Friday, August 31, 2007

Weekly Courthouse Visit

So today is Friday. I got up early and headed over to the courthouse before work. Ended up with 21 hits today. I'm not sure if that's really more than last week or not because last week I ended up stopping before getting to the end of the list so I wouldn't end up too late for work. This week I knew what I was doing so I got in, got what I needed and got out pretty quick. I did not end up looking up other types of leads other than foreclosures, but I will eventually.

I also setup a spreadsheet this week to help better organize the leads I've collected. I have papers where I wrote out all the original data still, but I feel like having it in digital form will be very helpful. Once I get a laptop I'll be able to enter and keep track of this information a lot easier. I would like to actually generate some kind of income before I make any business purchases though.

In order to continue to get closer to actually making some money, I filled out a contact form for one of the investors websites that I had found previously. They offer $3000 for a lead that ends up in a sale, so that would be a great payday. That's 3x as much as the REJ course talks about asking for a qualified lead, and these people only want some basic information about the potential property. So I'll have to wait and see how that goes.

It would be great leaps and bounds to get to a point where I feel like I can generate income outside of the normal work groove. Once I make that real connection then I should be able to start coming up with more ideas on how to generate money as well as fine tune the avenues I get to work. Back when I was doing a Quixtar business they did send me one check for something like $10. I didn't deposit it though because I felt like something was wrong. Normally they don't send you a check if you only purchase goods yourself, but my "mentor" did some shady dealing or something. I was really turned off to the whole thing and didn't want to start off on the wrong foot. I didn't like a lot of the things this guy was doing and that's what eventually pushed me to stop going to meetings or putting any effort into it.

I've been reading this guys blog ( where he (or I assume it's a he, might be a she), discussed different types of passive income as well as how passive they really are. It's really insightful and I feel somewhat like we are working towards the same goals. It's nice to feel like there is someone out there working with you, unlike the people I am use to who are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if I succeed before offering any help.

I was talking with a coworker at lunch about potential business plans in the future. He was saying how no matter what you do there is a level of hard work you put into it. We always see the rewards people receive in society and think of them as gifts or just luck. The reality is that they worked hard to get themselves to the point where they could succeed, where they were in the right place at the right time. My Dad always says to get invested in what you are doing, become the go to guy, put in the work. I guess in a lot of ways I've been looking for an easy way out. I should really just be looking for what makes me happy, what gives me a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.

My coworker also mentioned "The Art of the Start" by Guy Kawasaki. I'm going to look into that and potentially start reading through it. It sounds like a very positive and perspective changing book.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Scrolls and the Daily Grind

So tomorrow I will partake in my now weekly ritual of heading to the courthouse. I imagine there will only be a few new leads there, but it'll be worth it. I feel like going somewhere and doing something makes my business feel more real. Although, I am still having trouble with the concept of creating an income, rather than just putting in hours and working for one.

I think its because I look too intently at the current rather than seeing the long term potential. I get so stuck on trying to do something quickly because I want my current situation to change. I'm not sure exactly what is the cause of that, my best guess is because I still live at home.

Today was the start of my last scroll. In January I started reading the book "The Greatest Salesman in the World". It is a great story that contains 10 scrolls of wisdom in it. The first one outlines the process, which is just that you read the scroll in the morning, afternoon and out load in the evening for 30 days so that its message becomes a habit. In truth, I only read the scroll in the morning and outloud at night everyday. But I am finally on the 10th scroll after sitting on the other 8 habit scrolls for 30 days each. I bought the sequel book months ago, so once I'm done this scroll I can move onto reading that. I'm hoping it doesn't have the same kind of format though, since reading these scrolls everyday has become burdensome.

Sadly, I feel like I haven't really developed any of the habits it promotes. I was excited when I first started, and I really tried. The problem is the same as the problem I ran into with the Rich Dad coaching. You have to change how you think, but you also have to change who you spend your time with as well, otherwise you won't end up doing anything different. They give the example of crabs that, once you catch two, will remain in a small container. Even though they could climb out, once one starts to, the other one will pull it back. That's how I feel. Whenever I try to start changing the way I do something, my family routine and mentality pulls me back down.

If I bring this up to any of them they get insulted. I tried to explain it to my mom again this morning but she always get defensive. Then she proceeds to the "I'm doing what I want to be doing" and "you just need to get your head on straight" habitual defense. Then she starts with the guilt of "not appreciating what you have". After a while I've gotten extremely tired of having the same arguments. The problem is that I like to talk out my ideas, and while I live at home the people I talk them out to will always be the same and they will always say the same things.

