What makes one business successful and the other business fail? It’s interesting that you can take 2 people that read the same books, go to the same seminars, listen to the same people and have the same markets and have two completely different results. What makes this possible? To me it’s all about what is in your brain and I don’t mean how good of grades you got or your SAT scores. It’s all about how you teach your brain to focus and think. For some people it comes naturally, but for the majority of us, we need to constantly condition ourselves to think differently. I could write a whole book on success and the mind games we play, but there are hundreds of books on success in business already, which I reference below. This is meant to be a short read to get you in the right frame of mind. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of this before, but it’s always good to hear it again. What is it that will bring you success?

DESIRE: Understand your burning desire. You’ve probably heard people say to find out your why. Why do you want to own your own business and quit your job? You get a weekly paycheck and many of you have a pretty decent income, so what is it that makes you want more? Please don’t say money. Money is not a solution. Money does not bring you happiness. I recently read that if you make enough money to pay the bills, save for retirement and have a little extra for some fun here and there you are just as happy as the millionaire down the road. I think it’s just that most people think that having all the toys and the big house is going to make them happy, so they spend and wonder why they can’t get ahead. Every day is a Saturday when you find your desire and are working toward it.

For me personally, I want to make a difference in this world. Through financial freedom and massive wealth I will be able to give to charities and causes I feel are important. I will have the time to volunteer and create greatness in the world. I want to be able to teach others financial literacy and bring that into the schools. I think it is a disservice that we do not teach that in our public schools and my desire is to change that. I also want to take problem properties – unsafe living and make it safe and desirable. You need to figure out what it is that makes you tick and focus on that. Create, hone and harness your burning desire! Create your burning DESIRE!

THINK BIG: Ok, this sounds a little Trump like, but it’s good advice from him. Think Big! You only have one life, so why be hear in the background and only do little things to affect you and your family. I want to own thousands of rental units in order to positively affect thousands of people and maybe millions. I want to be able to start charities, give to charities and serve charities. For me if I can take properties that are in poor condition and fix them to serve my residents that is a positive. If I can work with my investors’ money to provide them with positive returns, so that they can live the life they want and need and serve others, then that is a positive. By focusing and thinking big I am able to provide jobs to property managers, contractors, attorneys, accountants, lenders, appraisers, inspectors and the list goes on. By doing a podcast, writing blogs, teaching classes and mentoring I am positively affecting thousands. If I wanted to be done working and think small I could retire now and live off of my rental income, but in my mind that would be a waste of my life. I want to leave this world a better place than it was when I entered it. Create your burning DESIRE and THINK BIG!

FOCUS. Educate yourself on what you need in order to be successful in your business and then focus. Focus on building your business into greatness. Focus on serving others and giving your gifts, talents and product to help others. In 2005, when I was a substitute teacher I began reading business books and wanted to do something, but I didn’t focus, because teaching was my career path and I just spent money and 4 years at college to become a teacher. After teaching for a few years I remember telling my wife that I needed to do something else. I wasn’t going to be successful as a teacher (don’t get me wrong, teachers are successful, but teaching wasn’t for me, so it wouldn’t have brought me success). In 2007 I started reading about business and real estate again and decided that I was going to buy rentals and create passive income to be able to quit my job. After learning and studying I bought 5 rentals in late 2008 and early 2009. In the next several years I purchased 70 more rentals and quit my job. Sounds focused, right? Wrong. In the middle of that I began to rehab/flip houses and shifted my focus to flipping homes. This stalled my progress. In late 2015 I realized what I was doing and shifted back to my original focus. I studying and research multi-family and in 9 months I purchased just over 100 rental units and continue to purchase today. Now I am more focused than ever before. I have real and obtainable goals and I am constantly focusing on. Focusing on your desire may be the most important step to success. Create your burning DESIRE, THINK BIG and FOCUS.

