What is the first business related thing you think about when you wake up and/or go to bed? I had a paper route as a kid so I tend to rise early. While specifics vary according to the challenges of the day, I find my pre-dawn hours are my best time for reflection, introspection, deep reading and journaling.  I wake up every day with the goal of going to bed a better person having made the world just a tiny bit better. I tend to focus on systems: Solve the problem then fix the system that allowed it to occur. The challenge is to do it in an Efficient AND Effective (E&E) way. Anyone can solve a problem efficiently, i.e. using few resources by slapping a band aid on it or painting over rust, but the problem quickly returns. Often the fastest way out of a complex situation is the quickest way back in. Anyone can solve a problem effectively i.e. using (wasting) a million dollars. Only the best can create E&E solutions.

How did you get started in real estate/property management? Did you have investors to help you financially with your first purchase? It was all Boot Straps! Nothing or low down payment, high leverage financing, most if not all owner/seller provided. I was never afraid to ask and it didn’t bother me to be told no. When you lack money, you get VERY creative! No investors until way down the road. My very first purchase, I put $1000 down with owner financing for the balance. I lived upstairs and rented out the downstairs for enough to go a LONG way toward paying the mortgage. When I graduated, I’d been happy living as a student so I figured, why change my life style? I saved like a fiend: I chose not to upgrade my lifestyle, no new car, minimum number of necessary business outfits, no new furniture, toys or vacations and I used my savings to buy my next rental when I returned to grad school.

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