Met up with Laurie Ford in Ontario on May 8, 2013. She was one of the first two people to contact me when she found this blog about fitness trainer Jose Cruz and his unscrupulous business activities. She knew him ten years ago, and has an outstanding judgement that she is still waiting to serve him with. We had a lovely dinner. It was like meeting up with a long lost friend. Laurie is an amazing lady.
This is a newsletter written by one of my business coaches, Andrew Barber-Starkey. I love it because he nailed it.
This weekend I participated in a great event called Speed Coaching that was organized by Shawn Bearman. We had a group of highly qualified coaches on hand. Small business owners who attended were able to have a 20-minute coaching session with several different coaches to gain a variety of perspectives. It was fun and had a huge impact on those who received the coaching.
I coached eight people who wanted to accelerate their business results. They were very nice people and clearly good at what they did. But I saw one quality in them that I believe was a huge obstacle preventing them from achieving their goals and it may be the same for you, too.
The obstacle? They were being very ordinary.
There is nothing wrong with being ordinary. By definition most people are. The problem – the results these people wanted and expected were not ordinary. They wanted extraordinary results but were being ordinary. I see the same in ProCoach. You would not be a member of ProCoach if you wanted ordinary results yet I see far too many of our members being very ordinary.
The problem is that people who are being ordinary do not achieve extraordinary results. Either you choose to be ordinary and come to grips with the fact that you are going to have ordinary results and live an ordinary life. Or you choose to be extraordinary and enjoy the fruits of your actions and behaviours.
Here is the most important part. There is no such thing as an extraordinary person. Those who get extraordinary results are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things. You can be extraordinary in any situation. It is a moment by moment phenomenon. Being extraordinary is all about who you choose to be and what you choose to do in a given situation.
This week I encourage you to observe yourself and notice where you are extraordinary; pat yourself on the back for that. More importantly, notice where you are being ordinary and ask yourself if those behaviours are helping you create the business and life you want.
Tape a sign to your mirror or send yourself an email with the question, “am I being ordinary or extraordinary in this situation?” Keep it in the front of your mind and make decisions that lead you to the life you really want!
Have a great week!
Andrew Barber-Starkey and the ProCoach Team
This blog is in response to a frequently asked question. I’ve replied to dozens of similar questions and here is my answer to this question:
I’m a real estate investor and thinking of creating multiple sources of income. Should I become a real estate agent or property manager?
I asked a similar question to a mentor when I was starting out as a real estate investor. I asked him if I should become a licensed real estate agent. He answered my question with a question.
Why do I want to be a real estate agent?
A real estate agent has access to the MLS, can see what is on the market, research the market. This seemed to be a perfect fit. It would make investing easier, wouldn’t it?
The next question was: What is my long-term goal in real estate investing?
My answer: To create passive income through real estate investments, syndicating purchase of apartment buildings with investors.
Mentor’s reply: If my plan is to be a real estate investor, then be a real estate investor. If my plan is to be a real estate agent, then become a real estate agent. Becoming a real estate agent is not becoming a real estate investor. Also, if you plan to syndicate deals, having a real estate license will hinder and sometimes prohibit your ability to do so because of conflict of interest.
Mind you, there are real estate agents who invest in real estate. The focus of becoming a licensed real estate agent is to buy and sell property, and to mediate the negotiation process between buyer and seller. That is the focus of a real estate agent. Investing would be a secondary focus. And know that the attrition rate of real estate agents who graduate is over 95% who quit within the first year. Call your local licensing body and ask them. They warn you up front before registering.
Regarding property management, this is where the real business of real estate investing takes place after you buy. Good management increases the value of the property. Poor management can lead to significant financial consequences.
In my opinion, becoming a property manager and a real estate investor makes the best fit. As an investor, you know the bottom line that you are seeking. As a property manager, you know how to manage the building and tenants well to maintain its value.
The key thing is to define your intention for generating income because that will become your focus. Remember, you get what you focus on.