FAILURE: Give yourself permission to fail. Fail now and fail often. When you hear someone talking about how successful they are and that they never fail, they are either a liar or a failure. You need to get out of your shell that doesn’t allow you to take risks so that you can fail. As importantly as failing is learning from that failure and using that to succeed. If you have a hard time getting comfortable with failing, then go out and find things that you can fail at without going broke or hurting yourself too bad. Don’t get me wrong on the failure thing though, I am not saying to go out and create a business without education, just to fail. Learn and grow, surround yourself with what you need to succeed and then take the risk to get in business, knowing you will make mistakes and get bumps and bruises along the way. I have done well in real estate, but I have failed on many occasions. I have lost earnest money, but not being diligent, I have lost money on rehabs, I have lost money on rentals through bad tenants and bad management, I picked the wrong assistant before, I waited too long to get an assistant, I signed and made sloppy contracts and have been burned, I didn’t vet contractors… I’m stopping here because this list could go on for a long time. The point is that we all make mistakes and we all fail. Just make sure you are ethic and true to yourself and others, so your failures don’t end you in jail. Create your burning Desire, Think Big, Focus, Fail!

GRATITUDE: Be thankful for what you have. You won the lottery when you were born in the US, so you have nothing to complain about. If you are born with a functioning body and brain and have food, water and shelter, then you are miles ahead of other people. I heard someone say that anyone living in the US won the lottery. Think about it – the chance that your little tad pole was formed into life and survived to be born and then born in one of the best countries on the planet is 1 in a billion. I personally thank God every day for everything I have been given and all the opportunity that I have. Be gracious to everyone that does something for you, no matter how small. Stop complaining and start living. Create your burning Desire, Think Big, Focus, Fail, and Have Gratitude!

SET GOALS: Set specific and detailed goals that will get you to where you want to go. Read your goals daily and be sure you are doing what needs to be done to achieve those goals. I would make a 10 year goal and a yearly goal. Read both each morning before you open your email or start to work. A great piece of advice I heard was to write down what your life will look like in 10 years. Write down everything about what you will achieve in business and in your personal life. Write down who you will be spending your time with, what house you will live in, the car you will drive, the charities you will be involved in, the net worth you will have and so on. Then read that once a week.

When you make goals, be sure it matches with your burning desire. You want to know that what you want to accomplish will help create the life you envision. It’s not only about what you want for yourself, but how does that effect your true desires and how does that help others. Create your burning Desire, Think Big, Focus, Fail, have Gratitude and Set Goals!

GIVE BACK: When you are able to give back it feels so good knowing you helped make a difference. Think about all the ways you can help in this world and what you care about. Whether that be helping the disabled, helping the poor, helping children, helping the environment, helping animals, etc, you need to find what makes you happy and give back. This will create a sense of worth and success. On a selfish level it will help you to network and create a positive image for you. Create your burning Desire, Think Big, Focus, Fail, have Gratitude, Set Goals and Give Back!

MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME: I have talked about this previously, but it is worth repeating. Use your time effectively and focus. We live in the distraction age. Everything is made to bring our focus to it. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, email, internet, TV, Radio, sports, etc all play a large role in trying to take our focus away from us. I’m not saying to not take a little bit of relaxation time, but don’t waste your day doing it. I cut TV out of my life almost entirely 10 years ago and it has created so much extra free time. I have a Linkedin and Facebook account, but average less than 10 minutes/day on them combined. I am trying to only check my email at 11am and 3pm (this is a work in progress). We only have 24 hrs in a day and if we don’t use that time wisely, we cannot create value. Start your morning out with a routine, for example of working out, eating breakfast, reading your goals, reading a business book or journal and then attack the big items before you check your email. Create your burning Desire, Think Big, Focus, Fail, have Gratitude, Set Goals, Give Back and Maximize your Time!

Honorable mention: Networking, Learning about the specific business you are in, learn about systems and business operations, marketing, operations, meditation/prayer (this could be #1).

I think it is important to become a student and to continually learn and grow. Below is a list of books that I would suggest you read and listen to:

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” Dale Carnegie

“Think and Grow Rich” Napolean Hill

“Rich Dad Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki

“Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” T.Harv Eker

“7 Habits of Highly Successful People” Stephen R Covey

Nothing here is revolutionary, but I hope this found you well. To your success!

Todd Dexheimer