How Vegas Flipped the Switch

I retired.  Well, I sold my third company and hadn’t started a new one.  I didn’t have enough money to live out the rest of my life, but I did have enough to take a break and think about what should be next.

I had sold the last of my daycare centers, years earlier, then my half of a training business, and finally the real estate development company (that I was just a minor shareholder in).  What would be next?  What could I do that would be fun, lucrative & play to my strengths & skills?

How about real estate on a smaller scale.  Not buying raw land, getting financing set up, bringing in utilities, building roads, and everything else that is part of developing raw land into a successful master planned community on 800 acres of land.  That was a lot.  I had acquired skills while working on that project, but to be honest, it was not a great fit.  Buying real estate did seem to be, though.

So, I approached my former general partner, who was also my mother, and suggested that we look into different types of real estate investing.  We went to classes, and workshops, read books, and watched TV shows.  One workshop really delivered the goods.  It was put on by Real Estate Education Group, which is associated with Amie & Scott Yancey, of Flipping Vegas.

We went through their entire series and learned a tremendous amount, and stayed engaged because they have such great presenters.  However, what was more important was that we IMPLEMENTED what they taught.  We went out and looked at hundreds of properties after having looked at thousands online.  We made offers.  We bought things.  One of the things we bought was a house to flip.

IMG_1789Flipping on TV is amazing.  Scott & Amie Yancey for Flipping Vegas, who I think of as my mentors,  are very clear that reality is quite different.  They have missteps along the way, the just have the advantage of the editing bay.  If their gamble didn’t work out…they can cut that footage out.  They actually don’t flip most of the houses they buy.  They fix them up and rent them.  But “Buy & Hold Vegas” isn’t as sexy as “Flipping Vegas.”

What we learned from the Yanceys and their training team, was invaluable in our process.  Actually in this whole new real estate venture.  Their training helped us to know what to look for in a property, where to look for them, how to run the numbers (which has led us to pass on some deals that seemed great, before the numbers), and gave us confidence.  IMG_0077

I have gone to their introductory event 3 times, getting new inspiration and tips each time.  I have gone to Vegas twice and plan to go again this winter.  On one of the trips to the Buying Summit in Vegas, one of our properties was recognized for it’s excellence.

Vegas flipped us into real estate investors who DO!  If you get a chance to go to one of their events, either in your area all the way up to the Summit in Vegas, I encourage you to go.  Learn from experts.  All of the staff I met with have real life experience.  They have been there.  They invest in real estate as their primary business.  They teach because they are so darned excited about it that they can’t help but talk about it.  If they are going to talk about it anyway, they might as well get paid as instructors, coaches and speakers.  I get it.  I am totally psyched about it too!

Making money in real estate can be hard, but it is easier with the Yancey’s behind you.




Creating Momentum in your Family Business

One of the problems that plagues family businesses is stagnation.  This is because those who started the business worked hard to get where they are, and know that what they are doing worked to get them this far.  Some people call it founders syndrome.

That is great.  But did you notice the tense?  WorkED.  That does not necessarily mean it is workING now.  I have seen this from both sides.  I have been the daughter questioning tactics and the founder who insists “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Having been on each side of this issue, I have to say we get stuck in ruts and sometimes we need help to get out of them.

I am a born and bread entrepreneur and as such, I tend to lean toward change.  I find it exciting.  I love trying something new.  Many people find it terrifying.  I have one friend who puts it up there with sharks and public speaking.  I get it.  There is no safety railing on the new path.  You might fail.  Scratch that- you will fail- sometimes.

But here is the real question: Do you want o be comfortable in a business that is falling behind, or do you want to move forward?

You have to evaluate your priorities or you will end up like Sears.  A once thriving company that has sold off many of its iconic elements (bye-bye craftsmen, and Kenmore), still limping along on the strength of its land holdings.

Identify the areas of your business that need some special attention.  Once you have them identified, pick the one that is at the center of the Gordian knot and attack it!  Decide that the need to change is more important than your desire to remain comfortable.

If one of your family members is always going on about a specific area, look at it. Really examine what the market is doing in that area.  Are you still a front runner? Or have you fallen to the middle of the pack?  Sometimes things look like a huge mess out there.  CLUE:  That means you are at the back of the race and you will soon be on the sidelines.

As a business leader you probably have high intrinsic motivation and drive.  You are more likely to go the distance when you are doing something for your business instead of trying to please others. You create a positive vision and let your enthusiasm show. You are a rock star!  Don’t let your honoring of the past blind you to the opportunities of the future. Build on the momentum that you have already created. Hold onto what works while experimenting with new approaches. Do your research. Figure out what resources you need to address the issue. Start small then break major changes down into simpler steps.

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