I first met Donald Trump back in 2003 at a real estate expo in LA. He didn't leave a good impression. I found him to be arrogant, acrimonious, overly aggressive, and bossy.
He hasn't changed at all.
But the moment that really told me who he was as a person was this:
A very attractive young woman asked him what she should do first since she was interested in getting involved in real estate investing. He told her, "Don't bother. Find a rich man to take care of you instead."
I've hated him ever since.
This morning I thought about this: What if I had the opportunity to ask him ONE question on national TV? What would I ask him?
And I thought about it. I would ask him ONE thing: "Mr. Trump, can we see your birth certificate? We, as Americans, have the right to know for sure whether you're an American or not. After all, you don't expect us to simply take you WORD for it, do you? So, when can you show us all your birth certificate?"
With that, I started laughing, providing me with about 10 seconds worth of cheap, cheesy entertainment for myself in the shower.
This question serves one purpose: to ruffle his feathers. After all, he'd be thinking, "How dare you?" Point served.
Well, you COULD be from somewhere else like Canada or England or Australia. After all, maybe his mother was pregnant, they took a family vacation, and out popped The Donald. We don't really KNOW where he was born, do we? And we can't really just take his WORD for it, right?
Personally I don't care where he was born. I'm not planning on voting for him anyway. He could have been born in...Kenya...for all I care. While I'm all for finding a smart business man or woman to run the country -- as I think it's what the United States needs -- Donald Trump wouldn't be the guy. He is full of ego and this is solely the intent for this race. Ego. A feather in his cap. He has no interest in helping people except for himself.
One thing I try to relay to my students OVER AND OVER AGAIN is that it doesn't matter who is in office. Nobody who ends up there -- whether it's Trump or Hillary or Sanders or Rubio or anyone else -- is going to help you better your life in any way. The national debt will still keep getting higher, the middle class will keep getting squeezed out, the value of our dollar will keep dropping, and things will keep getting "worse" on the political front as they continue turning on themselves. Read the book Animal Farm by George Orwell if you don't know what I'm talking about.
You need to look out for yourself. You need to see every advantage that there is in our great country while taking every disadvantage and turning it around for yourself. Nobody will EVER magically come into office, wave a wand, and make everybody's life full of rainbows with overflowing pots of gold in their backyards. Never gonna happen so stop thinking it will with the "next guy" (or gal). Bottom line: they're all the same and they're not in politics to make YOUR life better. They're in politics to make THEIR lives (including those who belong to the "elite") better.
With every disadvantage in this country, there are still a lot of advantages that you can benefit from. But it all starts with understanding WHAT you need to do and, most importantly, getting off your ass and doing something! Nothing happens by dreaming, wishing, and praying.
Action is the ONLY way to make changes in your life. Having a plan and then taking action can change anyone's life completely around within only a couple of months. You have every advantage. You are (presumably) in the United States and you speak English. So, the only one stopping you from having everything you want in life is...YOU!
Some of you are wearing me down to the bone, let me tell you.
Like this one f***** idiot in one of my mentorship groups -- a freaking GUY, of course -- who wants to make every excuse as to why he "doesn't understand" something or why he "can't do" something. I've gone above and beyond with email consulting, even had him call into the office several times to get the special hand-holding he needs for using the Cash Flow Evaluator (CFE) but...no, it's too easy to keep complaining rather than taking the help that is offered because, the reality is, he doesn't want to be successful. He just wants to complain.
Again, I seem to notice this pattern with these very weak, no balls men who keep showing up over and over again. I can't even remember the last time I had any of my female students flare up with a complex of apathy or outright excuse-making.
I'm thinking of buying a very large box of oversized tampons and I'll start sending these 10-inch tampons to every guy who complains about every little thing...telling him to jam it up his ass. That'll definitely "cure" their complaining, as they'll finally have something a little more pressing and legitimate to complain about. Hell, I'll even offer to fly out on my dime to shove it up his ass FOR him. And no, there won't be any lube offered in this complimentary tampon-ass jamming service.
Years ago (circa 2001) when I would do direct mail campaigns, I would actually pay extra to have all women eliminated from my mailing lists. This would cost me an extra $5 per thousand names. Back then I found that very few (if any) woman I would market to had almost no interest in building any kind of investment empire for herself and including the ladies in my direct mail campaigns proved to be a total waste of money.