Have you ever heard of the Biosphere experiment? The University of Arizona built a $200 million self-contained biosphere of the planet in the 1980’s. They discovered that without wind to create stress, the trees in the biosphere were weak and fell over. The lack of stress in an environment is actually detrimental to its being able to flourish and thrive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2
I was reflecting on this after reading another Human Resource issue that surfaced over the weekend. HR is a department that is constantly challenged as the number of people increase in proportion to the growth of the company. The issues are constant because people require constant management whether you are responding to staff, suppliers, tenants, contractors or stakeholders. And knowing this, it is imperative that your staff is clear on your core values, mission, vision and purpose, including your team member’s vision. Second to this is creating protocols and systems to assist in streamlining the various inputs for maximum efficiency. Sounds simple enough but it’s not easy. It takes a plan and time to implement and establish that foundation.
Consider it a gift and a blessing for the wind in your business. For without the wind, there would be no positive stress to create a strong team. In the book “The Fifth Discipline” by Peter M. Senge, he explains that the essence of personal mastery is learning how to generate and sustain creative tension in our lives. Creative tension is the energy between current reality to future desired reality. You can choose to direct this energy for positive growth or choose to ignore it to maintain the status quo. And remember that there is no such thing as status quo. If a tree is not growing, it is automatically dying. This is a universal principle. The same principle applies to your business and to your people. Be grateful for the wind for it is helping you to create a team that can weather any storm.
Jose Cruz, the scammer, has been located in Surrey and served. This has been 3 years in the waiting for Jose to return to British Columbia. He was served a Notice of Hearing and did not show up on March 1, 2011 at which time I was awarded a Default Payment Order. He fled the province and bounced around from Alberta, Ontario and Las Vegas. A kind person contacted me and informed me that Jose was now living in the Morgan Creek area. After further investigation and more friends coming to my assistance, discovered he lives at #319 – 15735 Croydon Drive, South Surrey in The Shops at Morgan Creek plaza. He has already scammed many people at the Steve Nash Sports Club located there. This man is a professional con and preys on men and women at these fitness gyms. He has ripped off so many people that I felt it incumbent upon me to pursue him, if not for me, then for the other innocent people he would defraud. And the sad thing is that he owes his ex-wife over $35,000 in child support payments.
If Jose does not show up on the hearing date scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. Robson Square Provincial Court, 800 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC, then the judge will issue a warrant for his arrest.
October 29, 2010 is when my Jeep was repossessed and discovered that I was the victim of a very common auto scam. Jose had placed a loan a month earlier with the Jeep as collateral. He sold the Jeep to me with no intention of paying off that loan. You can see why many people simply give up or don’t bother to go through the legalities as it is time consuming and costs more money to pursue justice.
I don’t know how we can stop him from hurting more people because he knows how to circumvent the legal system. My satisfaction comes from putting a stop to this man with my case and hopefully preventing anyone else from being conned by him again.
Once again, here is his picture. I have done my part. If anyone out there has a grievance with Jose, please feel free to attend the hearing on May 21, 2013 so the judge can see that there are many other victims.
Thank you all for helping me on this journey for justice. I would not have been able to find him without you.
John has sold over 21 million books.
His newest book is “The 15 Laws of Growth”.
John explains that growth doesn’t continue unless it is intentional.
We all have accidental spurts of growth from unplanned experiences.
If you don’t know what to do with that growth, you pretty much lose the benefits.
Be purposeful every day do the right things that will allow you to be in an environment that will let you grow, access those growth opportunities and maximize those growth opportunities.
Every day the people you meet have something to teach you.
The places you go, you have something to experience.
When in his early 30’s, his mentor advised him to read great books, hang with great people and create great memories.
Ask yourself every day: “What am I doing today that is going to help me be better tomorrow?”
Go in with a learner’s attitude, a beginner’s mindset.
Experience is not the best teacher, never has been.
