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Are you ready for the three words that, when put into action on a consistent basis, can change your life?
Here are the 3 words that, once put into action on a consistent basis, can change your life.
Action eliminates fear.
Once you take action, and continue to take action on a regular basis, your fears will be lessened.
Why is taking action so important? Because this step–taking action–has a momentum that will propel you beyond the fears and the limiting belief systems that hold you back.
Do you want change in your life?
Nothing changes until you do.
Years ago, I took action, and my life has been better for it.
What I did, and sometimes what I still continue to do, may seem radical, but the interesting thing is this: once you define what it is you want, and head in that direction, you’ll find that the entire universe conspires to help you get there.
Move forward with a smile, a natural curiosity, and a positive attitude, while maintaining a state of gratitude and thankfulness to God, and you’ll be delighted at the results.
Whatever you do, don’t take anything personally. It’s not failure, just feedback. It’s only a failure if you fail to learn.
Action eliminates fear
Not, what are you planning to do, but what are you going to do? You must do something different to get somewhere different.
Sometimes, getting what you want in life requires sacrifice.
Nothing changes until you do.
In order to get what other people are not getting, you have to do what other people are not doing.
Have you heard or read these expressions?
Essentially, all of these statements say that you need to do things differently, in order to arrive at a different place in your life.
Working for Someone Else versus Working for Myself
It was after high school, while working a number of interesting but kind-of uninspiring jobs, that I realized I didn’t want to work a 40-60 hour a week job the rest of my life in order to pay rent or mortgage payments, car payments, insurance payments, only to end up many years later in a retirement community to play tennis, bingo, and swim, with the occasional visits from family and friends.
Get a new perspective on things
If you’re depressed about your life or find yourself complaining, turn off your TV. Then, visit a nearby nursing home and spend some time listening to the stories of the people who live there. You will leave with a new perspective on your own “problems”.
So, even while working these jobs, I decided to save money in order to get my first income property. In order to save money, I did things differently, so that, one day, I could purchase real estate in Florida.
Focus on your goal
Focus on your goal + discipline toward making that goal a reality (consisting of breaking it down into steps, then taking action to make it happen) will bring that goal into reach, something tangible where you see results.
Living cheap in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida
For years, I had lived in a giant warehouse with a group of artists, writers, drifters, dreamers, in the corner of a quonset hut about 50 feet from the railroad tracks. The entire warehouse consisted of three quonset huts, joined together at the middle, lower sections, located at 502 Kanuga Drive, in Flamingo Park, an historic area of town inWest Palm Beach, Florida. This artist’s living/work space was affectionately called “the hut”.
The official name for this fringe artists community was the Unarmed Underground Art Centre (UUAC) and it sat in a section of town known as Flamingo Park, an area that was undergoing a revitilization. People were moving into the neighborhood, buying up homes, painting them, sprucing up the yard. The area was becoming a hot place to buy and sell real estate. Investors and property owners began to complain about the eyesore at the end of Kanuga Street, the quonset huts, surrounded by beat up cars owned by arists-in-residence, a revolving door of shipwrecked-looking castaways, and the continuous stream of cars, vehicles and bicycles coming and going all hours of the day and night. Things were changing, and the little artist-community-that-could was feeling the squeeze.
City officials started visiting the UUAC by sending code enforcement to harass the director/owner Alan Patrusevich, a brilliant and benevolent former Navy man of Lithuanian descent, who operated an antique restoration business from one of the warehouse bays.
Finally, caving into pressure from city officials and mounting debts, Alan sold the quonset huts. The Unarmed Underground Art Centre aka “the hut” was no more. The artists, writers, drifters and dreamers scattered. Eventually the dust settled and they found spaces of their own.
At this point, I was in my early thirties, and wasn’t about to settle down to work at a job I don’t like, to buy things I don’t need, to compete with people I don’t even know. I wanted my own space. I wanted freedom.
