Success Journal - The journey to actualising one's potential

BeTheChange

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Last night I experienced an unexpected setback. Deflated, I retired for the night, brooding. My father sent me a link to an audiobook of the Greatest Salesman in the World a few days earlier. I listened to it at work and it woke me up. Simple concepts, but brilliantly described. My intention is to read the book in the way the author intended. I’m a firm believer that success and one’s happiness is achieved first through the mind and then through the world. I’ve seen the destruction that self-pity and a negative mindset can wreak on an individual. Beliefs about oneself are the very foundation of greatness. I KNOW this to be true.

Everyday is an opportunity and a gift, especially here in the most affluent part of the world. I’m challenging myself to set and achieve the goals that will drive me forward to actualising my potential. I invite others to do the same. Here is my list.

  1. Get up early
  2. [BEFORE WORK] Read The Greatest Salesman in the World. One scroll repeatedly each month (alongside the actual book itself)
  3. [BEFORE WORK] Read a portion of How to Make Friends and Influence People each day. Had a few people tell me this is a cracking book
  4. [BEFORE WORK] Meditate
  5. FINALLY learn Spanish – audio tapes to and from my walk to work.
  6. Get into work 1 hour before standard working hours, daily.
  7. Generate a before tax gross income of 5 figures per month (dollar) from all income sources
  8. Master the guitar to the best of my ability within the time available – min. 3 days a week for a cumulative 3 hours a week
And a few things I’m already doing that I’ll try to not let fall by the wayside
  1. Gym 4 – 5 times a week (preferably in the morning now the weather is better)
  2. Salsa at least once a week
Women are not part of the agenda AT ALL.

You can always be better. If I want to be head of the movie studio I work for I'll need to learn to sell and possess the type of personality that allows people to gravitate towards me. The cultivation of beneficial habits separates those who achieve their goals from the rest. I'm challenging myself to update this each day for the next year until I finish The Greatest Salesman (10 months) and then intermittently afterwards. Watch this space.
 
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playa99

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Good thread, best of luck! Look forward to seeing how you get on.
 

BeTheChange

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Great first day. Body physically felt more vibrant and ready. Woke up early this morning without needing an alarm.

Seeing more opportunities around me. Loving my work at the moment and seem to be smashing it, although I know I can do a lot better and will improve my game over the coming weeks.

A financial setback on an investment won't deter me. I'm looking at the next R/E investment. A property in the $150,000 - $250,000 that requires renovation for maximum value extraction.

Intending to pull equity out of one of my current investments as a means to help finance the next one.
 

BeTheChange

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Day 2

My actions are ruled by appetite, passion, prejudice, greed, love, fear, environment, habit, and the worst of these tyrants is habit. Therefore if I must be a slave to habit let me be a slave to good habits.
 
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BeTheChange

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Day 3

Started Spanish tapes again.

Began from the Pimsleur Method Unit 2. Aim is to do two tapes a day (60 more in total) and hopefully finish the course by the time I head to Dubai in May.
 

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BeTheChange

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Day 4

Happy with work ethic and attitude today. Positive throughout the day and highly productive. Stayed in the office late to power through a project. The next two months are crucial and this period represents and excellent time to prove myself.

Need to improve on waking up earlier, while still getting enough sleep. Can't seem to get to bed early enough. Need to improve my at home efficiency. Also haven't read much of HTWFIP or meditated in the morning. Goes back to waking up earlier.

Aiming to be up for 7 latest, and in the office for 7:45 tomorrow. Most people get in for 9.
 

BeTheChange

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Day 5

Exhausted.

Last few days have been early rise for work, then gym, then home to eat and bed..I need to blow off some steam.

But I'm at a work convention on Thursday and there's a deadline to hit for Friday...so one less day to het the work done than I'd originally anticipated. Hoping I can delegate as much work as possible to the intern. Put in the hours today but still felt disappointed at the end result. Got to keep grinding.
 

guru1000

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A new thing I been practicing of late that I will share in this thread of achieving greatness is an absolute conscious refusal to commit to de-valuing thoughts or acts a/k/a "weakness."
  • Thoughts about how to "game" or "keep" a particular girl is de-valuing (applicable to some DJs here);
  • Nostalgia and thoughts about an ex are de-valuing (applicable to some DJs here);
  • Thoughts about how Person A had screwed you is de-valuing;
  • Thoughts about how Person B <insert negative act> is de-valuing;
  • Aspiration toward mediocrity is de-valuing;
  • Indulging in superfluous worry is de-valuing;
  • Etc. (Insert your personal demons here)
YOU are above these de-valuing thoughts. This is not to be confused with not properly preparing, planning, or coordinating the finer details but rather transcending the fruitless contemplation which intercedes. Some of our time may be spent in this mode of "fruitless contemplation," where we are buried in these circumscribing thoughts. I am here to say that those thoughts are indeed de-valuing and de-validating, which, collectively, can belie the "frame" of greatness which you already own.

