G Letter

November 2016

Nov2016 G Letter.jpg

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

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

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

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


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!