Recently I had a client in my office brainstorming ways she could acquire more rental properties. She was 64 years old and was dressed somewhere between homeless and casual.
She already owned 12 properties, seven of which were owned free and clear, but she wanted more.
I was amazed and wanted to learn more about how she acquired and paid off so many investment properties, so I asked how she did it. She told me her story as she was double dunking a week old donut into her coffee (don’t ask me why we had week old donuts in the office, we just did). I warned her the donuts were a week old and she still ate two.
It was 1976, she was 22 years old, and living in an apartment building across the street from the University. She had the bright idea that she would like to own the apartment building. She strolled into her bank, sat down with the bank officer and told her she would like to buy the apartment building she was living in. The bank officer started rolling in his chair with laughter; he couldn’t believe his ears. He brought the bank manager into his office to have her tell him what she came in for and they both started laughing and cracking jokes at her.
She had never been so humiliated, crushed in her life. She walked out of there feeling devasted, but also with a profound sense of vengeance and “Screw you!” attitude towards the bank officers. She promised herself she would purchase those apartments and nobody would ever treat her like that again.
In the following year, she bought her very first condo. A couple years later, she bought another condo, then another, as well as a single-family home. In the 42 years since her first rejection, she has acquired a total of 12 properties – Did I say seven of which are now owned free and clear? She has not sold a single property. Her average monthly income as a result is over $15,000, a gross income over $180,000 per year.
Roadblocks have not been an option for her! Her resulting success is middle finger enough to the nay-sayers that threatened to thwart her from her path. If she would have accepted her initial “no” answer, she surely would not be where she is today. Refusing to take “no” for an answer clearly afforded my client the life she has always dreamed about, perhaps more.
At some point in every one of our lives, we face rejection as a natural reaction to be being in alignment with our goals. Life puts many roadblocks in front of us and it is our job as individuals to either let those blocks separate us from what we want or accept them and find ways to overcome them. Challenging the odds and refusing to give up hones our character to be able to defeat obstacles standing in our way.
My client’s success did not come overnight. It came brick upon brick or condo upon condo over 42 years. It’s amazing to me what we can accomplish slowly and over time with diligence and staying close to our goals.