The mind cannot operate with "greatness" and "weakness" concurrently. For most, the mind is in constant flux, though predominantly in weakness as the past (and thus the future) is familiar, somewhat bearable, and thus comfortable. For the great, the mind is more focalized, predominantly in greatness as the idea of the unknown and less familiar is welcomed, and the impending recondite challenges are embraced. Be conscious of your thoughts; they pave an unequivocal road.
 
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BeTheChange

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A new thing I been practicing of late that I will share in this thread of achieving greatness is an absolute conscious refusal to commit to de-valuing thoughts or acts a/k/a "weakness."
  • Thoughts about how to "game" or "keep" a particular girl is de-valuing (applicable to some DJs here);
  • Nostalgia and thoughts about an ex are de-valuing (applicable to some DJs here);
  • Thoughts about how Person A had screwed you is de-valuing;
  • Thoughts about how Person B <insert negative act> is de-valuing;
  • Aspiration toward mediocrity is de-valuing;
  • Indulging in superfluous worry is de-valuing;
  • Etc. (Insert your personal demons here)
YOU are above these de-valuing thoughts. This is not to be confused with not properly preparing, planning, or coordinating the finer details but rather transcending the fruitless contemplation which intercedes. Some of our time may be spent in this mode of "fruitless contemplation," where we are buried in these circumscribing thoughts. I am here to say that those thoughts are indeed de-valuing and de-validating, which, collectively, can belie the "frame" of greatness which you already own.

The mind cannot operate with "greatness" and "weakness" concurrently. For most, the mind is in constant flux, though predominantly in weakness as the past (and thus the future) is familiar, somewhat bearable, and thus comfortable. For the great, the mind is more focalized, predominantly in greatness as the idea of the unknown and less familiar is welcomed, and the impending recondite challenges are embraced. Be conscious of your thoughts; they pave an unequivocal road.
Day 6

Great post Guru, and much needed. Was lost in a bit of a fog on Tuesday (may elaborate in another post). Timely.
 

BeTheChange

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Day 7

Nothing new to report. Refurb on my latest property is still ongoing. Pushing for completion as it's already been 3 months and the builder keeps finding new things that need to be fixed. My contact in the city who is helping me oversee the process says the value of the property will increase by twice what it has cost in man hours and materials but I'm eager to get people in.

The development on the luxury flats has stalled. Reluctant to supply the deposit as there are fresh concerns the development company may go under, however have already paid the reservation fee so negotiating with them (with the help of my lawyers). There are 3 possible scenarios.

Either they refuse to pay me back the reservation fee, which is sizeable, and we go to court. They refund me the reservation fee and we go our separate ways. They acquiesce to my demand that any deposit transferred takes place much sooner toward the expected completion date when it is clear I'm getting something for the money being paid.

@guru1000 @BeExcellent

Any experience with this? The contract states the reservation fee for the development taking place is non refundable however several facts have come to public knowledge since the contract was signed.

1. Developer may be in financial trouble

2. The former chairman of the development company may have ties to.money laundering operations and there are accusations some of the funds for the development arose from these means. All allegations from a local paper. Nothing has been proven in court.

3. Progress has stalled on the developments themselves and they are unlikely to meet the expected completion date
 
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guru1000

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If you are dealing with a soon-to-be insolvent entity, you are shvt out of luck to collect on a legal judgment. But you can become a problem to them not worth the headache and possibly negotiate your deposit back.

If I were in your position, I would begin with a phone call, follow by a “loaded” letter, served personally, stating:

BeTheChange (“Complainant”) executed a contract (the “Contract”) with XYZ Corp on 1/1/2017 for specific contracting services to be effected upon 100 Old Street, State, Zip Code (the “Property”).

XYZ company violated the Contract by failing to perform on the following terms:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Accordingly, as XYZ violated the Contract, Complainant’s performance, too, is forfeited and Complainant demands a full refund of $____ to be returned to Complainant within ten (10) business days of XYZ’s receipt of this letter.

XYZ Corp Must Be In Compliance With Federal, State and Local Laws

XYZ fails to realize that licensed contractors must be in full compliance with all federal, state, and local laws which govern its practices.