Well, aside from all that, the routine marches onward. I started to reread "Never Eat Alone", the modern day "How to Win friends and Influence People". I almost feel like its a spit in the face. Clearly the author has had a lot of success, but he also has a different background and situation. His parents made large sacrifices to push him forward, plus they have personalities that support him and encourage him, instead of always thinking in conflict and promoting their own visions of success onto their child. Also, at this point I've been working towards some specific goals for years, it would be a huge waste to do something rash and throw it all away.

The other problem with a lot of these books is that they exist in their own time. They just jump over the hard parts and talk about the rewards. Positive change and success is a byproduct of habitual action over a long period of time. It's hard to do the day to day things and make those sacrifices with only the promise of rewards in the future, esp with the future always in uncertainty. Sure you should find ways to enjoy the present, but that isn't always possible when you get crushed by the quagmire of the normal routine. It seems so pointless to have daily time commitments just for the sake of having them, without any freedom to use that time towards something productive that would require being at another location.

I guess my frustrations really just come from a few specific sources. Clearly I have a conflicting fundamental viewpoint with my parents, and while I live at home this is a constant source of aggravation. Also, I am unhappy with what I do at my job since most of the time I feel like I am trapped at a location, forced to pretend like I am doing something productive when I have nothing productive to do and see little opportunity to find something. I guess that just leads to a continuing cycle of feeling like my talents and abilities go to waste as I sit in a constant state of on call.

I don't have much of a resolution to end with today. I'm just kinda tired and frustrated, trying to push forward to the holiday weekend ahead.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Slow Forward Progress

So I put a little time into my business yesterday and this morning. I wasn't able to find any potential investor leads yesterday, but I found 3 today. The first one I found in the classified section of the Post, the other two I found online from the Times classified section. Also, I spent some time looking at the websites (for those that had websites) of the investors I found previously. One website claims to pay out $3000 for leads that lead to a sale. I'm going to have to call them and see what the terms are.

I reread some of section 3 of the Jobber information. They make claims that you'll find 20 some investors in one paper. I don't know if I'm looking at the wrong papers, but I haven't found anywhere near 20 total, let alone in one paper. I'm starting to think the progression and ease is exaggerated some in these instructions. Although, if I could actually get $3000 per house that an investor buys, that would greatly make up for any exaggerations in ease of executing these steps.

Most of my day yesterday was spent at this training for becoming a Catechist. I'm trying to find more activities that I can get involved with that I can use my gifts and talents to help other people. I figure there will be multiple benefits from this: extra experience and skill development, larger network of contacts, larger sphere of influence, building of my personal brand, new perspective, as well as overall better feeling from contributing to society in a positive way.

I walked in and found out the training was going to be 2 and a half hours. This was a big turn off and I was instantly thinking about different ways to bail. I was also not very comfortable with the people there. This lady sat way too close to me, inside my personal space, and that made me even more apprehensive. Eventually, as we started to get into a flow of things, I started to feel more comfortable.

The rest of the people there were much older than I am. But I could tell that I invest a lot more time into personal development and perspective. I usually run into that a lot when I deal with people outside of my family. It's like they are content with being average or just scraping by when I'm use to pushing for excellence or being naturally good at something, even if I have no experience with it.

It was nice to get involved with something new. I'm looking forward to when things get started even though I'll be playing a supportive role instead of a core role. The nice thing about working with children is that it helps you get a better perspective for other lifestyles and approaches. Plus it gets you back in touch with that wonder and bliss that comes from youthful ignorance. Their is a real beauty in that simplicity.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

School Year

So, again I fall short on my goals from last week. I did get the number of leads I was aiming for (and more), but I did not get the surrounding information and put them in my Master Lead Log. Also, I failed to contact potential investors to establish a path for my leads to go so that they can actually do me some good.

I need to get back on track. Or rather, on track in the first place. Recently I've been getting tied up in other stuff instead of focusing on what I should be doing. I've played through Final Fantasy Mystic Quest and half of Ogre Battle, and yet I'm still at the very early stages of getting this business going. I guess the 'procrastination bug' has really got me.

Well the goal for this week is to actually contact some investors. I should contact all the ones I've found, as well as continue to check the newspaper for new ones until I have a large pool. Also, I'm going to duck over to the courthouse before work again on Friday and try to pull in some more leads. In the mean time I should read the REJ course information again and get prepared. This should help me branch out from just foreclosure leads. The hope then will be to learn of potential areas to look for leads in drive bys that I can start doing on the weekend.

