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Are you living life…or is life living you?

                At a recent real estate and business conference, our trainer asked the crowd, “How will your life change once you reach and surpass your financial goals?”  There was a blank in our workbook for us to respond.  I wrote down the first thing that came to my mind, “I could live life the way I want.”

                As I finished writing that statement, it occurred to me, “Does that mean I am not living my life the way I want now?”  I am still not sure how to handle that question.  I love my life.  I love my wife, our marriage, our house, our friends, family, and our business.  I love what I do.  Now that’s not to say that if I didn’t need the income I would still spend as much time doing it as I currently am.  I would mix in more trips, more charity time, more time with my wife. 

                When I was growing up, our baseball coach would always yell at us, “Don’t just go through the motions, put some effort into it.”  I would venture to say that there are a high percentage of people just going through the motions of life.  Why?  Is it our culture?  Is it the media?  Is it our attitudes?  I think we would all agree that when we meet a person, whether it’s for the first time or hundredth time, and they are excited about life and energetic, it makes us feel more alive.  It puts a spark in us and adds an extra boost in our step.  Are we just going through the motions because of money?  Personally, I believe that all of these are possibilities. 

                One trick I learned in one of our business trainings several years ago was to hang around people you want to be like.  So if you want to be rich, spend time around people who are rich.  If you want to be poor or middle class, find people who fit that category and spend more time with them.  If you want to be a hairdresser, spend time around people who are trained to do hair.  No matter what you want to be whether it is a profession, a dream, a social status, find someone who is already doing it or has already done it, and spend time around them.  Just listen – there is a reason God gave us two ears and one mouth…  We should listen twice as much as we talk.  And I do mean listen, not just hear the words.  There is a difference. 

                                So what is keeping you back from living the life you want?  What or who is restraining you from the living the life of your dreams?  Do you still have dreams and goals?  Or have they just turned into wishes?  Or have they disappeared all together? 

                One of my dreams is to have a classic car collection. I am a big car enthusiast.  I truly enjoy classic cars, muscle cars, and even nice new cars. Ever since I was a teenager, my family and I have gone to car shows.  When we would walk by some of my favorites, looking at the clean lines, beautiful paintjobs, shiny chrome, and all the time and effort put into making the car into the being it was, I would be all but drooling over this masterpiece.  Goose bumps would shutter through my body as my facial expression was all ivory – grinning from ear to ear.  Can you think of a time when you got goose bumps from seeing something, hearing a story, or thinking about something?  There are a number of examples that come to my mind besides cars.  What does it for you? 

                Probably the best advice I can offer is to dream!  Have dreams – BIG ones!  Someone once said, “If your dreams do not give you goose bumps, then you are not dreaming big enough!”  So dream big, then bigger.  In the process of being involved with our Bible study group every week, we talk about dreams and goals a lot.  There has been more than one occasion where we have agreed that God’s power and his vision and plan for our lives is so much larger than we can comprehend, that he speaks to us through our dreams and goals.  He offers us a little piece at a time so we can understand it and follow and most importantly, we are passionate about it.  So find what you are passionate about, what motivates you, and develop a dream and a goal for that.  Write down a plan on how to accomplish it or achieve it.  Maybe it is running a marathon, or being a stay at home mom, skiing, traveling, living in a log cabin, or maybe it is having several homes.  Maybe it is donating more time and money to charities, churches, and organizations you believe in. 

                Here are some action steps:

 Spend time getting to know who you are, your strengths,   weaknesses, and passions

 Write them down so that they are clearly defined – the more detail the better

 Write down your goals and dreams; include deadlines and due dates

Find detailed pictures of your goals and dreams – put them up where you see them EVERY DAY!

Brainstorm and decide how you will accomplish those goals

Leave me a comment with some of your goals and dreams.  I would love to hear them.  Some of my goals include being semi-retired within the next three years and buying a lot of land in Colorado in the mountains to start building a house. 

Thanks for visiting!

