoing personal development. This is precisely what I’ve done consistently by working with mentors and coaches and by reading lots of books.

I still study and read voraciously. I currently have five books in the queue, patiently waiting for their turn. Those who refuse to study will get taken to school in the marketplace.

One surefire way to weather the storm is with help and support from others who’ve gone before you. Everyone needs support, and it’s better to build support before you really need it.

If you haven’t already, sign up for my real estate workshop on the last weekend of this month at geraldlucas.com. Good luck. Onward and upward!

Join me at my three-day LIVE real estate workshop, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 25-27, where you’ll discover everything you need to know to quickly start making more real estate income. Get more info and pre-register at geraldlucas.com


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G Letter

August 2015

VACATION TIME DOESN’T HAVE TO BE IDLE TIME 


"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from."  ~ Seth Godin 


While most people vacation during the dog days of August, I prefer to go away to somewhere warm when it’s zero degrees outside and there’s a foot of snow on the ground back home. If you are going away this month, be sure to enjoy yourself, but remember that your vacation, in addition to being a time for rest and entertainment, can also be a time for physical, mental, and spiritual self-improvement.

I like to recharge my batteries when I go away by thinking about and imagining what I want to accomplish for the
rest of the year. I wrote most of my latest book while vacationing in a bungalow across the street from the beach in Manglaralto, Ecuador. I still made time to wander, meet people, eat the local cuisine, and have fun, but I also decided to make productive use of the time I had away from home.

A vacation doesn’t just have to be about relaxation. Sitting by the pool, hitting the beach, or heading to the spa are all worthwhile holiday experiences, but it can also be fun to learn something new while you’re away. Vacation time doesn’t have to be idle time. Use some of the time you spend away on vacation to finally move in a new direction. Start working on that real estate business plan you’ve been putting off. Learn a new language or try a new sport, outdoor activity, or workout. It’s often easier to break old habits and routines when we are away from home. The future has an annoying habit of arriving ahead of schedule, so now is always the time to build new memories. Good luck. Onward and upward!

*Join me at my three-day real estate workshop: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 25-27, where I’ll reveal a real estate investing technique that I’ve never shared before. Get more info and pre-register at geraldlucas.com.  



G Letter

July 2015

July Banner G Letter.jpg

Work Fun Into Every Day


"Some 80 percent of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?" ~ Richard Branson 


Summer is finally here! From backyard barbecues to beach trips, we associate summertime with having fun more than any other season of the year. I admit I’ve already spent some time chillin’ poolside this year. Special summer moments remind us how important it is to have fun and play.

When we reach a certain age, we often begin to starve ourselves of play. This comes at a huge cost, given the many important ways our brain and senses benefit from play. Play provides nourishment for both our body and our spirit.

Recent Japanese research found that spending as little as two hours a month laughing or listening to your favorite music has as big an impact on blood pressure as eliminating salty foods, or even losing 10 pounds.

Having fun is also a great creative engine that boosts
our ability to think outside the box and solve problems. Having fun revitalizes us and creates a healthy environment where we are more innovative and productive, and where customers are more likely to want to do business with us.

You don’t have to wait until your next scheduled vacation to add some fun to your day. You can and should start incorporating things you enjoy into your day right away. It doesn’t have to be much — laugh out loud, tell a joke — but balance is one of the keys to happiness and fulfillment.

Life doesn’t have to be so serious all the time, and doing things that light you up will help you relax. An exciting life doesn’t happen to you. You must find small ways to improve your life by shifting your perspective and changing some of your daily habits and activities. Make it a point to work some fun into every day. Good luck. Onward and upward!

 *Join me at my three-day real estate workshop: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September, 25th–27th at the Meadowlands Hotel, 2 Harmon Plaza in Secaucus, NJ, where I’ll reveal a technique I’ve never shared before. Get more info and pre-register at geraldlucas.com.



 

G Letter

June 2015

Become The Architect Of Your Future


"We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future."

~Frederick Douglass 


All of us dwell on the past from time to time. As we live our lives, it’s only natural that we sometimes cling to what once was. But when our desire to cling to the past affects our future, we begin an unhealthy battle with anchors that can hold us down and sink us. Dwelling on mistakes gives power to the past and can perpetuate behavior we may want to change.

When you think about it, everything that happens occurs in the present. Memories of events are thoughts occurring in the present. Anger or hurt about the past is happening now. What’s amazing about this understanding is that it shows you that the way out of your suffering is always in the present. You can change your perspective right now, you can focus on something different right now. If you want to transcend the past and move forward, place your attention on the present — this is the first step to getting beyond the past and beginning to take control of your future.

Every day, you have the opportunity to make new memories. This is a gift we often take for granted. Anchors don’t have to hold you down. If you choose to let go, they can simply become bends on the highway of life, on your way to the future you desire.