There has been some good news recently. On Saturday I did my first full run through of the GMAT exam in preparation for taking the test on September 8th. I did ok, ending up with 9 wrong on the verbal and 9 wrong on the math. Almost all of my verbal errors were in sentence completion questions and almost all my math errors were in data sufficiency questions. This gives me an idea of how better to focus in the future to improve my score. I did some reading during lunch today of strategies for these sections that were helpful. This weekend I will see if I can find more practice books at the library when I go to take another practice test.

Things are slowly improving at work as well. I'll eventually be signed up for these training classes that will teach me how to be a Remedy Admin. Once I've gone through them, I can start traveling to different government facilities and doing installs. I'm looking forward to some travel since I've only actually been to handful or so places around the country, let alone very limited foreign travel.

I'm curious if anyone actually reads any of this stuff that I write. If I do have any readers I'd love some feedback or potential suggestions/viewpoints. Let me know.

Friday, August 24, 2007


So, today I managed to wake myself up early and get over the courthouse. I already knew where it was, where in the building to go and what search parameters to use to get some foreclosure listings. I went through the Rich Dad Coaching program a year ago and one of the things my coach had recommended was looking for pre-foreclosure properties. I learned all the steps for finding them at that point and had even found a group. Then I found out that MD laws were changing a foreclosure consultant was going to be required for use for any transaction. That's when my interest faded and I moved in another direction.

This time I don't have to worry about that yet. Now I can just put together some leads from the information I took down and then pass them on to an investor. If they know what they're doing they will already have a consultant setup to use. So, I'm more hopeful this time around.

I did a search from 8/1 to 8/24 and there was a considerable number. I don't think there is anywhere near a daily flow, but I copied down the first 15 on the list before heading out to work. I'll try and do this every Friday moving forward, but I may add other types of searches and do it more than one day a week. It's right near where I work so it shouldn't be a problem adding it to my routine. I just have to adapt to getting up a little earlier. With the school year starting and the people I live with's schedules changing, that shouldn't be too hard.

So, with my lawn care pursuits, things are slowing. The lady I was working to setup a deal with misinterpreted what I wrote and I thought that I wanted $30/hr. I'm going to write her back and clarify, but first I'm trying to find some uses for sticks and branches that I clean up in her yard. If I can find a company that will buy them to sell as mulch then it won't matter how much she pays me per hour because I can get a bigger return from the later sale.

Even if things don't end up panning out, at least it got the creative juices flowing. I need to focus not on how much I get paid per hour, but rather finding ways to convert someone else's trash to my treasure. There are a lot of free natural resources or even stuff that people are getting rid of, that with a little creative thinking could be worth a lot more.

Last night I read this brief story about an old fiddle and bow. It was being auctioned off and was only pulling in low bids. Then an old man asked the auctioneer to hold on, went up to the stage and dusted it off. Then he sat down and started to play beautiful music with it. Once he finished he put it down and walked off. When the bidding continued, there was much more activity and the fiddle and bow sold for a much larger amount.

The idea portrayed was, "the value is greatly increased with the touch of the Master's hand". Also, I think it shows more that one man's garbage is another man's treasure. More specifically, with a little work, something seen as garbage can have it's value greatly increased. So I'm going to start trying to find more of these opportunities to convert something seen as worthless to something of value.

This goes along with the idea that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts", meaning that the combination of a few things will be worth more working as a whole than each was worth individually. That's why people can make lots of money taking felt and thread and a few decorations if they put them together in a way that appeals to someone else.

After yesterday's dream, I've decided I should start spending my free time developing some skills that could be useful in the future. A lot of people can play musical instruments or know how to dance. A friend of mine from my last job does a lot of wood working. All these things are very valuable and can lead to a lot of benefits as you grow in ability and share your talents and creativity. So that will be something I try to look into this weekend.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I had this very powerful dream last night. I say powerful, not because it was some epic setting and feel, but more because of the strong emotional feelings I was left with at its end. Let me describe it to you.

I start out booking an airline trip to a Medical conference in North Eastern US. For some reason I booked it minutes before I actually got to the counter where you check your bags at the airport. I had with me my red backpack, which main portion was filled (with I'm not sure what) and only the small bottom pocket had extra room where I was keeping all my papers to detail directions and flight plans.

The clerk was this cute girl about my age who I instantly had a connection with. I was struggling to get all my papers correct. For some reason, the conversation starts with her saying how she hopes I'm better than the last customer she worked with. I had this feeling like, I've been there before, since I've done a lot of customer service work before. I was starving so she offered to help me out while I went to get some food. So I ran up to a Burger King that was in the airport about 300ft away and bought some Whopper juniors, a typical order I get. Then I started eating one while I ran back.

