Tuesday, January 8, 2008

How Can Your Past Affect Your Investing?

By: Ralph Marcus (Mark) Maupin
I am writing this more as reminder to my self, but I know many who read this will be able to apply my thoughts and experiences to their own lives. Everyone has life experiences that they carry with them all their lives. Everyone’s experiences are different. Remember the first time you asked someone to dance and the answer was no, and now today 40 years later, you are still not going to ask someone to dance. You were asked to read in front of room in grade school and the other kids laughed at you, and that was the last time you would stand up in front of a group of people. I clearly see today, how some of the childhood events I have had are still affecting and shaping my real-estate career and life today.
My purpose in writing this is so you can consider looking into your own life and see how your past may be shaping your life today. When you look back into your past life, you will remember certain events and the decisions you made about those life experiences which are still operating and affecting your life today. Look back and check it out! Do you have to know all the facts before you make a choice? What was the event that had you decide that? How old were you when you decided that? Do you believe that you don’t matter or your opinion doesn’t matter? Look back and check it out! By noticing these things, you then have an opportunity to notice if they are helping you reach your goal or just a habitual way of being. Looking back gives you the opportunity to create new actions and thoughts that create new possibilities and unexpected results in your life.
My big event was when I was in kindergarten. I was given the honor of being the class Fire Marshall. If the fire alarm sounded, I was in charge of getting everyone out of the classroom safely. The alarm went off, and I went into action, getting everyone out of room. There was a retarded girl named Marsha, who happened to be going to bathroom at the time. I went in and pulled her off the toilet in effort to ensure everyone was out. There was a mess made, and the teacher screamed at me. At that time I made decision that I would be careful to not to be the one officially put in charge. I chose instead to be the one who would come in at the last moment and save the day. I would be the one who could fix the problem. As a result of this, I surrounded myself in business with people who knew less than I did about any subject. This allowed me to always be in control and have the answer that saved the day and to avoid looking bad. I use to say to myself “I am a natural born problem-solver.” How this showed up in real estate was like this: I took on going to every seminar I could attend. I wanted be the most knowledgeable real estate investor. I took on working in area of real estate where others were not. This allowed me to always be a good-looking “Fire Marshall” of real estate. So you see it only makes sense that I would be in the wholesale real estate business (not simple real estate) and I would help start Donate Real Estate, a company that represents charities to liquidate donated property (something not being done in the market yet). Donate Real Estate has raised over 1.5 million dollars for charities.
The good news is that I have a great level of knowledge of real estate. The bad news is that I have to guard against spending my time on artificially complicated deals, or making things more complicated than they need to be. I have to guard against putting a complicated deal together that only I can bring to closing. You might say I get to be the “Fire Marshall” of real estate deals. Most recently I see where my kindergarten experience has caused me to avoid situations where I wasn’t the most knowledgeable. It had me avoiding such crucial things in my life such as being there to raise my kids, attending church and growing spiritually, or any thing else that wasn’t in the world of work and real estate. Today, I can see that I have the opportunity to do things differently.
Lesson 1: For example, we found a great buy on a house in Southfield, Michigan. The home was in foreclosure. We had a buyer with great credit. I automatically tried to structure a deal where he could buy the house with a mortgage. The problem arose when we started looking at where he would get the money to rehab the house. Being the “Fire Marshal” of real estate, I passed over the simplest best solution, but the one we finally did use. Our buyer had a credit line, and he simply closed on the purchase of the home with a cash buy. As soon as the rehab is finished they are going to refinance it. What I noticed in the wholesale real estate business is that we were jumping in too quickly to try to solve the other person’s problem. So, we switched to “Here is a great buy, Mr. Customer. How are you going to buy it?” In this case they had the answer; I just had to stay out of the way.
Lesson 2: We currently have a foreclosed deal in Dearborn, Michigan where our buyer is taking out a home equity line on his personal home and buying the house. He is then going to refinance the newly purchased home. He has already been meeting with a good loan officer to set up the refinance with a mortgage company that does not have seasoning requirements (meaning you have to own the house 6-12 months before you can refinance it.)
As you can see, if you are focused on solving the problems of artificially complicated deals instead of looking for easier solutions it can be costly. See, if I set up a deal where I am the only one who understands it, then when the deal doesn’t work--- who gets the blame? Where in your life are you doing something comparable? Where is the thing you do well that is keeping you from seeing a simpler solution? We make these decisions and then live like it is “THE TRUTH”. Are you solving other people’s problems instead of letting them handle it themselves? Are you specializing in problems or keeping things easy and simple? How much time and effort does it cost you? Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking just a little more time and effort will make all the difference. Instead we should put balance in our lives which would give us the prospective we need in order to observe that we are making things more difficult than they need to be.
Out of seeing how driven one can be from a childhood decision, I created a game I call “The Great Give Away”. For the past two or three years I have been teaching seminars on real estate investing. I have also been involved in leading a mentoring program for investors. We make sure the investors are well informed and have tools necessary for developing a broad perspective that leads them to be open to new opportunities.
What I’ve noticed about myself is that I want to be a person who is causing people to discover the gifts they have to share in the world. To accomplish this I will have to focus on integrity, love, contribution, empowerment, and leadership that I am exhibiting in my life. If I do this it will allow me to make the difference I want to make for humanity and real estate investors. This will allow me to make a difference in the classes I teach in about real estate investing and the mentoring program I am involved in.
To get to the bottom line, and break up the childhood story, it requires a possibility so big in your life that it inspires and moves you in way that has you able to see the “Fire Marshall” stories of your life then move past them. It’s a possibility that you can spend a lifetime on and still not be complete. I have created the following purpose in my life with the possibility that moves me: My purpose in life is to have all humanity discover the gifts they have to share. The values that are at the heart of who I am are integrity, love, contribution, empowerment, and leadership. What I can be counted on for is to make a difference to humanity, to charities, and to real estate investors discovering their gifts and putting teams and systems in place to achieve my purpose at a global level.
The comments in Mark’s Corner are shared personal experiences. They are not intended to be legal or accounting advice nor a solution. You should always consult with the appropriate professional when making decisions.
Copyright. 2008 Ralph Marcus (Mark) Maupin, Jr.
Real estate investing by nature is risky. You can win, lose, or break even. We cannot guarantee a profit or loss. We do not provide legal, accounting, or contracting advice.

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