If somebody says that, it’s not true.
Evaluated experience is the best teacher.
The most important of the 15 Laws of Growth to John is the Law of Consistency.
Know that all 15 laws are equally important, they are all independent, all self-fulfilling laws and they work better when working together, interdependently.
John’s Consistency Track Record:
teaching leadership for 40 years
writing about leadership for 35 years
resourcing people for 32 years, through audio, workbooks, training programs
speaking since 1969 or 44 years
The law of consistency has really worked for John. He has done a few things well for a long period of time. When you keep doing those main things for a long period of time, there begins to have a compounding effect. It’s a result of working at it consistently and faithfully for 40 years. The magic moment isn’t a moment. It’s a recognition by others.
Motivation gets you going but discipline keeps you growing.
We all know what it’s like to be motivated with the adrenaline high and how short-lived motivation is. It’s not the decision I make when I’m motivated that determines my success. It’s the discipline I have when I’m not motivated.
And consistency is the discipline of doing the right thing every day whether you feel like doing it or you don’t.
“The key to leadership is self-management.” – John C. Maxwell
I had the privilege of hearing John speak on the main stage at the 20th Anniversary USANA Convention held in Salt Lake City in August 2012, to an audience of about 8000+ distributors from around the world. It was my plan to meet him at his book signing later that evening and I couldn’t find him. The venue was so vast and the announcement was not specific as to his exact location. I hope to meet up with him again this August if he is invited back to the USANA Convention, and this time get a picture with him as I did with Darren Hardy himself.
The bolded section resonated with me because John so elegantly articulated the path to success. Success is not achieved through hype and motivation. You’ve experienced not keeping a New Year’s Resolution. I think we’ve all learned that the hard way. Although it may not sound sexy and glamorous, the results that bear fruit from consistency are definitely sexy and glamorous.
When we do joint venture, and only one of the partners is putting the down payment and signing on the mortgage, what do you suggest for that? KdM
Here are some things to consider.
You don’t necessarily want or need all the partners to be on title because this will affect the group’s ability to get financing for future projects. For example, if all the partners went on title on 3 purchases, your Debt Coverage Ratio will be maxed out for any future financings. When you stagger the purchases so only one partner goes on title, you can as a group purchase more property.
You must have a written joint venture agreement or partnership agreement signed by all partners before the deal closes specifying the title holder of the property and the beneficial owners of the property, and your proportionate ownership in the property.
It is highly recommended that the exit strategy be as detailed and specific as possible. Generalizing the exit strategy creates confusion and misinterpretation later on.
You must agree in writing how the profits are to be distributed, when the profits are to be distributed, at what intervals (if any).
You must also discuss how to handle the death or incapacitation of a partner. How will you handle the dissolution of the property? Will you do this via the estate and liquidate? Have you discussed Power of Attorney? You have to decide how you are going to manage the property in the event of a dispute, disagreement, mental or physical incompetence and death. It’s called getting the divorce out of the way so you can focus on the investment.
If you don’t have an agreement in place, then the title holder has all the rights to the property. If the title holder chooses to sell the property, they can do so without the other partner’s consent or knowledge. Unless a lien or caveat is placed against the property to prevent the title holder from selling the property in this fashion.
It’s tempting to skip the written agreement and the lien in the euphoria of the deal, thinking that a gentleman’s agreement and hand shake is all it takes. Actually, it is all it takes because verbal agreements are legal and binding, but you’d have to prove it in a court of law. The person with the most documentation is in the superior position. This means that the title holder who has the most documentation has the superior ownership position.
Putting one partner on title is a common practice. Some investors don’t want to go on title and incur a liability on their net worth statement. Just make sure that you have your beneficial ownership status recognized in a document formalizing the arrangement.
This is not meant to be legal or accounting advice. This is an observation from my experience. Please seek out professional advice as every partnership has different and unique set of requirements.