When I got to the counter, she had taken care of most of the bag checking (which is weird since I don't remember having any other bags than my backpack). For some reason she thought I had left and wasn't coming back, so she was happy to see me return. I really got the feeling that this girl was into me. So, even though we finished checking all my stuff that needed to be checked, I wanted to get some extra time with her. I asked her if she could show me where the hanger was for my plane. She agreed and we started walking.

The strange thing at this point is that the perspectives changed. For some reason I felt like I was her, with this anticipation like all I had to do was stall and then he was suppose to ask me for my number or something to show that he was as interested as I was. So we're walking and we reach the hanger.

Now it switches back to me. Here for some reason the attention switches to the hanger, which is more like a lounge. I see all these different people there and I end up recognizing one so I run over to the guy. (a side note, the girl disappears from my dream at this point) The guy is actually this guy I roomed with in college, only briefly though because he moved into my room after this other guy moved out near the end of my sophmore year. He only somewhat recognizes me. Then I see this other guy I know and everything shifts over to him and I go to talk to him.

This guy is someone I went to elementary/middle/high school with. He has special significance because my mom was always comparing me to him. So I go to talk to him and ask him about why he's going to the Medical conference. (This is also strange since he is an engineer and not a doctor) He is there with a few friends and this old guy. I guess the assumption in the dream is that they are all doctors. We start chatting and he says something about how I'd enjoy their laid back lifestyle. I make some comment about how its great and they all laugh. (My assumption as to why they were laughing is because I live at my parents house still). I ask them why they are laughing and the old guy answers. He says something to the effect of how ironic it is that I talk about lifestyle while I have never really ventured forth out of my comfort zone or had any real life experiences. How I've never really lived the life I want.

Somehow he said it in a way that was either saying the reason was because of my lack of confidence or because of my mother. So I asked him which he meant, fully intending to fight with him if he indeed was insulting my mother.

He responded by saying that the reason I was afraid to venture forth was because I did not have any confidence. This was because my core support, mainly my family and even further my mother, has never really been behind my decisions or built me up enough to feel like I have value enough to follow my ideas or stick with my pursuits.

This really hit hard. I asked him how he knew he was right. For some reason at this point he talks about how he knows what its like to have to live through difficulty. He says that he has cancer and only has four years to live. Then he begins to choke or look like he can't breathe. The guy I know from my earlier school years says he needs food for some reason. So I begin to dig into my backpack, trying to find the whopper jrs that I had bought earlier. I can't find them in the front pocket so I start struggling with the back pocket. I'm pulling and tugging on it as this guy is choking and gasping for air, but it won't come open. I get this deep feeling like what I'm searching for, what I need, is inside but I just can't get to it.

Then the alarm clock goes off and I wake up.

I'm left with these feelings of anxiety now. I feel like the old man, like I'm choking and it's only a matter of time. If I don't find what I'm looking for then it'll be over before I know it and I will have nothing to show.

A lot of these concepts that I've struggled with were in the dream.
- Not being able to get my plans together at the airport is symbolic of how I start to feel like I'm lost when I venture out on my own. This leads to me bailing on my attempt instead of continuing to venture forward. I keep coming up with new things I want to do, but when it gets hard or I don't know what to do next I just stop.

- The part with the girl and waiting for the guy to say something. That shows how I feel like I've never developed that confidence with girls that I've always wanted to develop. I've always wanted to break past that fear of asking for a number or somekind of continued relationship further than just an inital conversation. That's more validation that the other person thinks highly enough of me to be attracted to me or sees me as worthwhile enough to want to keep me in their life as more than some random encounter or brief interaction.

- Seeing the guy from my past. I've always had these feelings of inadequacy with my past. Almost like I've wasted so many opportunities and possibilities. I feel like I was always doing stuff because someone else wanted me to or it was expected, I never had that extra push to do better because I really deeply cared or saw the value. I never saw in the activties the future that I wanted, just the situation I'm in now. Working the 9-5 in a cubicle without any real freedom.

- What the old guy said. I was just thinking last night about how I've lost that independance. I've actually lived at home longer after college than I lived on my own in college. People are forced to grow up during certain events some of which being, moving out on their own, getting married (more so living with someone for the indefinate future), having a child. I feel like I grew up and had my life going the way I wanted when I was living on my own, but then it was all stripped away from me when I moved back home. Now I've almost reverted back to how I was in high school before I even got to college. It's this constant jump back and forth from my age and how I should be, versus how the siblings under college age that I live with act. It's like I can't find my identity.