Fast forward to about 2006 where there was a complete 180-degree change in the attitude among women that happen to get my mailer inadvertently; I found that there was a huge change in how they felt about wanting to take the bull by the horns and take a crack at doing the business. They would call me, enthusiastic and ambitious, willing to do whatever it took to change their lives.
What a difference only 5 years makes.
Since then, this "girl power" has gotten more and more aggressive as more women are ready to make their financial lives happen. You go, ladies! No, life isn't about finding some man to take care of you. In order to truly empower yourself, you can make money on your own and then you rule the roost.
Did you know that I've made more money than all of the men I've dated and have been married to you...combined? And it's relatively effortless as far as I see it.
You see, back when I was a know-it-all teenager, I used to tell my parents (in a rather snotty manner, I might add) that it's "easy" to start a business with nothing. My dad, of course, argued the latter with me, stating that this just wasn't the case in the real world.
Now, most teenagers are wrong about...well, most everything. But one thing you have to admire about the teen spirit is that their heads haven't been overly brainwashed by too many outside influences, namely the burden and disappointment of life...not yet anyway. There can be power in blindly thinking you know something when you're 15 years old, even if it mostly isn't true for the majority of how the real world works.
And that's ALWAYS been my belief system that just gets stronger and stronger by the day. It's EASY to make money and it's EASY to start a business with nothing.
I've proven this to be a REAL FACT over and over again. This started as a "foolish" and blind belief system I somehow got into my head in my early teen years and it's been substantiated as a fact time and time again, reinforcing this believe even stronger.
My first multi-million-dollar business cost me a few hundred dollars to start, in which I earned working as a waitress. I was 19 when I started the business. By the time I was in my early 20s, I was making about $60,000 a week. Yes, you read that correctly. I averaged $60,000 a f****** week from a simple mail order business. This was BEFORE the Internet, BEFORE social media bullshit, BEFORE email marketing, and even BEFORE I could get a merchant account to take credit cards. I didn't even have a phone number for people to call. I had them send me the order in the form of a check or money order.
And in case you're wondering what $60,000 a week ads up to be, that's over $3,000,000 a year.
I was barely 22 years old when I was hitting these numbers.
Of course, being as naive as I was at that time, I ended up losing everything including my business. So what? I just started over.
My next business was, again, started from scratch a handful of years after that. I had a low-limit credit card ($1,200) and I started another small mail order business with a few hundred dollars borrowed from that credit card.
And within a year, I had that business up into the millions...grossing over $4 million in its second year.
Again, it was started from "nothing."
But I am a different person than these whiny students of mine who want to make every excuse in the book as to why they CHOOSE to be mentally challenged.
Instead of seeing an obstacle, I see a way around the blockage. I figure out a way that it CAN be done instead of lining up a legal page full of reasons as to why something can't work.
And I guess that's the difference between ME and some of my bitching, complaining male students that I seem to have daily struggles with these days. (This is going to end very soon, by the way. I'm making some drastic changes that will be announced in December. Those of you coming to Detroit will know sooner, as I'll be announcing my exciting new plans there.)
This is also the difference between SUCCESS and FAILURE. You create your own failure by finding reasons as to why something isn't possible in your life. But when you stop telling yourself, "I can't" and replace it with, "I can" then everything starts to shift.
Then be willing to roll up your sleeves and get on with it. Start doing something. The universe can't send you checks from the clouds. You have to sell something to people or get out there and do something to get the money rolling in.
Pretty simple, right?
One of my most successful teaching tools are my mentorship groups because they force my students to go out into the real world over the course of several weeks and actually start doing things out there. These groups are 100% online but they make you do things to get your business kicked into gear.
Since it's "back to school fever" right now, it's time for you to go back to school too. Time for you to learn something new and to get the life you've been talking about for real this time.
You'll be able to get yourself back in school with a variety of mentorship groups I have going on between now and through January 2016 at a basement-bottom deal!
You don't learn anything new unless you make the effort and you are willing to do something about your life the way it is now. If you're not happy with it, MAKE THE CHANGES. The changes don't happen by themselves. Wishing for a better life will never happen unless you DO something about it.