Develop a nostalgia for the future instead of for the past. Always put something ahead of you to look forward to. When you’re not goal-striving and looking forward, you’re not really living. Good luck. Onward and upward!

*Join me at my three-day real estate workshop: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 25th – 27th, at the Meadowlands Hotel, 2 Harmon Plaza in Secaucus, NJ, where I’ll reveal a technique I’ve never shared before. Get more info and pre-register at geraldlucas.com



G Letter

May 2015

Thank You, Mom


"Men are what their mothers made them."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson 


We say “thanks” every day to people we don’t even know, but sometimes we forget to say it to the ones who deserve it most. This Mother’s Day, I’d like to thank my mom, and
I invite you to join me in thanking all moms all over the world.

Who knew Mom’s advice would help us as real estate investors?

7 Lessons From Mom That Apply To Real Estate Investing

1. Value education. The ability to learn is a gift and a responsibility. Our moms taught us early to give education a very high priority. People who invest in their education tend to be the most successful real estate investors in the long run.

2. Don’t follow the herd. Our moms taught us to think for ourselves. You can’t be successful as a real estate investor doing what everyone else is doing.

3. Practice generosity. Share your life and resources with others. My mom spent extra time after work tutoring students for free. In real estate, as in most businesses, givers gain. The best way to make friends in business is to make money for someone else. The more you give, the more you get — generous investors do more real estate transactions than greedy investors.

4. Talk is cheap. Words are important, but actions speak volumes. Your reputation in real estate will be based on your actions, not your rhetoric.

5. Seek and share knowledge. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all teachers. Teachers must both seek and share knowledge. Growing up, I learned to appreciate the time, energy, care, and commitment that teachers show every day. The most successful real estate investors always look for new ways to learn. Investors who share their knowledge inspire other investors to reciprocate.

6. Always say please and thank you. Manners are important for life and for business. In real estate, people prefer to do business with people who are polite and courteous.

7. Work hard. My mom always set a shining example with her consistently strong work ethic. The hardest working investors get the real estate deals that slip beyond the reach of others.

Good luck. Onward and upward! 



G Letter

April 2015

Indecision Is A Decision


“All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger but in calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”

- Niccolo Machiavelli 


Let’s welcome the arrival of spring after a punishing winter by embracing the fact that the Earth we all share is constantly in motion. The Earth’s spin axis is tilted on its orbital plane which is what causes the four seasons. Life is movement. If we don’t move, the circumstances and people around us will move things for us. If we don’t move, our muscles will wither and atrophy, so resisting movement is not only pointless but unhealthy. This is why making decisions and being proactive is so important.

One of the main excuses people use for putting off decision-making is the fear of making a mistake. The problem with that logic is successful people make more mistakes than everyone else, precisely because they make more decisions than everyone else—they learn from their decisions regardless of how things ultimately turn out. You shouldn’t be afraid of making a mistake—you should be afraid of standing still and letting the world pass you by.

Make it a point to cultivate decisiveness. Putting off decisions creates a cluttered mind. Decision-making creates order. Your life will be much more organized if you make decisions as they come. Rather than obsessing forever
about decisions you’ve put off, your mind will be free to concentrate on more important things. Time is our greatest asset. Like money, we can invest it, spend it, our waste it. However, unlike money we can’t possess, hold, or retain time—time comes to us for a moment and then passes by us.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll get around to that later” or “I’m going to take care of that one of these days”? This is masochistic, self-sabotaging thinking based on the foolish notion that we’ll have more time down the road, or that an unpleasant task won’t be as bad if we do it later. Unpleasant tasks usually get more unpleasant the more we put them off (think toothache or leaky roof). Nothing gets accomplished “sooner or later.” Things get accomplished at a specific moment in time.

Although it’s tempting, your worst impulse is to wait, procrastinate, ponder, or wait and see. If you hear this inside your head, know that this is NOT how successful real estate investors respond to life’s challenges. Fortune favors the bold. So now, the only open question is, are you ready? Good luck. Onward and upward!

I’m putting on an epic real estate investing workshop on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 17-19 at the Empire Meadowlands

Hotel, 2 Harmon Plaza in Secaucus, NJ. That’s 3 full days for just $197, where I’ll reveal my most profitable
real estate investing strategies. Find out more about the event and reserve your seat by visiting tinyurl.com/gerald-lucas-4-17-15


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G Letter

March 2015

Plan, Prepare, Perform


“It is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.”

- Jackie Joyner-Kersee

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”

- Abraham Lincoln 


I recently returned from my annual winter getaway to South America, where I soak up the summer sun of the Southern Hemisphere and map out my plans for the coming year.

Like planning, preparation is a key driver of success. When you plan your day beforehand, you know what you need to do. Preparation, which is the next step, gets you ready to actually do the work. In general, the more you prepare the better you will perform.