Living among artists in the giant hamster cage of the hut had given me freedom to work part-time pick up jobs and in my free time write journals, compose songs, start a Christian coffeehouse, produce a film festival, and a number of other creative enterprises. Those creative projects enabled me to meet groups of people and have the project be the campfire around which we gathered. In a way, the projects were like month-long campgrounds for adults and people of any ages. Still are.
What does Freedom mean to you?
For me, freedom meant continuing to live for cheap or free. I wanted, at some point, to own my own place, to exit this treadmill of paying rent for the next 50 years, to exit this hamster cage for the disenfranchised.
I didn’t want to pay rent, I wanted to own my own house, even if it was a fixer-upper. I didn’t want to be trapped in a 30-year mortgage either. If I could continue to live cheaper, eventually I could save enough to buy an old house, somewhere.
In short, I wanted out. But I knew that in order to get to this place, I would have to continue living differently.
Couchsurfing in North Palm Beach, Florida
For nearly six months, I lived on the couch of Scott Thourot, an engineer and real estate investor, in North Palm Beach, Florida. Years earlier, we had met at church, and had been friends ever since. I told him that I wanted to live with him in order to save money, and to produce (record music tracks) songs for a Christian music ministry project that I started called Out of the Wilderness. Scott agreed to let me sleep on the couch, and I even set up my keyboard and portable digital mixer (for recording the music directly using a 1/4″ cable) and keyboard in the kitchen, against one wall. He said that as I long as I made him smoothies every morning and helped him do repairs with his properties, I could live there.
At the end of six months, I had recorded most of the songs for Out of the Wilderness project, I had saved money, and I learned first hand what it’s like to live with someone who has rental properties. I learned that I did not want to be a landlord. Scott rented out duplexes to tenants, and I saw that it was a full time job. His life, at that point, consisted of arriving home from work at the engineering firm, changing into ripped shorts and a dirty shirts, then visiting his properties to do maintain them.
Often, I would help. Usually we didn’t return until after midnight. We lived in one of Scott’s duplexes, and often did repairs in the others. I remember using a sledgehammer to help smash out bathroom tiles, then heaving a toilet into the bathroom while we both fastened it to the floor. Sure, he might have made solid income flow from his properties, but was the tradeoff worth it–every night running from property to property fixing things?
Soon after recording most of the music for Out of the Wilderness, and feeling the need for a change, I moved out of Scott’s place. What I learned from living with Scott is this–being a landlord is a full-time job. There’s got to be a better way to make long-term profits. Later, I found out there is a better way.
Some time later, after moving out of Scott’s, I received a call from David Knight. A Bahamian born entrepreneur and musician, he was an interesting, somewhat enigmatic fellow, who I had met years earlier in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, and had done work for, assisting him with maintenance–usually painting or carpentery–on his investment property on Dixie Boulevard.
David was calling from New York. It was night time and he had an urgency in his voice as he told me that someone had broken into his building on Dixie. He asked me if I could drive by and cover the broken window with a board. I told him I would. He said that if I did that, I could stay in the kitchen of his place, for free, and that, when he returned from New York, we would discuss my staying there for a further period.
David Knight owned 3 buildings on Dixie. The big, two-story building he had sold.
Beside it, sat two, smaller, one story buildings. The two smaller buildings were fenced. One of the smaller buildings in the back housed a kitchen and bathroom with shower. The smaller building in front consisted of David’s living space, several rooms, a music studio, a bathroom, a living room.
Somewhat cautiously, I drove to his building, parked, and wandered to the front door of the smaller building in the back that housed the kitchen. Noticing the broken window on the door, and bits of glass all over the ground, I walked the premises carefully to see if any other buildings had gotten vandalized. (Even though the window had been broken, bars were framed in front, preventing anyone from entering. My guess is that someone had broken the window, then tried to put their arm through and unlock the door from the inside.)
Long story short, a cop arrives and I’m on the phone with Dave, so he talks to the cop, explaining that I’m a friend he called to check things out. The cop leaves. I return with a board, cut it to fit over the window, then screw it into the aluminum door.
When David returned, I moved into that building–the kitchen. I set up a foam pad (for sleeping bags) beneath the kitchen table, a thin sleeping bag to go over it, my computer on the table, and moved into the kitchen.
Rent payment: 2 coconuts a day
The rent agreement was this: David said that my rent was two coconuts a day. I agreed that that was fair, then moved in. At the time, I was delivering pizzas and driving around West Palm Beach, Florida.
A hurricane had recently come through, blowing down trees, branches, and–you guessed it–a large number of coconuts. I purchased a machete (from Brasil) from Hall’s Hardware and placed it in the back of the Honda.
In the course of delivering pizzas, I would find coconuts on the street, pull over, and put them in the back of the car. Arriving to the kitchen after work, I would chop off the top of one, gingerly place it in the fridge, so he could drink it that night or the next morning, just using a straw. The other, I would place in the fridge for it to be cold the next day. Once the juice was consumed, I would chop it open for the meat and place that in a container.
Living there proved to be a real blessing, in that I saved money with the intention to purchase my own foreclosure or fixer-upper. I lived there for a year, saved thousands of dollars.
In my spare time, I began writing a screenplay. How did I write the screenplay. I went to the downtown West Palm Beach, Florida library and checked-out 6-8 screenplay-writing books. Every evening and night, I would read them while writing the screenplay.
Writing A Screenplay
Eventually, after about a year or maybe less, I completed my first screenplay in my first screenplay.
“The Last Pizza Deliver Driver (on Earth)” tells the story of a an insecure 32-year old pizza delivery driver who, after finding out his 15-year high school reunion is coming to town, tries to patent an idea so he can feel good about himself.
And yes, it’s semi-autobiographical. Antares Davis, a model and actress, whom David Knight was dating at the time, helped me read through a part of the script one day. It was great reading the material with a seasoned actress, who had hosted major celebrity events in LA. Thank you, Antares Davis.
How does someone work for themself?
Living in David Knight’s kitchen provided me with a squirrel’s eye view of someone who works for themselves.
Some years earlier, David had purchased the main, 2-story building on Dixie at a low price, spent a few years on renovation, then sold it for a nice profit–about 3x what he paid for it. He also had rental properties.
Although he was somewhat quiet about his earnings, I surmised that he had used the profits of the 2-story building sale to buy smaller rental properties for cash, and use that rental income to live on. It’s a smart move–to work hard for a few years, find some deals, add value to those deals, re-sell for profit, then use that profit for rental properties
or properties you sell outright.
Although real estate had been favorable for David Knight, he said “It’s boring”. He was more into playing music and travelling (New York, Ukraine, South America).
During the course of my stay in his kitchen, I would ask him how to make money in real estate. For the most part, his answeres were esoteric. He did not care to discuss real estate. He said it bored him, and that he wanted to play music. One day, he told me this, which I wrote down.
“Those who work with their muscle can be replaced by the stronger guy. Work with your brain. You can accumulate knowledge working with your brain. With your muscle, you accumulate wear and tear.”
Living in North Palm Beach, Florida
Living at Scott’s house, on the living room couch, and in David Knight’s kitchen, where I slept on the floor beneath a table, proved to be an educational experience. From Scott, I learned that I did not want to be a landlord, and that, if I did have rental properties, I wanted to figure out a way NOT to have to manage them. From David Knight, I learned that buying a run-down property in an up-and-coming area, with a clear vision of improving the property to resell at a later date, could yield enormous profits, enough to reinvest in smaller income-producing properties. At this point, I really was excited about buying a property of my own.
Flipping real estate in North Florida
Eventually, I did learn how to buy a property of my own. In order to make this happen, I left West Palm Beach, Florida and moved to North Florida. The real estate was more affordable in that area. I researched the area and learned how to buy and sell tax deed sale properties. I learned a lot and made a substantial profit, too. I kept notes and then compiled them into the eBook, Make Big Profits Flipping Florida Land, that reveals the steps of how I found, bought, and flipped (sold for profit) properties in Florida. Thankfully, these techniques can be used anywhere in the United States, to find, buy, and flip properties–land, houses, mobile homes–for fun and profit.
write by Ermintrude