May I recommend Jonathan Reilly of English Bay Law Corporation to assist you with your partnership agreement (email@example.com)
Andrew Barber-Starkey’s brand new seminar “How To Take Your Business From Surviving To Thriving”
Andrew’s been working on this seminar virtually full-time since last October and at last it is ready to launch. It is without question the most powerful seminar he has ever created. He is both excited and terrified about it. Deep in his heart, Andrew gets the sense that this is going to have a profound impact on both your quality of life and your ability to achieve your goals.
I am proud to be hosting the Langley launch of this seminar on Tuesday, March 26 at the 203 Business Centre, starting at 7:00 p.m. I look forward to seeing you there, and cheering Andrew on. He has a true passion for helping small business owners and entrepreneurs. Andrew is bottom-line and results-oriented. That’s why many of his students have more than doubled, tripled, quadrupled their income, time off and speed to financial freedom.
Here are some words from Andrew:
Have you ever wondered why some small business owners are more successful than others?
I have. In fact I have been obsessed with that question for the past 23 years.
And I have found some answers I would like to share with you.
14 years ago I made a profound discovery that allowed me to go from swimming in debt and struggling financially to earning a personal income of over $200,000 per year; and from worrying that I would never have enough money to retire to becoming a self-made millionaire.
I am writing to you today because I have created a brand new seminar in which I reveal the one discovery that changed everything for me.
And I would like you to attend as my guest, free of charge.
Check out the full details now at http://www.procoachsystem.com/thriving/A248-0412
This seminar is less than two hours long and goes to the heart of everything I have learned that really works. It changed everything for me and when you attend it will do the same for you.
Registration for this seminar starts today. Space is limited so check out the full details now at http://www.procoachsystem.com/thriving/A248-0412
Give us a call if you have any questions. I hope to see you there!
Andrew Barber-Starkey , Master Certified Coach
Founder and President, ProCoach Success System
P.S. This seminar is designed for small business owners and self-employed professionals who already have an established business and have a serious desire to create a breakthrough in their personal performance and business results.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Paul G. Stoltz, author of The Adversity Quotient and The Adversity Advantage, and listening to his wonderful pearls of wisdom. The average person experiences about 33 adversities per day. It is how they respond that measures their resilience (the capacity to strengthen and improve by adversity). A person can respond in five ways to handle adversity:
Avoiding | Surviving | Coping || Managing || Harnessing
The normal human life is spent on the bottom three responses of Avoiding, Surviving and Coping. An adversity alchemist is able to convert adversity into high octane fuel. These people understand that by harnessing adversity, it can propel them into a place they would never have been able to achieve without the adversity.
The human brain has this incredible ability called neuroplasticity, the ability to rewire instantly. The brain can hardwire new patterns with amazing speed, either good or bad patterns. He has personally seen the brain scan results from multiple different hospitals and patients. Please realize that Linguistic and Musical skills are learned at an early age and not so well in adult brains, so he isn’t referring to these two skills as neuroplastic. The research shows that humans respond to adversity in hardwired patterns.
In a study of life insurance agents (sorry, didn’t write down the study reference), 80% of life insurance agents quit in the first year. The higher AQ sales people earned 90% more in sales than their lower AQ counterparts. The insurance industry is well aware that a person’s AQ produces a predictable sales result. A person’s AQ is also a mega predicter of human health. People with higher AQ tend to live a decade longer.
The revelation is: “I CHING”.
The response is everything.
The event is irrelevant.
It’s the response that matters.
A little bit about Paul G. Stoltz (www.peaklearning.com). He is considered the world’s leading expert on the science of measuring and strengthening human resilience. Based on more than 37,000 studies worldwide, AQ is extremely predictive of financial success and other personal factors such as health, happiness, energy, performance, wealth. Harvard Business School selected AQ as a global best practice which it includes in both its Executive Education and MBA programs. Top investment firms use AQ to improve real financial and investment results.