- The choking and not being able to find what I'm looking for. That feels like its symbolic of my current living situation. Like where I am is choking me, keeping me confined when I want to go and experience new things and be out on my own. It's like I have everything I need with me but I can't get to it.

So that leaves me with the question of, what do I do now?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Yeah, I'm slacking. I haven't done any work towards my business at all this week. It's pretty pathetic I know. I don't even remember what the goals I set were. I've mainly been focusing on GMAT studying, and I've done a fair amount of that at least. Also, things have picked up some at work with me getting setup to do some traveling in the future, so that's been distracting.

One small accomplishment is that I contacted a neighbor about doing some yardwork. I'll probably get $20-25 per hour to help her out. This goes along with what I said before from the "Acres of Diamonds" book, filling a need. If I can execute this correctly I could potentially parlay it into something with a lot of value. I'd like to get it so that I pay a few neighborhood kids $5 an hour to pick up sticks, then take the sticks and sell them to someone who sells mulch. That would be great if possible and could be somewhat lucrative.

I need to stay focused on my original business goal if I'm going to do this other side stuff as well. This REJ business is not very difficult and it involves learning about real estate, which is my long term goal. So I have no excuse for putting it off or not following through. The drive-by method of finding leads doesn't seem to be worth the time, effort or gas. The problem with the other methods is that they involve spending some time at the courthouse. Since the courthouse is closed after work hours I'll have to do this during my lunch break, or spend some extra time at the office afterwards if I go over my normal time for lunch. It's worth it though, since there are many different types of leads you can pull from the public records.

I also need to find a better way to line up investors. I may do some recruiting for this since I know people who drive around a lot and see their bandit road signs.

Anyway, I need to get back on track. I've been playing a lot of Cashflow 202 to learn about Options, but again that is off the beaten path and not what I need to be focusing on. The courthouse is right near where I work and is open from 8:30 am till 4:30 pm. Maybe I'll try and get to bed early and get up early and check it out before I go to work. This would probably work best for Friday since I don't have anything right after work, so if I get in late it won't cause any problems.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A New Week

So, I did not meet my goals for the week. I rallied a total of 5 investor numbers and 1 lead, which sadly is pretty poor percentage of the 10 and 10 that I was aiming for.

Instead of being discouraged and giving up, I'm going to think of this as the first step, starting to get the crank turning. It's always hardest to start moving.

I didn't post anything yesterday, mainly because I didn't work towards my business at all. I did do some other miscellaneous things that have helped me have a few realizations.

First, I finally finished reading "Retire Young, Retire Rich" by RK. The book is very inspiring and helps to expand your context but is definitely not much of a tutorial. In some ways I feel like RK has lost touch with the common man and does not speak to them where they are but only from where he is and it's hard to bridge the gap as you continue to live in your everyday routine. Sure I'd love to be financially free and just not go to work but it's not just going to happen because I read his books. He had a Rich dad giving him advice and encouraging him while he made the push and it still took him 9 years to do it. I've been trying for a year or so now and I've made some solid changes that have cut my retirement age down from 65 by a good chunk, but still not far enough for my liking. I am much wiser for the wear though, and if the stat of 9 out of 10 businesses fail is correct I should be getting pretty close to that number ten that will succeed. I just hope I'm learning the lessons I need to from each failure.

Second, I read "Acres of Diamonds", a book I had heard about from Quixtar and from various other motivational sources. It makes a lot of clear, valid points that make sense. Instead of thinking wealth is always around the next bend it tries to show the perspective that you can be a success anywhere. The reality is that everyone has needs and if you help fill them you will become very successful. It makes a lot of sense. I've always had a hard time making the connection that little things that are easy for me could be worth a lot to someone else and even be worth them paying me for. So after reading this that is one of the things I'm going to try and work on in the future. I thought of a good potential small business of picking up sticks for neighbors, but rather than putting a lot of effort into that at this time I'm going to keep trying to make the push for this jobber business.

Third, I began reading "As a Man Thinketh". This is very similar to "The Magic of Thinking Big" which discusses how your thoughts control your actions. "The Science of Getting Rich" is also similar to this, saying that if you focus on something you want strong enough, it will come to you. These are all great concepts but I still continue to struggle to incorporate them into my day to day life. That is something I'm working on as well.

