At 16 years old I was already living on my own because my parents were divorced and I was very independently minded. I lived in my hometown of Covington, VA.
Every week, I was in clubs and bars till 3 a.m. because I was a keyboard player in a band.
If I stepped out of the club for fresh air, I always had to explain my way back in. During the day, I had a job at Skate World.
About this time, I discovered a set of tapes
in the back seat of my Dad’s car, called “The Psychology of Winning”
and I thought they were totally amazing. The idea that you could set a goal and just make it happen.
But because I was so young, I was up against lack of experience and everyone saying, “When you have experience come back and then we can work with you.”
So I got my real estate broker’s license at 18.
And then at 19, I had the idea to sell listings for developers which gave me an abundant supply of homes to list. But I was still looking for a way to use where I was at, to get to something even better, so I asked the developers how they raised money? They said through investors.
I had $12,000 saved from Skate World. I gave it all to the developers as my first investment. All of it. 1 year later, my ROI, was $39,000. Talk about confidence boost!
Today, most people see me as a guy that puts “smart” business deals together. But I don’t think success in business is about being “smart.”
All the things I’m passionate about – business, music (I played in bands up until 42), nature photography, and even puzzles – are about being one thing: creative.
Thinking back on my teenage self, playing music in clubs till late and doing real estate deals by day,
I can now see I’ve always been the same person: 50% business and 50% creative.