And that starts today. Start doing something about it right now.
Last night I had to run to the grocery store to get a loaf of bread, milk, eggs, and a few other things. I find it to be highly odd and rather unbelievable that people who are in the business of doing a menial simple task (that would take 5 minutes worth of training TOTAL) can actually screw something up so badly.
Long story short, the milk ended up on the top of the bread in the bag, smashing it into something that resembled a wet pita. Not even the birds would have any use in bread that's smashed and doughy (because of the sweat from the milk). And a few of my eggs broke, as the lame-oid who bagged my groceries apparently decided that throwing them into the bag sideways was the way to go.
Again, we're talking about a job that requires MAYBE 5 minutes in training for the entire life of the position. Ten minutes in training for those who are especially dense and slow. And even then, my experience with grocery baggers these days are somewhat in the range of around 1/3 of them who can actually bag the items correctly.
I shutter at the prospect that any of these people may inadvertently slip into a position such as being a brain surgeon or air traffic controller.
So we always circle back to the question: Where did all the common sense go? I think by the time you're in kindergarten, you'd have an idea that it's not a particularly smart idea to put a bowling ball on top of a sack of potato chips so...what happens to that common sense afterwards?
I have a theory. Of course, this is ONLY a theory. But I'm noticing that this lacking of common sense tends to pull more toward the Millennial crowd. Gen X seems to have been the last reliable and innovative generation and then it rapidly went downhill from that point on.
During one of my recent business trips, I started watching this movie called Idiocracy (2006) with Luke Wilson. It's basically about a Pentagon experiment that had gone wrong and left this "average intelligence" guy shoved into the future via a time machine. There (500 years from now) he discovers that he is, in fact, highly intelligent since the average intelligence of the average American had slipped well below even where most mentally challenged people are now on the IQ scale. While this was a comedy, I couldn't help but to see the truth in how this future could be our possibility...but in much less than 500 years.
Try about 50 years.
I'm not one to place a myriad of blame on any specific source of why I think people are mentally going down the tubes like this. I figure there has to be many factors involved including these possibilities:
1) The EASY button mentality. Kids these days seem to think that anything and everything is merely a click away. Any physical exertion beyond the point of a computer mouse, video game controller, or swipe of an iPad means that they simply have no interest in doing it. Plus...what's the worst that can happen when you "die"? I think you just hit "respawn" or "restart" and everything starts from scratch. There are no consequences to any actions with the EASY and RESTART buttons involved. There is also no need to get off their asses at all since everything is at their fingertips. I believe that all this iPad/video game/computer activity numbs the brain more than we think.
2) Skewed and media hype coupled with being barraged with Internet disinformation. Did you know that nobody in Europe even knows who the hell the Kardashians are? Yet Yahoo! "News" jumps on every little thing those useless people do. And this whole deal with Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner? What the f***? (Need I say more??) Isn't there anything ELSE in the news to talk about? By the way, most of these blog online news stories are churned out as fast as possible by "writers" who barely graduated college, have absolutely no life experience, and base their "research" on the rest of the bogus blogger crap they find online, thus giving out even more misinformation with each "news article" that they write. Add this to just adding fuel to the fire by purposely omitting essential details to a story and adding a writer's "opinion" and this is where things can get dangerous for malleable minds reading any given article. Unfortunately, our kids (and many others, believe it or not) who don't have the basic common sense mechanism in their brains needed to sniff out bullshit versus reality will believe anything and everything they read. Sad really. It's almost better to know nothing at all than have a load of baseless useless nonsense wasting valuable space within your brain cells.
3) A global attack on our personal health. This can include all the clouds of gas that the U.S. Airforce is generously spraying in the sky on a daily basis along with the chemicals they put in the water because it's "good" for us (including the use of fluoride which is actually NOT good for us ATALL). And if you're a meat eater (including consuming dead cows, pigs, and birds), you're getting it even worse with the vast collection of hormones and pesticides that come in your meat, all complimentary of course. This is why girls are developing at a much earlier age. This is why cancer is becoming rampant and uncontrollable, happening in larger numbers than ever before. Did you ever think that maybe it's from all the crap in the air, all the hormones from our food...and now from GMOs?? All of this, of course, affects our brain function and whether we can think clearly...or at all. And if you have ANY of the disadvantages I've outlined in #1 and/or #2 then you're definitely going to see an impact on your thinking process. In fact, if you are guilty of #1 and #2 then I'm fairly certain that you didn't even read down this far, as I would have lost you in the first sentence of this email.