I know that for me, when faced with an adversity big or small, it is the question that I ask myself in that moment that determines my outcome. Am I asking a resourceful question or a self-defeating one? For example, I used to say “Why does this always happen to me?” Now that it not a very useful question. It’s a rather pathetic question and clearly indicates that I used to disempower myself quite often. Through rigorous training and several powerful and inspiration mentors and role models, I turned this question into “How can I create the opportunity? What are my learnings?” And guess what? You end up with drastically different answers depending on the question you ask yourself.
If you’re going to flip a property, then become an expert at flipping. If you’re flipping a property as a way to generate a lump sum of cash for another project, then you need to take a look at the other project and your reason for flipping.
It takes on average two to three years to become good at real estate investing in a specific niche market. It’s not wise to jump around in different types of real estate investing when you first get started because you never become proficient at any of them. You merely obtain mediocrity.
This subject came up during a conversation with a newbie investor whose desire was to flip two or three properties and would use the cash from those flips to buy an apartment building. First of all, this investor has no experience with flips, has not researched any markets except on a surface level through Real Estate agents, has no idea what supplies cost or how to General Contract the different trades. The dream of flipping properties and making a profit was evident. The skillset to actually pull this off was not evident. However, if this investor had a plan to volunteer sweat equity and work for free for someone who has a successful track record at flipping properties, that’s another story. This is a more cost effective strategy than attempting to flip a property with no experience and potentially risking investor capital out of ignorance, but with loads of good intention.
The fact is you can flip in practically any market. It doesn’t have to be Phoenix or Florida or Las Vegas to make decent money in flips. I know local investors who make a more than decent living flipping properties in Surrey, Langley, Coquitlam, the Fraser Valley. I know local investors who have the ability to flip properties in other provinces. They flip properties because they enjoy it. The savvy flippers created a solid cash flow base with ongoing passive income so they never have to worry about money if a flip goes sideways.
Let’s take a look at the newbie investor’s original reason for flipping properties. Get enough cash saved up to buy an apartment building. I’m explaining how to joint venture the deal as a no-money-down play when I realized something was amiss. Why can’t this investor buy the apartment building now with no cash saved up? I don’t need my own money to buy an apartment. I bought a $1.6 million building in 2012 with none of my own money, negotiated a 10% equity stake and also take a management fee. If the multi-plex is this investor’s end goal, then why go off-track in a completely different area of real estate investing when they should be focusing their learning curve in this arena.
Every real estate investment that I flipped was not its original intention. It was part of a list of options with the primary focus (referred to as Option A) on long-term hold for ongoing cash flow and passive income. The minimum holding period was five years as most mortgages come with a 5-year term. Option B was to refinance in 5 years or sooner if the property appreciated more than 25%. Option C was to either (a) distribute the refinancing to the stakeholders or (b) buy another investment property. Option D was to sell to another real estate investor. Option E was to condo convert the building and sell off the units individually (which is a form of flipping).
In the worst case scenario, if the flip took longer than anticipated or if the market goes into a downturn, then your back-up plan should always be to rent the property out and cash flow it until the market conditions are conducive to flipping again. Otherwise there is little point in flipping properties if your timing and your systems are less than profitable.
If your ultimate goal is to own an apartment, then why are you wasting time learning how to flip properties. The model for buying an apartment is very different from flipping a single-family dwelling. And it’s not serving your money partners if you have no real plan to become an expert in flipping. How would your investors feel if they knew the flip was an interim project, one of three or four or five? How would your investors feel if they knew their money was at risk while you are going through your learning curve? Do you plan to become an expert and therefore produce better and higher returns? Or do you plan on being mediocre until the “real” project comes along?
Commit to your desired real estate niche and become an expert. Then share your knowledge and expertise with others, give one-on-one or group-on-one mentorship, host seminars and Meetups, write columns for newspapers and magazines, blog about your experiences, create value.
It’s when you create value for others when the real money shows up, whether you choose to flip or not. How can I add value to other people? This is the real reason for investing.