Action Required: Refund Deposit Within Ten (10) Business Days
Should Complainant’s deposit not be refunded within ten (10) business days, Complainant will bring a civil suit seeking recovery of the deposit as well as seeking incidental, consequential, and punitive damages. Complainant will also serve this demand along with the impending lawsuit upon the local district attorney who will be encouraged to bring a suit for criminal fraud upon XYZ Corp and its officers.

BE GOVERNED ACCORDINGLY.
Following non-compliance, I would initiate the suit, pro se--not with hopes of collecting judgment, but rather a negotiable tool to work out a settlement.

BTW, I sue often, usually “preemptively,” but with factual substance to leverage negotiations in my favor. Notwithstanding, I don’t know how much money is involved to state that the above is worth the hassle.
 
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Guruangutan

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If you are dealing with a soon-to-be insolvent entity, you are shvt out of luck to collect on a legal judgment. But you can become a problem to them not worth the headache and possibly negotiate your deposit back.

If I were in your position, I would begin with a phone call, follow by a “loaded” letter, served personally, stating:


Following non-compliance, I would initiate the suit, pro se--not with hopes of collecting judgment, but rather a negotiable tool to work out a settlement.

BTW, I sue often, usually “preemptively,” but with factual substance to leverage negotiations in my favor. Notwithstanding, I don’t know how much money is involved to state that the above is worth the hassle.
You sound like the type of piker that pulls a display of lima bean cans on himself in a supermarket and then tries to sue for millions due to "faulty equipment".

Will you Sue So Suave too if you "accidentally" spill coffee on yourself blaming it on So Suave "trolls" for causing you mental meltdowns and financial losses?
 

Tenacity

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Any experience with this? The contract states the reservation fee for the development taking place is non refundable however several facts have come to public knowledge since the contract was signed.

1. Developer may be in financial trouble

2. The former chairman of the development company may have ties to.money laundering operations and there are accusations some of the funds for the development arose from these means. All allegations from a local paper. Nothing has been proven in court.

3. Progress has stalled on the developments themselves and they are unlikely to meet the expected completion date
This is why you have to be careful and not get too over-leveraged as you proceed forward with this process. There's a variety of things that go WRONG with these transactions and you have to risk manage these situations upfront because over-leveraging yourself could lead to issues.

To his credit, I'm glad Guru is finally starting to detail more of the nuisances, risk management, and problems with these types of transactions (which is why he has to "sue often"). It's the point I was trying to make to you that this type of business requires a lot more hands-on, legal leverage, and risk mitigation procedures.

This is why you guys can't be running around promoting this as some type of "get rich quick process" for the majority of people on this forum.

I hope this all works out, keep your attorney and legal counsel involved at all times with this. Forget coming to the forum asking "Guru" or "BeExcellent", you need your Legal Team involved at all times when doing this.
 

guru1000

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The legal leverage I employ is the niche in my VC business, whereas I'm in constant suits with federal and state taxation agencies and competitors to "soften" the settlements. I have yet to litigate in any R/E transaction.

Most R/E investors know what it feels like to get screwed over by a contractor. Hell, I would say, for most, it's the cost of doing business. Building a team of electrical, plumbing, fire, and general contractors you can trust not to screw you takes time and consider yourself lucky IF you do build an efficient team.

Most of these losses RE investors take through rogue contractors are minimal, though they could be big. I gather that BeTheChange's "reservation fee" is minimal in comparison to the "deposit fee" now requested. Accordingly, if the monies lost are minimal, it's not in BeTheChange's best interest to retain counsel and sink more monies to recover a nominal fee that likely may not be recovered. If the monies lost are substantial, then I'd encourage to retain counsel who are versed in suiting and collecting monetary judgments, and negotiate the retainer fee on a contingency basis. However, as stated, the company is involved in some illicit practices so it appears collecting from a soon-to-be insolvent corp is a challenging, and for the non-astute a futile, endeavor.

My original recommendation stands namely for the education BeTheChange will gather through this experience.
 

BeExcellent

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My comment about legal stuff is to read whatever contracts you sign very thoroughly and be certain YOU really understand what you are signing. Before you sign. Never again sign something so adverse to you (no refund no matter what is very adverse.) If they say "Well this is our paperwork, too bad" then they are quite happy to screw you in a split second. Screw you language is there precisely to screw you. Got it?

Know that is a risk exposure going in.

You want a contract that is reasonable if not fair.

At times you actually need to know statute. At times you must educate your own attorney. At times the judge.

