I’ve been a real estate investor/entrepreneur since 1999. I started when I was in my late teens and built a multi-million dollar net worth by my mid 20s. The banks were giving away money, and I was taking it. I would leverage the properties as much as I could, because values were climbing and I knew it would all be fine.
Things were good for a while. I had 70 rental properties, $60,000+ coming in every month from rents, multiple crews working for me. I was grabbing up as much as I could as long as the banks were giving me all of this leverage.
Well, we all know what came in 2008. It was the largest real estate crash since the Great Depression, and some of my homes lost up to 80% of their value. I was upside down on the majority of the properties. Lots of my tenants lost their incomes and couldn’t pay the rent. It was a perfect storm of events that eventually forced me into bankruptcy.
This Investor Hit Rock Bottom
If someone told me 5 years prior that I was going to file bankruptcy, I would’ve laughed in their face. But ‘WOW’! Things went downhill quickly. I couldn’t believe that I was actually filing bankruptcy…I was young and super successful and thought the only place to go was ‘up’…
I was depressed and broke in every sense of the word. I had a family to feed.
So after the bankruptcy, I was backed into a corner and I had to get out of it quickly. I knew I had the wealth mindset. Even if I was currently at zero, I knew I could bounce back quickly by being creative and making some strong moves.
How I Bounced Back From Losing It All
I hounded a few contacts that I had and eventually found a deal through one of them. It was a property that I knew I could rehab and flip for a decent profit. That was the first hurdle, but now I needed the money to rehab and sell it. I hounded a few guys with money that I had borrowed from in the past and explained my scenario and the deal. One of them lent me the money for the purchase and rehab, and I flipped it for a nice profit.
Investing & Living Sacrifices
I spent the bare minimum of the profit on personal expenses and rolled the rest back into the business to find and execute more deals. I wholesaled a house immediately after that. Then I rehabbed another one. Then I did more and more deals until I was completely back on my feet and financially independent again. I want to be clear…I put my personal expenses on the back burner for a while and used almost all of the profits to quickly market for deals and finance projects. I was extremely frugal and maximized every penny.
It was a tough road, but I will say that, looking back, the bankruptcy was one of the best learning experiences of my life (for many business and personal reasons). I have learned to adapt to any economy and to stay as insulated as possible from future crashes or downturns.
Having the Right Mindset
I use very solid strategies with strictly single family homes and it has served me well this 2nd time around of wealth creation. I now know, first hand, how to navigate any economic environment and keep a growing business through the downturns.
So, if you’re struggling now, you must realize that wealth is a mindset, and not a financial statement. If you have the mindset, you can become financially independent from any place that you currently may be at. It won’t always be easy, but that’s why there’s so much wealth to be created in real estate, because most people aren’t willing to do what it takes, which means those profits are all left on the table for you.