You can't fix stupid but you can at least TRY to do something about it. First, start with your health. Cut your meat consumption. Drastically, if possible. Clean up your diet as much as you can. Eat organic fruits and veggies. Get on a regular exercise program. Clean out your colon with a cleanse. Do what YOU can.
No, you can't change everything but this is NOT an "all or nothing" type of deal. You can't breathe different air unless you plan on carrying an oxygen tank on your back at all hours of the day and night. You're not going to avoid every hormone or pesticide in your food. But you CAN cut some of the damage down by a significant percentage and this alone will make a big impact.
Then you'll start to THINK CLEARER. Once you think clearer, you can start rising above the rest of the dummies that grace this planet and realize success like you've never imagined.
I have another theory and that is this: Do only 7% better and you'll be happier, healthier, and wealthier than you've ever dreamed of!
And doing 7% better only means doing better than what you are doing now. It really has nothing to do with what everybody else is doing out there because, well...who really cares what everyone else is doing? Right?
This means getting healthier, educating yourself, create meaningful goals for yourself in all areas of your life, generate a doable action plan to achieve those goals and, most importantly, get off your ass and start working the plan. Don't let the noise and chatter of what everyone else is doing, thinking, and talking about become a distraction because, as we've established, they're mostly dopes anyway.
And by the way, stop watching the news. Stop reading stupid Yahoo! News articles. Focus on yourself and what you need to do to reach your goals. That's all you have to do.
And, finally, realize that there isn't an EASY button. Be willing to roll up your sleeves and do what it takes to achieve whatever you want in life. If you're willing to do that then...the world is your oyster.
Back to the grind, as of today. But I've been going through my emails and apparently while I've been gone (all last week), my investor partners have been busy getting deals together with my students and there were a total of 4 deals put under contract last week. This adds up to be a total of $6.2 million in deals when adding together these 4 deals.
So, I guess it pays for me to relax a little while just letting things be. Truth be told, I've been getting very stressed out in these past few months and I really needed to get away before I ruptured a nerve or collapsed from a stroke.
Yes, my life is that stressful. I'm already wound like a stretched-to-the-max rubber band. Add any type of fuel to the fire and I'm equivalent to an atomic bomb with that ticking time clock thing attached...with only 29 seconds left until detonation.
With the good, though, there's always the bad that comes along with it. There have been a slew of deals that were rejected by my investor partners for several reasons. And, unfortunately, these reasons were completely avoidable if these students would have simply followed my very basic short list of instructions.
Here are some of the big reasons for the rejections:
1) A couple of students decided not to do a mini business plan (as required) and, instead, chose to use the Offering Memorandum (OM) provided by the listing agent and/or brokerage firm. While I did my best to weed these out before sending them off, it was getting really intense at the very end and I found myself forwarding pre-approved deals (off the CFE) to the investor it was designated for. As long as there was a PDF (for the biz plan) and an Excel file (for the CFE), it got forwarded.
Here's the problem with sending the listing agents OM: it has the listing agent and brokerage firm's contact information ALL OVER the OM. Furthermore, it can't possibly include details about the exit strategy including the deal being a buy-and-hold property for 3 to 5 years...or any information about the proposed equity splity (67/33) and how much the investor partner would stand to make in both equity and cash flow over the life of the deal.
So...ALL of those deals that included the OM were rejected right off the bat. This is what happens when my students get lazy. They choose to lazily use the hard work of the listing agent and end up getting nothing in the end because they didn't at least want to take the time to print off then retype the OM in a NEW document while implementing the student's unique information NEEDED to execute the deal.
Oh well...can't retrain stupid.
2) It became clear in some of the deals that the student (but more so probably the seller or listing agent) were lying about the numbers of the property. While I do a damn good job weeding through CFEs and pretty much know whether the expense ratio is way off BEFORE submitting anything to my investor partner, sometimes I can't catch everything before it weasels its way through the crack.