Preparation normally requires more time, hard work and sacrifice than planning. The most successful professionals prepare before they perform—athletes, teachers, and trial lawyers to name a few. As a long-time musician myself, I’ve spent countless hours practicing and preparing before concerts and gigs. Preparation can and should extend to as many parts of your life as possible.

One of the amazing things about preparation is that it makes you more aware of potential opportunities—this is critical for us as real estate investors. As the Roman philosopher Seneca put it, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

For real estate investors like you and me, more preparation normally translates into better results and higher profits. For example, in order to make a smart purchase offer, we have to do research and due diligence on the subject property. If we’re dealing directly with a property seller, our preparation must include tactfully asking probing questions to understand the seller’s individual circumstances, so we can craft a win-
win transaction that satisfies her requirements as well as ours. Without that preparation, we’re flying blind and are more prone to making costly mistakes.

I hope you’ll join me when I reveal my most profitable real estate negotiation strategies at my 3-day real estate investing workshop, April 17th–19th at the Empire Meadowlands Hotel, located at 2 Harmon Plaza in Secaucus, NJ.

So after you plan, how should you prepare?

The first thing you’ll need is clarity—be crystal clear about what you are preparing for and what you are trying to accomplish. Focus during your preparation. Break bigger tasks down into smaller pieces and zero in on what you’ll need to do to accomplish each sub-task. Work on these sub-tasks until you feel good about where you are—this progress will increase your personal confidence, which is key to performing at your best.

Although you should always do your best to move forward and avoid procrastination, preparation isn’t all about seeing how fast you can complete a task so you can move on to another one. It’s more important to focus on doing things well. This may mean going over one particular area many times in an effort to get it “right.” That’s okay, this is precisely what prep time is for— smoothing out the rough edges.

Keep in mind that preparation doesn’t guarantee success, it just vastly improves your odds of being successful. During “the moment of truth,” even if you’ve prepared, you may still be faced with a situation you hadn’t anticipated. That’s okay—do the best you can given what you know and how you’ve prepared. When you finish, look at your results and then go back and update your preparation routine. Incremental progress literally moves mountains—if you don’t believe me, take a look at the Grand Canyon!

Your moment is now! Plan, prepare, and then perform—put it all out there. No regrets. This is your life and your time to be great. Good luck. Onward and upward! 



G Letter

February 2015

Turn Negative Thoughts
Into Positive, Productive Energy


"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." 

- Zig Ziglar


If you live in the United States, you are probably much better off than the majority of the other people living on Planet Earth. In spite of our many blessings, it’s easy to fall victim to negative thinking. Unfortunately, negative thoughts distract you, drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give into your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. On the flip side, a small positive thought can have the opposite effect, blossoming into a positive and profitable outcome.

When you start to have negative thoughts, it’s often hard to stop them. Shifting your focus from negative to positive thoughts is easier said than done, but it’s the only way to avoid going down an unnecessarily painful path.

When you find your thoughts tumbling down a negative slippery slope, here are 5 tips to turn those negative thoughts to positive energy:

1. Acknowledge your negative thoughts: Self- deception is very destructive and you can’t effectively
deal with a problem until you accept that you have one. Although you should acknowledge your negative thoughts, it’s important to remind yourself that the negative thought you are thinking is only a thought and has no power other than the power you give it. 

2. Smile: Smiling really does help change your mood and relieve stress. Smiling is evolutionarily contagious and we have a subconscious innate drive to smile when we see one. Surprisingly, smiling uses fewer muscles than frowning and therefore requires even less energy.

3. Seek out and surround yourself with positive people: When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.

4. Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive: Changing the tone of your thoughts starts with rewording them. For example, instead of thinking, “This isn’t going to work because of X, Y and Z,” instead try to think, “We will face some challenges including X, Y and Z, but we will come up with solutions that will help us overcome them.”

5. Help someone else: Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. Negative thoughts are often selfish and narcissistic. Take your mind off your own issues and concerns for a moment—helping someone else will brighten your mood and make you feel better.

Good luck. Onward and upward! 



G Letter

January 2015

This Year's Resolution:
Stop Procrastinating & Finally Make It Happen

With a new year comes another set of New Year's Resolutions

You know, classics like

•“This year, I’m going to get out of debt and save money.”
•“This year, I’m going to lose 25 pounds and get in shape.”
•“This year, I’m going to finally make some money in real estate.”

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they rarely have a real plan behind them. The important question to ask yourself is HOW are you going to lose 25 pounds or finally make some money in real estate? Do you have a written plan to get those things done?

Without a plan with tangible, measurable goals that you can work toward every day, it’s easy to fall victim to procrastination. Psychologists have discovered that procrastination is actually a human coping mechanism. When people procrastinate, they’re avoiding emotionally unpleasant tasks and instead doing something that provides a temporary mood boost. The procrastination itself then causes shame and guilt—which in turn leads people to procrastinate even further, creating a vicious cycle.

