Want To Make Millions? Level Up Your Problem Solving.

Problem Solving

I was at an event in Vegas when more than 50 high achieving real estate investors wanted to grab dinner together. The restaurant was Fogo De Chao. A few of us arrived early because I had a plan to meet with the $100 million man. I will call him M for privacy. M and I have gotten to know each other well over the last three years. We have worked on several projects together and gotten to know each other’s families.

An Emigrant’s Journey to Success

He is an Indian emigrant who came to the US for the opportunity. Hardly able to speak English, he became a millionaire and then, like many of us, he lost everything in 2008 and 2009. Over the last 15 years, he has been able to rebuild and has accumulated a $700 million portfolio with a net value of well over $100 million in cash and equity.

Of course, he was late to our set meeting at the fancy restaurant, so I hung at the bar with other investors until he arrived. Everyone in the room knows M, so he was completely engulfed with hugs and handshakes as he walked in. By the time I got to say hello, the tables for 50 were ready

M and I decided to skip the dinner with the group, and the two of us spent the next hour and a half at the bar catching up. Obviously, when you sit with someone at this level, you do more listening than talking. We had some catching up to do, and we have a deal we are working on together, so those topics consumed the bulk of the conversation. About an hour into our meeting, the lesson that I am always hoping for when we meet finally arrived.

The Janitor’s Path to Wealth

I cannot even remember how the topic originated, but M started by explaining how a janitor can become wealthy. He said the janitor does not get paid much because he does not solve problems. Or at least not meaningful ones. As the janitor becomes more proficient in the role, he or she may start to solve a problem here or there. Maybe there are some supplies that need to be replaced or a better way to complete a simple task. The problems start relatively small. Over time, the janitor may start to solve more problems like helping a newer team member or making small repairs. The promotions and new opportunities come as the problems being solved get larger and more complicated.

M told me the difference between us and most people is that we are okay solving the large complicated problems. The problems that bring stress and effort and time. Most people run from those, but the rich embrace them. He said very simply, “If you want more money in your life, you need to solve bigger problems.” It sounds like a simple concept.

Becoming A Real Estate Problem Solver

When I got into this business, I realized very quickly that to be successful, I needed to be a real estate problem solver. When people asked me what I did for a living, that is exactly what I would tell them. The fact is, I did not look for real estate deals to invest in; I looked for real estate problems I could solve. With that mindset shift, I was able to create the success I am so grateful to have experienced. Today, I do the best I can at empowering my team to become problem solvers themselves. As they handle larger and larger problems, the company is able to scale, and we all do better.

There were two lessons, or at least great reminders, I got from M at the bar that Saturday evening:

  1. Embrace Problems As The Price of Success
    • The next time a problem finds its way to my desk, remember that this is a due that must be paid for success. It may be annoying and stressful, but it is the price of success. Be grateful for it!
  2. Seek Out Bigger Problems
    • If I want more success, I must find more and bigger problems. Yes, that sounds crazy, but the reminder is to go out and find problems that others can’t or won’t solve.

Pine Financial’s Mission

Pine Financial is happy to solve investor problems. We solve for an unstable investment portfolio by offering consistent passive returns. We solve active real estate investor funding problems by providing the money they need to do their projects.

One final and important point is that sometimes solving a problem means knowing when to raise your hand and who to call for help.

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