G Letter

November 2016

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Tuesday, November 8, is Election Day — not a day too soon for many of you! It’s easy to get jaded and pessimistic about our elections. I often hear people of all political stripes gripe about

how corrupt politicians are, how bad their choices are, and how their vote doesn’t matter. There is some truth to those critiques. Although circumstances could always be better, remember that they also have the potential to be a whole lot worse. Democracy can be slow and frustrating, but if you study history, you’ll find that the alternative to democracy is normally worse.

It is OK to complain though — you can voice your complaint in the voting booth. Politics are much simpler than many people think. Convince enough other people of the merits of your position, and you can make a change. It’s easier said than done, but certainly not complicated. People who look like me used to have to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar or bubbles on a bar of soap to register to vote. Luckily, many very brave people risked their lives to remove those barriers.

Regardless of who or what you support, remember that, as George Jean Nathan said, “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.” If you don’t vote, you lose the right to complain. Voting boils down to simple math. If you don’t vote, you magnify the vote of everyone else who does. Elections are decided by the people who show up, so vote like your right to vote depended on it. You never know; it might.

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 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

October 2016


‘Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.’

– Thich Nhat Hanh 


October 7 is World Smile Day, a holiday established by Harvey Ball, an artist who created the smiley face in 1963.

The act of smiling activates neural messaging that benefits both our health and our overall happiness.

Smiling is literally contagious — when you smile at someone, they can’t help but smile back because the part of your brain that is responsible for your facial expression resides in the cingulate cortex, an unconscious automatic response area.

Smiling makes us appear more attractive to others. Researchers at the Face Research Laboratory found that both male and female subjects were more attracted to images of people who smiled than those who did not.

Smiling also lifts our mood, and current research suggests that smiling makes us healthier and may even lengthen our lifetimes. Smiling releases neuropeptides that fight stress. When we smile, dopamine and endorphins — the body’s feel-good neurotransmitters — are released, which in turn relaxes our body and can lower our blood pressure and heart rate. These endorphins relieve pain naturally and the serotonin released when you smile can act as an antidepressant. Take that, big pharma!

So, as the late, great, Zig Ziglar said, “Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them 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 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

August 2016

“There are always people who will be better at something than you are. You have to learn to be a follower before you become a good leader.” – Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman, Berkshire Hathaway

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” – Dalai Lama

I’ve been a rebel for as long as I can remember — at least going back to age 4 when I copied an entire children’s book, page by page, with a stack of paper, a stapler, and box of Crayola crayons and then went door to door trying to sell my “recreated masterpiece.” I’ve never liked to play by other people’s rules, but have learned over the years — sometimes the hard way — that there are rules to every game, and even if you want to break the rules, you should learn and master the rules first.

When I was in high school, my Juilliard-educated classical violin teacher, Norman S. Goldblatt, told me, “Gerald, learn it my way first, then you can play it any way you want.” A few years later, I performed at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Legend has it that Picasso learned to “draw like Ingres,” the French portraitist, before he learned to draw like Picasso. 

You should, too. Become an expert in real estate or whatever trade you choose and learn how to color within the lines. Know the details about how your business works — this knowledge will allow you to spot weaknesses in the old model so you can create a new one. View the world from 30,000 feet in the air, as well as from ground level. At high altitude, you can plan your big picture strategy; while on the ground, you can actually set your plans into motion.

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 willing to take what I share and put it into action immediately, complete the 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

July 2016

The month of July was named in honor of the Roman general, Julius Caesar. As real estate investors, here are some insights we can derive from the famous military leader’s life.

Be Bold, Take Chances

While sailing to Greece, Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates and held for ransom. When informed that the pirates intended to ask for 20 talents as ransom, Caesar insisted that he was worth at least 50. He maintained a friendly, joking relationship with the pirates while the money was being raised but warned them that he would track them down and have them crucified after he was released. After the ransom was paid, Caesar

raised a fleet, pursued and captured the pirates, and had them crucified (as a sign of leniency, he first had their throats cut).

As a real estate investor, you don’t have to be this bold. Making aggressive all-cash offers and following up on them on a consistent basis will suffice!

The Power of Strategic Alliances

Julius Caesar persuaded Pompey and Crassus to work together and form “The First Triumvirate” (aka, “the three-headed monster”). Caesar promised to support the two men’s interests if they helped him get elected to the consulship.

Strategic alliances are critical for long-term success as a real estate investor because they allow us to focus on our core competencies. By hiring an experienced general contractor, I can focus on filling my deal pipeline rather than managing the details of rehab and construction projects.

“Six Inches of Point Beats Two Feet of Blade”

The difference between success and failure in your real estate business may lie as evidenced in this direct Julius Caesar quote in how expertly you use a specific investing tool or technique. Fluency and expertise in wholesaling, rehabbing, and raising capital may be what allows you to turn a dormant opportunity into a profitable real estate deal. Never take training, focus, and discipline for granted — these are all keys to your long-term success in real estate.

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

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

July 2015

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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

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!