A few other things: I continued to prepare for the GMATs that I'll be taking in under 3 weeks. I imagine I'd do well enough to land in the required range already, but I really want to dominate this test since it's the first step to valuable education and since I'm paying $250 to take it. I had a conversation with some people about potential businesses. All they could think about were the problems and a lot of negative focus. This made me realize again what I had during the first few weeks of the Rich Dad coaching I did last fall. If you want to succeed you have to surround yourself with people with the right attitude and similar goals. Which means that in the future, when I have a better opportunity to, I'll have to spend less time with these people and find more people that think like I do. Others have already told me this but its hard for me to just disregard what people close to me say.

This week I'm going to set smaller goals but hopefully more attainable and productive. They are as follows:
- Go to the courthouse and find foreclosure records for the week.
- Find 5 more investors.
- Contact all 10 investors.

One last side note for today. In the REJ training stuff they discuss setting up a website for your business. While this is not really practical for my business at this point, I do think I'll set something up for my team when the basketball season starts up this year. I think that'll end up to be great experience and a great way to boost my team.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


So today I went for a driver around some of the local neighborhoods. I only came across one real lead so it was a little disappointing. I did manage to get a better feel for the lay of the land in those areas which is nice for the future.

I think I'll be better off going to the courthouse and exploring other potential lead sources there instead of driving around aimlessly hoping to stumble upon something. The courthouse is organized and has a pretty good flow of things coming in each day. I just need to find a time during the week to go and sift through some sources.

I also found another add in the classifieds, but I'm a little disappointed because it was only one. The guy who wrote the instructions for starting up said he found like 20 in one paper. Maybe it's because the market is taking a beating right now, maybe I'm just checking in the wrong papers, but it doesn't seem to be the case here.

In order to start preparing for the GMATs, which I'm taking in exactly 3 weeks, I stopped by the library and picked up some books. I started going through the first book and did the first sample parts to see where I will need to focus. My biggest trouble was the sentence completion but overall I did very good. Somewhat disappointing was the fact that the answer book had 2 mistakes. For some reason it thought that .03 was greater than .09. The other one said that the correct answer was that statement A only was sufficient when in the explanation is clearly said that both A and B were sufficient on their own. Oh well, at least it'll help get my mind thinking about the right types of questions and give me some practice to get in game shape by the time the real test comes along.

At this point I'm a little doubtful that I'll reach my goals for the week since I'm at 5 investor ads and 1 lead. That's alright though since now I have a better idea of the landscape of what I'm getting into. The big goal is to keep making steps towards shifting my routine to include taking actions towards my business each week and hopefully each day.

Friday, August 17, 2007

MBA on the way

I managed to squeeze in some time yesterday. I looked through the classifieds when I got home and found 3 more investor ads. So now I'm 4 out of 10. Unfortunately the Post's classifieds didn't yield the same kind of results today so I'm going to have to be creative today and tomorrow to get up to my goal of 10. The instructions I'm following said that usually there are a lot in the less frequent papers, so I'll have to find a news stand or something that has cheaper local papers. Tonight and tomorrow begins my hunt for leads anyway so I imagine I'll be able to find something on my drive.

I reread some of the section volume of the instructions but not any of the third volume yet. That's most likely what I'll do today. The third volume is an account of the steps to follow when starting out. Not exactly a listing, more a journal of a fictional person who is a mixture of the writer's experience as well as the experiences of people who have built this business and sent him some commentary. I figure following in the steps isn't perfect but at least it'll keep me on track.

My new goal of getting my MBA is helping to keep pushing me towards building this business. I'd really like to get it to the point in 4 months or so where it is generating more than enough to cover my monthly expenses. Then I can have the choice of going to school full time and quitting my job or just going part time and having a really large cashflow. At the very least it could really help in covering tuition costs without setting me back from my other goals.

I signed up for the GMATs (the standardized test used to determine if you have the skills for business school) this morning after having to wait a day for the pre-qualifying step. I'll be taking them on September 8th, so it's only about 3 weeks from now. I'm going to have to hit up the library and get cracking on some practice tests so I'm back in game shape when it's time for the test.

I've been dragging my feet about this MBA idea because I really didn't want to go back to school. Now that I feel like I'll be learning about what I want to do anyway it doesn't seem so bad. I mean it's been 5 years or so since I was actually taking classes in something I was really passionate about. It turns out that dragging my feet wasn't so bad though since some programs require two years of full time work experience before they let you in anyway. January will be just about exactly right for that, so it works out well. As long as I do well on the GMATs I shouldn't have any problems meeting the other requirements since my undergrad GPA was over at 3.0. I can get some recommendations from former employers as well as former teachers as well.