Before you get down and depressed, there’s hope. One key to beating procrastination is to begin high priority items as soon as possible because that creates momentum. Progress on our goals feeds our well-being. So the most important thing you can do is make a little progress. Progress, even just a little, will fuel your well-being and your motivation.

In order to work on the highest priority items, however, you have to prioritize your to-do list. Let’s face it, you have things on your to-do list that are much more important than others. If a task is worth doing, it’s worth doing at the earliest reasonable time. Do the most important things first and either trash what’s left or get someone else to do them.

If making money in real estate is a top priority, make sure your daily activities are income-generating activities that will add to your bottom line like following up on a lead from a motivated seller or making a new purchase offer on a property. Reorganizing your home office or redesigning your company logo should take a back seat to actions that are more likely to put money in your pocket.

So how do you get to the next rung on the ladder? You reach for it—seems simple, right? Simple but not necessarily so easy. If you’re having trouble getting started yourself, get help from a friend, a partner or a coach.

Action is the key component. Before you think it over for the umpteenth time, make a decision and act.

Best wishes for success and happiness in 2015. Onward and upward! 


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G Letter

December 2014

The Best Holiday Gift To Give


Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
- Thomas Jefferson 


Seasons Greetings to all of you in The Real Estate Insider family. Let’s count our collective blessings for 2014 and look forward to a bountiful 2015. As you are out frantically doing last minute holiday shopping, consider that one of the greatest gifts you can give is the gift of honesty. Before you can be honest with others, however, you must be honest with yourself.

We all like to think of ourselves as basically honest, but we all have areas of our lives where we’re pretending to be something that we’re not. We pretend we’re on a diet, even as we’re sneaking chocolate when nobody’s watching. We pretend we’re working hard even when we’re watching TV or silly videos on youtube.

If you want to be whole and happy, then being “basically honest” isn’t good enough. Every time you do a little end-run around the truth, you lose a part of the truth of who you are. Self-deception is a slippery slope, so when you pretend to yourself, you cheat yourself out of the opportunity to look squarely at the things that you wish were different and take measures to change them.

When you are dishonest with others, you sabotage the trust that’s required for that relationship to thrive, and you undermine your own sense of trust. Setting a standard of absolute honesty for yourself prepares you for moments of temptation. Every lie you tell out of fear strengthens the fear. Every truth you tell strengthens your courage and confirms your integrity.

Practicing absolute honesty is very liberating—you find power in living according to your own beliefs, preferences and desires, instead of trying to mold your behavior according to others people’s expectations. You learn to trust yourself completely and to take full ownership of your decisions. Your relationships get cleaner, clearer and deeper. Your stress decreases, and life becomes more interesting and more fun.

Best wishes for success and happiness in the New Year.

Onward and upward! 



G Letter

November 2014

The Power Of Gratitude:
Why Thanksgiving Matters
 

Every year, millions of Americans gather for Thanksgiving to celebrate family, friends and connection. Thanksgiving is more than just a cultural tradition, however, and science now shows that celebrating Thanksgiving and practicing gratitude can elevate our levels of happiness. Gratitude enriches human life and mental well-being. It increases self-esteem and increases your energy levels. Gratitude elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms. It strengthens relationships, reduces stress and improves health.

So how does gratitude improve health? On one level, it helps people sleep better. A 2009 study of 401 people—40% of whom had clinical sleep disorders—found that the most grateful people had better sleep quality, normalized sleep duration (not too long or too short), were able to fall asleep faster at night, and also had less daytime tiredness compared to those who weren’t as thankful.

Gratitude also puts situations into perspective. When we make a point to see the good as well as the bad, it becomes more difficult to complain and stay stuck in a rut. Gratitude helps us realize what we have and reduces our constant need for wanting more all the time. So, while it may seem easier to focus on problems and grievances, you should make a point to introduce a little gratefulness into every day instead.


Gratitude Is Not Only The Greatest Of All Virtues,But The Parent Of All The Others.

-Cicero 


Gratitude not only helps you, it also helps those around you. Other people are moved, opened and humbled by your expressions of gratitude.

So how can we increase our gratitude? We can make gratitude a daily habit. At the end of every day, I try to write down at least one thing that I am grateful for. This simple, daily ritual improves my mood, (which is particularly helpful after frustrating days) and gives me more energy for the next day.

Take time every day to appreciate what you have as well as those you have around you. Happiness, meaning, and value in life don’t come from external things; they only come from within. Happiness is not discovered; it’s created on an individual basis based on the attitude you posess.

So this Thanksgiving, express gratitude for all you have. When you express gratitude for something, you attract more of that thing into your life. Gratitude is one of the surest paths to continued happiness.

Onward and upward!