How Wholesaling Humbled Me

wholesaling real estateYou can read everywhere online how to get started in real estate, but my experiences have taught me that beyond the marketing, calls, and negotiating, the mind or inner game, is most important.

A great analogy would be a carpenter and his tools. Having top notch tools is imperative, but being the top notch skilled carpenter who masterfully uses those tools is more critical.

There’s a saying I like, “It’s not enough to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be the right person in the right place at the right time.”

The right mentality will help anyone go beyond their comfort zone and into their goals.

I’ve learned a fact that your character, your thinking, and your beliefs are critical parts of what determines your level of success. Not only in real estate and wholesaling but ANYTHING!

Tough Lessons Learned

Throughout my life, all the goals I set for myself didn’t require much sacrifice to achieve. I considered myself naturally gifted both physically and mentally, up until I was 19.

Growing up my mother would warn me, “life is going to show you.” She was saying someday you’ll be put to the test, where I could not get by on just natural talents. Not until recently did I really  gain an understanding of her saying.

Ultimately she was telling me I would need to become a bigger person and develop my inner game in order to succeed as an adult. No longer just surviving, but living on my own.

“Character isn’t something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. It’s something you weren’t born with and must take responsibility for forming.” Jim Rohn

Early Entrepreneurial Success – Kinda

In junior high my mom would give me $10 a week for allowance but it wasn’t enough. So I began thinking differently, which my dad always taught me. Soon, I started hustling cds for $5 each. Within no time I was selling 10 a week plus my allowance for a total of $60. Not bad for being 13! At this point my inner game was immature, basically non-existent.

From CDs to Gym Shoes

During my underclassman years at Mt. Carmel high school, the demand for cds fell. Frankly, $60 a week wasn’t enough for my new demands in life. I wanted more than vending machine and cafeteria money. I wanted Jordans, gas, and weekend money.

My allowance went to $20 a week, but still not enough for my tastes. Back to the drawing board with my thinking cap on! I took notice of a new demand among my new peers… GYM SHOES… BINGO!!!

Side note: Thanks Dad for advising me to THINK!

Soon I had bought a ton of kicks from Chinese shoe dealers. They had all the brands I needed for $40-45 per pair, which I could easily sell for $90-$120 all day long.

After I purchased one pair, I had hustled my way to 75 pair shipments and I was sending 3k to China via western union every several months. Soon everyone bought shoes from me, and I was only a sophomore. Again though, it was fairly easy and didn’t require me to develop my “inner game” to do it.

I was a fairly good student-athlete. Honor student and Varsity Football player as a sophomore. Being in advanced college prep studies and competing at varsity level in sports wasn’t very challenging for me. Yes, it took effort and dedication, but I didn’t have to address flaws in my inner game.

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Jim Rohn

From Stud Athlete to Dud – Losing My Edge

I finished high school in a northwest suburb of Chicago. I channeled my energy and focus so I could go to college, free of debt on an athletic scholarship.

I tore my knee during the first game of my senior year in August 2008. It was a blow to my original plans and a blow to my immediate hopes and dreams. Perfect example of inner game weakness!

I lost hope and opted to forgo taking on college debt and instead focus at becoming an entrepreneur. This was the first real time I got into to personal development.

After rehabbing my knee for nine months, in April of 09 my mom and I got into an argument and I left home. I was 45 minutes away from home but luckily I was able to stay at my  girlfriend’s home until I graduated.

As I turned 19, I heard my mom’s words: “life is going to show you”, in a way that I had never imagined. I moved back to Chicago into my aunt’s basement in the south side.

I was embarrassed, everything I had worked towards was falling apart.

Like Ms.Tate told Bruce Wayne, “Suffering Builds Character” and I was in for some real suffering and character building.

If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. – Jim Rohn

Facing Reality – I’m Not As Great as I Thought

After moving into my aunt’s basement I encountered two pivotal turning points. One was selling some not-so-legal substances and the other was wholesaling. One was fast cash, the other was an actual business.

An infomercial about buying and selling real estate without cash, credit, or experience. As you could imagine, I was hooked by the idea and wanted to get involved. Intuitively I just felt like this was it, this is what I been waiting to discover – and ordered the $20 book.


I was 19 and for the first time I was faced with fear. I couldn’t see a seller selling me their house on contract and then a buyer paying me more for my rights in that contract.

My “inner game” was weak and exposed. I studied for ten months before I took action. In June 2010 I called Rj’s bandit sign and asked him out for coffee. I was more than willing to pay for his time so we met up and talked about the life and habits of Chicago wholesaler.

With this ongoing apprenticeship three months later my first deal was on the closing table. However, at the last minute my seller backed out of the deal. Again my “inner game” was being put to the test, it needed some sharpening.

I was discouraged and not used to overcoming adversity.

Side Note: Can you overcome adversity and stay mentally strong to close your first deal? Do you want it as bad as you think you do?

I spent the next handful of months putting my deal back together and it closed it for $2,000! That was the hardest two grand I have ever worked for in my life.

After that experience, I felt I was developing into man. I was learning what it takes to make it in business.

Looking Ahead – More Deals and Bigger Challenges

Prior to real estate, I never experienced big learning curves. I never had to the need to develop beyond my natural abilities. My mother always told me I’d wake up to LIFE and it was humbling how much she was right.

These experiences are helping me go from a small street hustler to a real estate investor. Though it’s uncomfortable and painful, it feels great to be paying dues and maturing as an entrepreneur.

Please email me at if you want to know more or if you’d like me to help you get more deals on your table.

P.S. Special THANKS to Nick Graf for your email I appreciate your remarks my friend I value your feedback more than you know!

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