What's interesting is that the guy who made the instructions for how to setup a jobber business talked about the psychological effects of having goals and starting to change your life. I didn't really believe him when I read it, but now I'm starting to really see what he means. I imagine things will only keep getting better as I really start building something and reaching larger and larger goals.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Goals comging together

So sadly, I have no real achievements towards this week's goals to report for today. Yesterday I went to the chiropractor at 6 instead of 5:45 so I ended up getting home later. Right when I got home we had dinner and then afterwards was the Fantasy Football draft for this year.

Yes, I know, not really very good excuses for delaying work on what should be a higher priority.

I did come to some conclusions last night though when I was discussing marketing with my parents. After the conversation with my coworker yesterday I really started to get excited about business. In all reality I decided to do Computer Science as my major in college because I thought I could do it and I thought I would make good money doing it. These are both true, but my heart really isn't in it. When I think about starting a business or I follow stocks and keep track of my finances, that's when I'm excited. That is what I'm really passionate about.

So I decided to stop trying to put all my hopes for the future into making a situation I'm not into 100% work, just because I'm invested in it. I'm going to take what I have and then parlay it into a career that I want. I'm going to do what I keep saying I don't need to do. I'm going to go back to school and get an MBA. I'm not sure if I'll get a dual degree and get a masters in Information Systems as well. My goal for now is to take the next step and get the ball rolling towards a goal that'll get me where I want to be.

This of course isn't going to happen overnight. It'll probably take a few years to get the degree and in the meantime I need money and to keep getting more experience. So I'm going to keep my job and keep working towards building a real estate jobber business. Right now I've set myself up with certain financial obligations and goals for this year that I want to finish out. Once I do, then my monthly expenses will significantly drop. That's when, as long as I stay the course and keep working on my jobber business, my side business should start really producing a steady flow of income. If it is and I start taking classes towards my MBA at that point, then I'll have the option of deciding if I want to keep working at my current job or just stick with the lower side income to pay the tuition and normal bills. I'll reevaluate based on the status then.

Overall, yes I'm disappointed I didn't get anything done towards my goals yesterday. I forgot the classified section of the newspaper that I was going to bring to work today. Plus my Dad's retirement party is tonight, so I'll probably be set back tonight as well. I still have to find 10 properties and 9 more investors to contact. In the mean time, I'm at least going to reread some sections of the instructions the course lays out so that when I do get a chance to take some action I don't end up wasting time.

I do feel like starting to walk down this path has helped me to see what I really want and point my goals towards it. So at least that's a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Baby Steps

Well, not the great dynamic start I was hoping for.

I checked some online classifieds as well as some little local papers in search of investors. I found one lady's name and number.

So I'm 1/10 of the way to my goal, not counting actually contacting the people. I also did not find any leads yesterday, but at least that part was ok because I didn't actually go looking. Today is a holy day of obligation so I went to church last night during the period of the day I'm home from work and the sun is still up.

I'm planning on checking the Post's classifieds tonight and maybe trying to go for a walk in a non-local neighborhood to get a change of venue and possibly my first potential leads.

I keep bouncing back and forth between laziness and motivation. I really want to get something going, even just to prove to myself that I can generate other lines of income. I feel like the largest thing is just breaking down the mental barrier that I have that says that you make money from doing a job for an employer. I want to train myself to start thinking of ways to create money by using economic forces - people willing to pay for something based off of convenience or scarcity at a location. Also, try to generate enough confidence in myself that I know that what I do is worth being paid for, or that entertainment, motivation or ideas that I express make a change in another person worth of collecting a payment.

I was talking to a coworker today who has a business degree. People always say to "get an MBA" whenever you even mention wanting to start a business, so I figured I'd ask him a few questions to get an idea what they actually teach you. He said there are four main categories. Marketing, finance, operations and economics? I'm not sure about the forth one. Part of my problem is marketing. I'm not use to selling my ideas to people for monetary gain. I debate and argue with my family about how we all see the world, but that's not the same as trying to appeal to a client.

Anyway, for the time being, I'm going to keep taking my baby steps and hope that it really starts to amount of something over time. I'm not in any rush and it's not like any of my other ideas really hit a home run right away. This seems like a solid path with a lot of potential that will be worth taking the time to learn. I just need to be patient and take it one step at a time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Jobber Business

This all started about a year ago. I use to work as a Product Support Engineer for a local company. Since the support center is 24x7 it often involved working some late night shifts. On one particular one of these late shifts I had borrowed "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" from my brother and began reading.

The concepts in the book about the difference between how the poor think of money and how the rich think of money, the accounting concepts of seeing where your money goes and if it is working for you or not, and the idea of portfolio, passive and earned income all spoke to me. I felt like I had finally found ideas that worked and made sense compared to how I previously thought about money or even my place in the world.

