THE AMAZING POWER OF MASTERMINDS, NETWORKING AND FINANCIAL FRIENDS!
As I write this, I am 30,000 feet in the air, flying to LA. Last week, I was in Charlotte, the week before in Philadelphia, and the week before that in Newport Beach CA. In the last year, I have traveled to Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Richmond, Tucson, Wilmington, Danville and Costa Rica. I have been to California twice this month alone, have made 5 trips to Puerto Rico in the last 18 months, and have sailed on 5 cruises in the past few years – and I don’t even like to cruise. I have eaten more airport and cruise ship meals than home cooked meals and my refrigerator has been empty for months! I know the best shoes to wear on airplanes and I am in LOVE with the cookies served on Delta airlines! And….I am exhausted!
Why in the world do I do this? What is possibly worth the hassle of innumerable airport security lines, the masses of bodies walking at a snail’s pace through the terminals, the $15 soggy sandwiches and the $22 (!!) glass of cheap wine served to me in the Charlotte airport? I can sum it up in one word: “Kaizen” – the Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement. With rare exception, my trips have been to attend Mastermind groups and educational seminars with other professionals and real estate investors – to learn from and teach to those who are committed to continually improving their lives in all respects.
As a direct result of these experiences and the people I have met, I have improved my knowledge, my network, my confidence, my goals, my spirit, my client base and my deal flow. My mind has been stimulated and my belief in what is possible for myself, my loved ones, my community and my world has grown bigger and better. My connection to and belief in others has gown exponentially and I am never bored. Lest I sound too “woo-woo,” let me also point out that I have added over six figures to my net worth as a direct result of deals I have done with other investors I have met along the way. That may not sound like much, but this has all been done while running a law firm, a 1031 exchange business, and a vacation rental business, and while teaching around the country and hosting my own educational summit for real estate investors. Just think what I could have done if i devoted all of my mental bandwidth to real estate investing?
My network makes everything possible. The people in my network are my “financial friends,” but they are far more than that. They are my true friends in every sense of the word. They are my sounding board, my business coaches, my relationship counselors, my clients and my deal partners. They are the reason I am able to continually improve my life, my relationships, my businesses and my net worth. I have called on these people to be my trustees, my 1031 agents, my travel companions, my teachers, my dance partners, my “wing men and women” and my middle-of-the night confidantes. I have laughed with them and cried with them. They know my greatest hopes and my biggest fears. They have become my second family.
Without a doubt, the most profound impact on my life has been through my participation in Mastermind groups. The Mastermind concept was birthed by Napoleon Hill in the pivotal book “Think and Grow Rich” (a must read for anyone who is serious about growing their financial, emotional and spiritual wealth) and refers to a gathering of people with common interests who come together to share ideas and to learn from, teach to, and grow with others. These groups generally meet one to four times a years for 2-3 days and are filled with education, advice and networking opportunities. Mastermind members get to know each other very, very well and, in my experience, truly strive to encourage and support each other in every way possible. I have personally witnessed amazing financial freedom transformations in which active earners who thought they would never be able to retire replaced their active (often very high) income with passive real estate income in 2-3 years, all as a result of the knowledge, growth and opportunities they experienced as a Mastermind member. These people are now mentoring others and helping them to do the same. The generosity of spirit I have witnessed in Mastermind groups has astounded me and changed me. I believe with all my heart that Masterminds are the living embodiment of Kaizen – continual and never-ending improvement.
Real estate mastermind groups come in all shapes and sizes. Some involve all aspects of real estate investing and some focus on one particular type of investing, such as private money lending, flipping, or investing in notes. Some are free and some cost upwards of $50,000 a year. Some are for “newbies,” some are for seasoned investors, and some are for everything in between. Some people believe the “expense” of a Mastermind is too high. I choose to think of the cost as an “investment” in myself and my future, rather than as an expense. Either way, the return on my Mastermind “investment” has exceeded the cost and has enriched my life in countless ways far beyond monetary gain. I will never regret one dime I have spent on Masterminds over the last 4 years. My life has been forever changed and I could not be more thankful to those people who have included me in their masterminds and educational gatherings.
Make an investment in your network by attending the 2017 Knowledge Is Money Summit in Asheville NC on June 9-10th. This is the second year I have organized this networking and educational event with 10 high accomplished real estate investors from around the country coming to share their incredible knowledge and insights. Last year we had 100 attendees from 16 states and received rave reviews! You can find out more about the event, hear testimonials from last years’ attendees, and register at www.knowledgeismoney.net.
So, what’s next for me….a wonderful trip to Europe with 103 fellow real estate investors! Having fun and expanding my network! KAIZEN!
 ** Special thanks to: Dave Stech, Chief Denney, David Phelps, Dyches Boddiford, Brad and Cindy Simmons, Walter Wofford, Quincy Long, Jim Ingersoll, Tom Olson, Wayne Sheaffer, Aaron Halderman, Bob Zachmeier and James Malinchak for including me in your mastermind groups and educational seminars! You make me a better person!