Here's what I mean: you can't realistically have a 40-unit apartment building located in Chicago that has an expense ratio of 25%. Not possible. A building of that size located in a cold climate is going to cost about 55% (minimum) to operate. That's 55% of the Gross Operating Income (GOI). So, if the GOI (annually) is $100,000, it'll cost $55,000 of that $100,000 to operate that property. Yet I kept getting CFEs showing some super low Gross Operating Expense (GOE) number and I'd laugh like..."As if this property can operate at a MUCH LOWER cost than every other property of that size in the SAME area!"
A lot of deals did get rejected based on this.
Listen, it's NOT CHEAP to do due diligence. Furthermore, when you're dealing with people like me and my investor partners, we know what it costs to operate a multifamily property whether it's an apartment building or mobile home park and whether it's in Georgia or Missouri. So...trying to slide a deal in at a much lowerGOE than what's realistically possible or probable to operate that property isn't going to fly. You're not getting anywhere by trying to cheat the system because we already know what the rules are in this business. It's like telling a pilot of an aircraft who has been flying for decades that his Boeing 747 can fly 900 miles an hour. He'll freaking laugh in your face. Not possible.
So, when you or the listing agent (or even the seller) is blatantly lying about how much it costs (itemized) to operate a property and we look at it knowing that it's not possible, you're expecting us to then participate in the costly endeavor of doing due diligence. This is when the lies are uncovered. After we've spent thousands of dollars doing forensic accounting on the docs given up by the seller, we suddenly realize (GASP!) that we were right all along! In the initial income/expense sheet seller "forgot" to including the sewage bill and "forgot" to include additional marketing costs and "forgot" to include the phone bill...on and on and on.
When you're the one willing to throw good money away like that, you realize that it's better to be smart on the front-end and simply KNOW (based on experience) what each type/size building costs to operate in various parts of the country. Again, this is based on vast experience developed over several years and not something we are simply trying to invent to reject your deal. (Trust me; these investors WANTyour deals if they're as profitable as you say they are!)
3) CAP rate was too low on a lot of rejected deals. Some students tried to slip in deals that were at a 7% or 8% CAP when the instructions CLEARLY STATED that the CAP had to be at or above 9%. No exceptions.
So, it went back to chiseling expenses off, hoping no one would notice, to get the CAP rate up there (in some cases) while other deals were just sent in at a CAP below the 9%.
Again, this goes back to the expense ratio. If the expense ratio was pushed down to 25% to push the CAP rate over 9% then...that's a really easy scam for us to ferret out. Others did a much more complicated job in boosting the CAP including eliminating all management costs or removing required expenses such as snow removal (in colder climates) or landscaping. I guess we were supposed to believe that the student was going to perform these services in lieu of a professional service.
While I'm all for saving money, it has to be realistic. We investors have to be able to know that if we need to sell the property one day, we can show these numbers (including management, landscaping, snow removal, etc.) to another investor who may not want to provide these services on his or her own.
Additionally, some lenders want to see a minimum of a 7% allocation off the GOI for management costs to ensure that a management service is affordable. A lender also wants to see replacement costs (which is a mandatory 2.5% of the GOI) to ensure that you'll have enough money when things break down and go wrong with the property. Many students removed these essential costs as well, hoping we wouldn't notice.
Here's the bottom line:
I'm assuming that most of you are in this real estate game to eventually acquire passive income properties for yourself so that you can enjoy a lifetime of financial freedom. If you don't know certain things because you're new at this -- such as how much it costs (GOE) of your gross annual rental receipts from tenants (GOE) in your particular city/state area that you are choosing to invest -- LEARN this information. There's no excuse as to why you can't take a weekend and simply LEARN the business because it's not that hard, folks. It really isn't!
So...back to what I was talking about earlier. The $6.2 million in deals. Remember, we had $7 million in down payment money to work with which leverages us around $25,000,000 to $30,000,000 depending on down payment size. Most residential-commercial buildings require a 20% down payment while MHPs require 30% to 35%.
And we're nowhere near $25,000,000 to $30,000,000 in property deals.
Based on the reports I've received from my investors on the deals that have been submitted, we're not going to hit our mark as we had hoped.
Looks like I'll have to make an offering at my next Detroit event to fill in the gaps on these deals. This is NOT what I wanted to do. The same deal will apply, however. Those who attend the event can participate. Everyone else...no can do.