-Nate Cadwell

“Winning Solutions Specialist”

www.facebook.com/NateCadwell

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The Four Letter Word

March 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Yes, you read correctly.  I am a real estate investor.  Let me guess, a picture of Than Merrill and the TV show “Flip This House” is running through your mind.  Ok.  Yes, we “Flip” properties.  However, our coaches and mentors told us that “Flip” is another four letter “F” word.  Honestly, I don’t totally understand why they felt that way, but they encouraged us to say “Rehab” instead of “Flip”.

I find it interesting how many different definitions there are for the word “Flip” within the real estate investor arena.  I have worked with investors and heard professional investor trainers teach that “Flip” means to wholesale and assign a property.  Others, obviously, think of the word “Flip” as a rehab, which is the most common definition.  Then there are also those who believe that “Flip” means to purchase a property, not do a thing to it, then sell it; but we are not going to get into that.  Then of course there are people who think of a camera.  For me personally, to flip a house has always meant to buy it, gut it, fix it, update it, and sell it. 

Our company specializes in residential properties doing rehabs and lease options.  We have done several rehabs throughout the greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area including Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Owasso, and Claremore.    Contrary to popular belief, we do not do the work on our homes.  When we started out, we did the first couple of days of work mainly emptying the house (referred to as “gutting”) and then updated and maintained the landscaping.  Since then we have established a primary contractor who is responsible for getting his own crews.  They handle the majority of the work on the properties.  We do not do any of the work anymore.  We decided that there are other people who specialize in that area and are faster at it than us.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say that we aren’t willing to get our hands dirty.  We just prefer to work smarter rather than harder. 

Another reason we don’t do the work ourselves is because we have outgrown the ability of just the four of us (my wife, my dad, my mom, and me).  At one point in 2009, we had seven rehabs going at once.  That is far too much work for us to handle if we had been doing the work ourselves.

The primary and most important reason we don’t do the work on our properties is due to leverage.  If we were doing all of the work gutting, fixing, repairing, updating, and cleaning our properties that would require a lot if not all of our time.  That would not leave us with any time to run the business, market our services and products, and find more houses!  We would probably be limited to doing one property at a time from start to finish before we could go find another property.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with doing that if it is your desire.  For us, however, it doesn’t quite fulfill our goals. 

Here are some questions for you.  I would appreciate any feedback, comments, or questions regarding this information. 

1. What is your definition of “Flip”?

2. What do you think it means to stage a house?  Check back next week for a discussion on this…

Networking Experience

March 6, 2010 3 comments

Hello World!

Finally, I have my own blog!  I am sure that I have waited too long to do this, but better late than never I guess. 

First of all, I want to thank all the people that made this possible.  First and foremost, my beautiful wife for all her support and understanding (@AmandaJCadwell).  Then of course my dad and business partner for his encouragement (@GarySolidOak).  I would also like to send a shout out to several friends, business partners, and associates including Greg Tibbles, Michael Butler (@MichaelButlerSr), and Ron Skelton (@RonSkelton).  They have been key motivators in my social media endeavors offering encouragement and guidance.  A big thank you also goes to Gary V. – author of “Crush It”.  I just finished this book and it is an excellent source regarding branding, social media, and “Cashing in on your passion”.  I highly recommend it.

In all seriousness, I am excited to continue to grow my opportunities to network and create new relationships as well as improve current relationships.  Our real estate investment company has been in business for over two years now and we really stepped into the world of networking – and I mean it, it’s a world of its own!  We jumped on board and fell in love with networking.  We learned a lot and continue to learn every week.  When we started our business I probably had about 250 contacts in my address book.  Now we have over 1,500 contacts in our database!  And we are continuing to grow that circle of influence.  We love the opportunities we have had to meet new people, learn about new businesses, hear success stories, and pass on referrals to friends, family, and associates.  I don’t know how to explain it.  It is one of those things you need to experience and, personally, I think we should all experience. 

There is definitely a place in the world for competition – it drives our economy.  However, there are also times when cooperation should exist.  At these networking meetings each person has the opportunity to brand themselves, market their company but more importantly, they have the opportunity to learn, share their experiences, ask for guidance, and share information.  It is an awesome feeling to know that you have all these resources.  And if the people at the meeting don’t have an answer, they more than likely know someone that they can refer you to. 

I would like to hear from you.  What experiences have you had with networking?  What works for you?