What would your advice be for someone new trying to get their start in purchasing real estate/properties to manage? Go read Real Estate Investing Gone Bad: 21 true stories of what NOT to do when investing in real estate and flipping houses.

How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else? In high school, I used to say, “Success is the ability to bend reality to your own desire.”. My goal in business was freedom, being my own boss, charting my own course. My original investing in real estate goal was simply to create an outside income stream, something to give me some modicum of independence and financial freedom. However, quite frankly, I’m so stubborn and bull headed that in the long run I probably had few viable choices but to be self-employed if I was to be happy. I retired once when I was about 30. I’d acquired a couple dozen rentals at the rate of three or four/year and had achieved a modest middle-class life style, which was all my initial goal had been. Indeed, study after study shows that beyond a middle to upper middle-class life style, money doesn’t really add to happiness. But my retirement (mainly lying in a hammock in my front yard, reading science fiction) only last 90 days or so. I got bored and decided that I had to test myself, create a challenge, see how far I could take it, for the gold medal in business. For example:

“We choose do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.” –  JFK (Moonshot speech)

When you compete in the Olympics, it is not for the gold in the medal, that at most is worth a few paltry dollars. Rather, it is because for one shining moment, you were the BEST in your chosen field! So, I define success as being the very best you can be, for giving anything less than your best is to sacrifice your gift and that I most emphatically refuse to do! Never quit on the bridge!

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier