As founder and leader of the Greater Philadelphia REIA and super-successful investor, I’ve had more than a few people say, in various ways, “Wow, it must be nice and easy being you, Jim, with all that money you’re making and life being so perfect!” It IS awesome being me, but it’s not easy. In fact, for most of my 20’s, it’s sucked! I recently posted the below article on social media and got an overwhelming and surprising amount of “Thank you, I needed that” kind of feedback. So…here’s your leader “Keepin’ It Real.”
Here’s Jim Zaspel…raw and un-cut…
Time for a “Keepin’ It Real” FB post. You’re probably used to seeing me post stuff about all the successes God’s blessed me with — my family, finally landing an airplane by myself, traveling all over the place, and all sorts of cool stuff going on with our real estate biz. Well…what you DON’T know is that I just spent the last hour compiling some records of debts and mistakes (bad deals I did from 2010 – 2012) that I’ve paid off in the past 24 months, mostly in 2015. $270,000 — that’s how much would-be profit it cost to pay for my past mistakes.
Money…there’s always more of it to make. I’m just glad I could pay it. What hit me this evening wasn’t the price tag of money…it was the reminder of how desperate I was for about 3 years. Desperate and broke, I should say. And sometimes desperate people do REALLY stupid stuff, or at least I did anyway. The shame, the guilt, and the pressure of owing people money was paralyzing, yet I couldn’t stop TRYING…I had no choice! I knew exactly 2 ways to make money: landscaping and real estate, and there was no way in heck I was going back to landscaping. I did that for 10 years, and my back still hurts, literally. Maybe it was the “I don’t have a choice” thing that always made me keep trying. I only wished I had faced my fears sooner, so that problems wouldn’t have compounded. Oh well, at least I learned that lesson.
Sometimes people look at successful entrepreneurs who are actually making a lot of money and get jealous, but what’s often the case, and was the case for me, is we’ve spent years being broke, lonely, stressed, and depressed TRYING to make our “dream” work. Meanwhile, in my case, sometimes I wondered how I was going to pay for the tank of gas in my car. I was afraid to go to a networking meeting because someone I owed money to might be there. Some of the private lenders that I owed money to were life-long friends of the family (who were incredibly gracious and patient…and got paid back WITH interest) — some of whom will read this. Thank you, John, Ben, Glen, and Carl. Talk about guilt and pressure!
When you’re an obnoxious jerk like I can be, people LOVE to kick you, even when you’re down. I got kicked out of the local investors group (so I started my own, and it’s now the biggest in Philly). Here we are, almost FOUR years since I’ve done a deal that left ANYONE unhappy, and to this day people still love to bad-mouth me. I can take it now, because I’m proving them that I’m better now, but a few years ago…gosh…it hurt. But I guess I deserved it. Another lesson learned.
This kind of crap affects EVERY area of your life. What a miserable person I was, and I’m so thankful for the family and VERY few friends who stuck by me. I’m so thankful that God never let me do half the stupid stuff I was tempted to do, and I’m thankful for the lessons he taught me over that time period, and I’m thankful for how he is blessing me.
If you’re reading this and you’re going through a tough time, first of all, pray to God. Next, write down your problems…all of them. Make of list of the things you’re afraid to do that will help you fix your problem…and then stop feeling sorry for yourself and get to work. If someone had made me do these things, it would’ve saved me a tremendous amount of stress.
—– End of Social media post —-
Does any of this resonate with you? What’s it going to take to get out of your rut/take life by the horns/rocket-launch your business? Need to implement that marketing campaign? Need to call that seller and negotiate that deal? Need to get the courage to call that private lender to fund a rehab deal for you?
Generally speaking, whatever it is that you’re afraid of doing is the thing that you MOST need to do, so…in the immortal words of Nike, “Just Do It!”
– Jim Zaspel
Founder, Greater Philadelphia
P.S. — Did you get value from this? If so, feel free to share it around!