This lead to a ravenous thirst for more knowledge as I tore through book after book. The Millionaire Next Door, The Richest Man in Babylon, various Real Estate investment books, The Greatest Salesman in the World, the E-Myth, Never Eat Lunch Alone, The Science of Getting Rich, other RK books, and the Little Book that Beats the Market. I learned about real estate, stocks, mutual funds, businesses, bonds, gold, silver, vending machines, network marketing, 401ks, Roth IRAs, CDs. I signed up for training, classes, seminars, online subscriptions, news feeds.

At this point I imagine I've probably invested around $10,000 as well as countless hours into educating myself about anything to do with money. But so far I've had very little success.

Now I'm learning that I should consolidate my efforts, focus them on one goal and stick with it until I break into a new context. That is my goal that I am embarking on today. And that is what I'm going to write about.

So here is my plan:

My most recent push for education was into the idea of Real Estate Jobbing or "Bird-Dogging". This is the idea that you find motivated sellers who want or need to get out of their houses and are willing to sell them at a wholesale price. You pass those leads onto people who are in a position to buy them (investors) for a fee if they end up purchasing the property.

Today I finished the course on how to setup this kind of business and I am going to begin executing the steps and building the business.

My first two goals, which I should easily have done by Monday, 8/21, are as follows:
- Find and contact at least 10 investors
- Produce 10 leads in the local county area

I will keep up these posts daily as I start to keep me on track and less frequently as things begin moving along smoother if it becomes a burden.

I hope that all who end up reading this are inspired to take their own action. I hope as you read about my victories and defeats it encourages you and helps you see that you don't have to be perfect right at the start and even something that starts out small, with time and effort, will grow to be something big.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Pay it Forward"

I just read some guy's blog post about Pay It Forward. This concept that if instead of collecting favors and demanding repayment, you essentially pass the favor onto someone else by saying that your friends should pay someone else back in your stead.

Lovely concept. We all just keep helping each other out, with "exponential" growth. Then all of a sudden we live in a perfect world where everyone is happy and patting each other on the back.

I'm sorry but I can't just blindly throw myself behind this. Sure, it'd be great if everyone was so happy all the time and there were no problems. Or would it?

Think about it. What parts of your day do you remember? Is it that happy little morning greeting you have with coworkers? No. People remember conflict a lot more than then remember pretty much anything else.

At one point a few weeks back I wanted to buy this videogame. I got to the store right as it was closing and ran in when someone was coming out because the in door was locked. After hunting around the store for a few minutes I came across the game and headed for the check out. The line for the checkout was setup amusement park style with lots of back and forth rows. This lady started walking back and forth through them with her mom while I just ducked under them and headed to the register.

This, of course, inspired a protest in this lady's mother. I had cheated her and her daughter by line jumping and heading to the register before them. My thinking was, if they are dumb enough to spend a whole lot of wasted time and effort walking through an unnecessary line, then they were probably going to spend a lot of time at the register and I would have to wait to purchase my item.

So it was decision time. Do I apologize and give up my space in line because they had arrived at the line first? Or do I just check out and head on. I opted for the ladder.

Now my point in this story is that I clearly still remember it. I didn't support the "Pay it forward" principle here by letting them go. I also didn't wait an extra 5 minutes in line just to be courteous to people who do stupid things because they feel they are entitled to some kind of "first to the beginning of the line" societal unwritten rule.

So what does this mean? I guess it means that I'm reversing the flow of pay it forward and perpetuating her paying my bad deed forward to someone else.

That's one way of looking at it. Another way is maybe she took out some of her latent hostility on me as she yelled at me for what she thought was an injustice. I'm sure she then told many people this story, as I did. I'm sure she still remembers this occurrence and probably retells it often as an example to justify her theory that "the world is going to hell because the next generation does not have the same principles as mine".

So what is the end result. First, the lady maybe learned that if you do stupid things then you get left behind. Second, she got out some of her hostility. Third, she and I both have a story to give concrete examples of what we believe.

Does this mean that all of a sudden we'll have world peace? No. But humans are designed to compete. It's in our genes, it's what pushes us forward. It is what drives progress. Past generations values and ideas are left behind as the new ones form. Natural selection still exists, although it is buried deeper now.

I'm not saying that if you want to not to support "Pay it forward", but don't be naive. Don't get sucked into some idea that smiling and saying hello to some stranger and then helping them load some groceries in their car is going to then make the world perfect. The world was designed to be perfect and that's how it is. We're living in the utopia, learn to love it for what it is.