For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to own property.

Ambitious since the age of eight, I used to dream each night about how big my empire would be.

In the dreams I would drive around in a big white cadillac in my three piece suit and check in on my businesses and houses.

Eight years old. Really weird, right?

What’s crazy about those dreams is that by time I was eight I had never lived a house. I’d only lived in apartments.

I thought rich people owned houses.

I did however, start a few businesses. Selling seeds, GRIT Magazine, Mason Shoes, and Christmas cards door to door in my apartment complex. I even had a paper route.

When I first got into real estate I was 35 years old. I had been in the building products business selling lumber, doors, windows and cabinets to builders, remodelers, and investors for my entire career.

My plan was to learn the business, buy property to flip, and buy a property to hold. Over time I would build a portfolio a homes and build cash flow. Once the investments grew large enough, I would buy or start my own lumberyard, a business in which I had lots of experience.

Five years later, I had a really good real estate practice so I felt like it was time to invest.

However, instead of investing in property, I bought a small business. Kind of a short cut to my original plan.

In May of 2007 I purchased a cabinet business to go along with a thriving real estate practice.

My life for the next 3 years was chaos as both of my kids graduated high school , the cabinet business took center stage, and the financial meltdown of 2008 wrecked the world.

To say the financial crisis of 2008 was a recession is not doing it justice. It was a DEPRESSION. I saw builders go bankrupt. I saw businesses shutter. I saw well respected developers lose everything they had.

Unfortunately, in 2010 I ran out of cash as the revenue for the business dried up and I was forced to sell my cabinet business.

Devastated both financially and emotionally I began anew.

One year later I started my own real estate brokerage.

The years that followed saw changes in my real estate business strategy as traditional real estate sales were harder and harder to find.

Alternatively, I focused on helping distressed homeowners sell their homes to avoid foreclosure and I started to sell properties to real estate investors.

Although I had a lot of experience with investors and builders, I went even deeper into the financing and investing principles and even started a regular investment class at my local title company.

Still yet, I hadn’t purchased my first income producing property. Honestly, it wasn’t even on my mind.

Instead, I was focused on my own personal finances and reimagining my real estate business.

Theresa and I bought, rehabbed, and flipped a property in 2014 and purchased a property that now houses my real estate practice.

Back in January I finally decided to make it an income producing property. Not only does it serve as an office for me and a conference room, podcast studio, and breakroom, but I added two bedrooms which are rented via Air BNB.

So finally, ten years after my business investment failed, my real estate empire has grown to one income property. LOL.

You see, I may have a string of failures behind me, but I ain’t no quitter.

Even though we are about to go through another financial meltdown, I believe God has shown me a very important principle when it comes to investing.

Don’t short cut the process, for it’s where the lessons are learned.

Don’t take the easy and faster route. Take the road less traveled. Growth is better, when it’s slow and steady.

Every time I look at a tree I’m reminded of God’s intent for our growth.

Soil. Seed. Root. Water. Growth.

It’s with this mindset that I move forward with my intellectual, physical and spiritual growth.

My plan is to buy one house per year to hold and rent for the next 15 years. All while I grow my real estate practice the same way–one agent at a time. One client at a time.

Goal for 2021– One investment house. 3 Real estate agents, and better relationships with all who I’m blessed to meet.

Investments worthwhile take time and effort.

I plan on enjoying the process.