Many of you know that I'm a feng shui believer. And for those of you who have NO CLUE about feng shui, I'll give you the one-second explanation: it's an Asian technique to "refocus" energy in your house and work space to make significant changes in your life.
I know...sounds a little "hokey pokey." At least that's what I thought before I became a huge believer by seeing the things feng shui have done for my life.
I've told the story in a couple of my seminar events in years past. About 15 years ago I had a lawsuit that tore my entire personal and professional life apart...down to losing absolutely everything I had.
Me and my 2nd husband (at the time) ended up moving into a rental house that was (and still is) owned by his mother. She allowed us to move in without paying her any rent until we got our sh** together.
Now I'll admit. All I focused on was my prosperity corner. I didn't care about anything else at that time. I followed the suggestions by first cleaning up the space. That corner happened to be the master bedroom closet which was a disorganized disaster. I thoroughly cleaned out and organized the space then added purple (construction paper) in that corner. (Purple is a very powerful prosperity color next to red and gold.)
I went to Michael's and bought a wooden treasure chest that I painted purple then glued a ton of jewels inside; the book suggests putting things in the prosperity corner that represent wealth and a treasure chest came to mind. (I still have that same treasure chest in my prosperity corner as we speak. It's now 15 years old...cute little thing.)
Next, I bought something called Abundance Oilby Young Living. (Available at Amazon.com.) I put this on a small Buddha that I put in my corner.
And that was it.
I didn't even put in a desk fountain (which I should have done to magnify the results much quicker) at this point.
During that time, my future was pretty bleak and hopeless.
Fast forward one year from that date...I had a successful multi-million-dollar company and was building a custom home with a pool from the ground up.
It happened so fast but yet "naturally gradual," if that makes sense. It wasn't like I bought a lotto ticket and was an overnight millionaire but the opportunities came and came and came some more! Before I knew it, I was back on top!
Now, here's what feng shui WON'T do for you. It won't make the money for you. It won't take any action for you. But it WILL allow opportunities to come through. It will give you ideas that you never had before. It'll send magic your way. It's up to you on how you follow through. It's up to you to put some type of action plan into place because it'll do nothing for you if you won't unglue your ass from the couch.
So...a couple of weeks ago I was starting to feel stuck with a couple of career/business decisions. Plus business seemed a little too slow for my liking. So, I amped up my prosperity corners.
At the office, I have a fountain that runs 24/7 in my prosperity corner. I put loads of the Abundance Oil in the fountain over the course of a couple days.
At home, I have my master bathroom in my prosperity corner (upstairs). And this sucks. The worst thing you could ever have in your property corner is a toilet. I don't exactly have a toilet but I have a bathtub. When I moved into my house, I painted the tub plug red and I keep it plugged all the time when the tub is not in use. This has helped keep the energy from being sucked down the tubes. Literally.
But I have 2 sinks that are next to the tub and I keep those open. This apparently was presenting a problem in my prosperity. Not only was business slow but my expenses were increasing for some reason.
So...I bought these rocks. That's right. Medium-sized pebble rocks of 2 colors: white/clear and purple. I put these rocks in each sink, sitting on the stopper in each one. And I added a feng shui mirror to sit on the side of the bathtub to push the energy to the ceiling instead of letting it fall to the bottom of the tub.
That's all I did.
Within 2 weeks my business has quadrupled with NO additional effort on my part.
So, when I tell you this stuff works...it means THIS STUFF WORKS even if it sounds "hokey pokey" or weird.
Trust me. When I first started with this, I felt weird. I felt stupid putting purple construction paper in my cleaned-out closet. I felt lame painting a treasure chest purple and gluing jewels all over it. But I gave it a chance. And it worked.
I recommend that you at least put a small fountain in your prosperity corner in your home and in your office. That corner is located to the far back left of where your front door is. So when standing at your front door, imagine where the far back left corner of your house is. That's your prosperity corner. And if you have 2 stories, you have 2 prosperity corners to contend with.
When I've recommended that students use this technique, they've been shocked at how magical that it works.
But there's another part to this. You can't just sit on your ass and do nothing. You have to implement some type of plan or strategy so that the magic can happen for you.