I am often told, “I will invest when I get enough money.” I am also told, “I wish I could invest but I don’t have any  money.” I started without any money and teach others how to invest without any money.

Last month I helped a man who is homeless, with no job buy two properties. Each is small acreage with an older but nice mobile home on it. One will be rented, which will give him the money to live in the other. It has a positive cash flow already. He intends to save much of the money he gets to bring in a newer but used mobile. He will live in it while he details it out and saves enough to do the same with the other one.

He is a man I have been working with on and off for years. He realizes that knowledge, not cash is king. He is more interested in having me teach him than to have a nice home and a dead end job.  

Believe it or not, knowing the right people is an asset of yours.

The most important business asset you have is your own knowledge and experience. Take inventory of your skills. In the story above, the man has a lot of skills. He had studied sales and improved his skills by taking a few sales jobs. He knew that he needed additional skills. So, when he had a good job and a place to live, he hired me to teach him how to invest in real estate. He is also very good in many areas of construction and knows other people who are good at it too. Believe it or not, knowing the right people is an asset of yours. He also knew that moving forward is vitally important. You never get time back, so sitting planning is an important business activity. Sitting watching a ballgame is not.

I used my skills to paint and decorate an airstream. I painted the property of another investor who had mechanical skills. He traded his skill of repairs. It allowed me to make a big pile of money with the airstream.

He had more skills and assets than I did when I started. I knew about the time management, I had spent years studying sales. I am clumsy and not good at working with my hands. So, if you’re saying that you can’t move forward as he did because you don’t know which end of the hammer to hold, that is me. Pay attention.

You are Your Most Important Asset

What does that image have to do with this story? I had painted my childhood bedroom when I was still a child and a friend taught me more about painting when I grew up. I had learned to sew, I found that was a skill that I would need as well. 

I found a travel trailer that was available way too cheap. It was ugly and that was the reason the guy couldn’t sell it. I bought it, made new curtains, using remnants. I painted the inside and found a guy who wanted a room painted and traded that skill to get the construction parts of the job done. During the refurbishing process, my friends and I used it during the off season. Then when the high camping season came, I sold it for a nice profit.

I am also a skilled sailor. I took a 6 week course offered by the Red Cross, then sailed as much as possible. I was living near Morro Bay, CA at the time. If you don’t know, it is half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. I found out that sailboats sell for about twice as much in San Francisco than in Los Angeles. So, I took my profits, bought an O’Day 19′ sailboat down south, sailed it up to Morro Bay and rented a mooring. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a buoy anchored out in the bay and includes water taxi service out to your boat.

Anchored Sailboat

Owning a sailboat, anchored in a bay off the ocean is an amazing experience. I hope you get to have amazing experiences in your life.

I taught sailing on the boat during the off season, saving the money for investing. During the high season for sailboats, I advertised it in San Francisco and sold it for more than twice what I paid for it. I offered to sail it up for a fee but the buyer hired a company to trailer it up for him.

Finding these opportunities used to be difficult, not anymore. I’m sure you heard several years ago a man got something for free on Craigslist. He immediately relisted it for trade and kept trading until he had a house. The only thing that it cost him was his ability to keep trading. 

So, maybe there is a unique situation in your area as I found in mine or maybe you can create a unique situation as in the man who kept trading. Maybe you do have money that you would risk to gain something better in return. Whatever it is, please don’t wake up 20 years from now, wondering how you will pay the bills.

Read part two here.

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