Money for Nothing

Do you remember when Dire Straights summed up their financial frustrations in 1985’s “Money for Nothing?”

Now look at them yo-yo’s, that the way you do it…

You play the guitar on the MTV.

That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it,

Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free.

Dire Straits video image

We never seem to appreciate the work and sacrifice that others put in to become an “overnight success,” do we?

The same thing goes for real estate investors. Have you noticed?

People look to real estate as their financial escape plan.

They want the money and wealth-building opportunities that real estate provides. They want to be investors.

But few are PREPARED to BE investors.

You may have heard us joke on our radio show… or at an event— when someone introduces themselves, and we ask them what they do…

“I’m a real estate investor.”

“Really? That’s great. How many houses have you bought?”

“Well, none. I’m just getting started.”

“Oh, neat. Then, I’m a brain surgeon… but I haven’t done my first brain surgery yet.”

A few years ago I was in a group with an actual brain surgeon.

He went to school for a long time, and all of the special concentrations and rotations of med school helped get him to where he was.

But before that, there was a “first time” that he saw another surgeon work on a brain.

And then, after that, there was the first time he worked on a brain.

They didn’t just grab him out of the hallway and say, “come in here, and work on this patient’s brain!”

He invested a lot of time and money in his education.

Not surprising, right?

However, in real estate, many people seem to wake up one day and decide…

“Today is the day I become a real estate investor.”

But what are they investing?

So many people that we talk with don’t have money to actually invest in real estate. It’s like they want a return on $0.

Those deals that are “no money out of pocket” aren’t free, however. They come with experience and expertise, and those both cost time and money.

How can you start accumulating funds to invest?

A great place to start is the the advice offered in George S. Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon.” In it, the character of Arkad recommends that you set aside 1/10th of all you earn as “yours to keep.”

Pay yourself first.

That is his first (of seven) “cures for a lean purse.”


Before we even see our paychecks, the government has taken their share. Usually insurance costs are deducted from our paychecks, as well.

But we’re talking 1/10th of the GROSS, not the NET.

Do you have the willpower to set aside, budget and live on less now so you can create more tomorrow?

Growing up, my parents took me to church, and I was taught to tithe. That means giving 1/10th of one’s income to the church to support its work.

So, when I read Clason’s advice to pay yourself 1/10th, that stood out.

When I thought about it, I realized, “I just gave God a tenth of what earned. He made me in His image. I should give myself the same.”

Some people say their body is a temple, and they’ll eat right and exercise, but they won’t make an offering at that temple.

However, the tenth that you set aside, you’ll have to set it to working. That may be in your education, like my brain surgeon friend did, or it may be in your first piece of investment real estate.

But the day that happens, you’ll become an investor.

“Willpower is but the unflinching purpose to carry the task you set for yourself to fulfillment.”

George S. Clason

The Richest Man in Babylon

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