I'm a lucky a$$hole. My family is full of high powered attorneys (read good free legal advice at the dial of a phone.) I've had insurance companies fold on refusing claims because they know it's going to cost them more money to try and refuse to pay...and it's not going to rack up legal fees for me to run up their costs.

Even if I'm in a different state I grew up in a legal family. I know how to risk manage ventures.

Maybe you are right about your upfront fee. Maybe you can win back your fee. At what cost? Sometimes being "right" isn't worth the energy or expense involved. You gotta pick your spots.

How much is "substantial" money? What remedy do you have in the event of developer default? Your contract should address this issue in some way or you shouldn't have signed it.

I'm not shaming mind, I'm educating. If you sue and they file bankruptcy you're out good money after bad.

I'd go over that contract very closely. You need to see if you are granted any recourse and you also need to be sure you are not further obligated irrespective of their ability to perform.

What constitutes breach of contract on their part? If it isn't set forth then it becomes a matter of statute & case law for you locale.

Lawyers will be happy to milk your money on a wild goose chase if you are the least bit naive. They will smile & chat and bill you for every word.

If you signed a contract that screws you, the court or an honest lawyer will inform you "well hotshot, you're screwed." So read the agreement & see how screwed you are beforehand. If it's worth suing, by all means sue...you have damages potentially. But weigh the cost to you to sue.

Put a lien on the property perhaps. Cloud the land's title. There's various things you can do. Those are things you should consult with an attorney about. Find the most hard nosed, honest a s s h o L e attorney you can.

What does your agreement say?

Disclosure: I'm not an attorney. This is practical advice...not legal advice.
 
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BeTheChange

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This is why you have to be careful and not get too over-leveraged as you proceed forward with this process. There's a variety of things that go WRONG with these transactions and you have to risk manage these situations upfront because over-leveraging yourself could lead to issues.

To his credit, I'm glad Guru is finally starting to detail more of the nuisances, risk management, and problems with these types of transactions (which is why he has to "sue often"). It's the point I was trying to make to you that this type of business requires a lot more hands-on, legal leverage, and risk mitigation procedures.

This is why you guys can't be running around promoting this as some type of "get rich quick process" for the majority of people on this forum.

I hope this all works out, keep your attorney and legal counsel involved at all times with this. Forget coming to the forum asking "Guru" or "BeExcellent", you need your Legal Team involved at all times when doing this.
If I wanted your input I would have asked for it. The reservation fee constitues a fraction of my net worth (but enough to be worth the effort of getting it back) and the leverage is not the issue here, which suggests you don't understand the problem. The issue is the fact I must make a decision as to whether or not to go ahead with this investment and if not then how to get the reservation fee back.

Note the 25% deposit has not been transferred yet. Please assume that your advice is unwarranted unless otherwise requested. In fact, please generally just stay out of this thread. I want to look back on this as a document of my progress so id rather not have it locked as you try and attempt to turn this into the Tenacity show. Thanks (and no need to respond to this post either)
 

playa99

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I feel for you, having been stung in business myself!

It really depends on the money involved. If you pursue the funds with a legal team, how much is that going to cost relative to the reservation fee?

I know your background is finance so I know that I am preaching to the choir, but truly do your due diligence on the firm in question. Research the Directors to see if they have a history of 'flopping' firms and setting up as a different entity the next day.

As Guru says, use this experience to build a team of solid contractors around you that you trust.
 

Tenacity

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If I wanted your input I would have asked for it. The reservation fee constitues a fraction of my net worth (but enough to be worth the effort of getting it back) and the leverage is not the issue here, which suggests you don't understand the problem. The issue is the fact I must make a decision as to whether or not to go ahead with this investment and if not then how to get the reservation fee back.

Note the 25% deposit has not been transferred yet. Please assume that your advice is unwarranted unless otherwise requested. In fact, please generally just stay out of this thread. I want to look back on this as a document of my progress so id rather not have it locked as you try and attempt to turn this into the Tenacity show. Thanks (and no need to respond to this post either)
No, I will post anywhere I want on an open discussion forum, sharing my opinions with those viewing as well as the original creator of the thread. If you want a private/exclusive discussion with only "certain" individuals, then you use the private conversation function. You also have the option of putting all of my content on "ignore".

Now like I said, one of the problems with these transactions is people getting over-leveraged and individuals who wish to entertain these types of business deals MUST realize the risks that are involved.
 

BeTheChange

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I feel for you, having been stung in business myself!

It really depends on the money involved. If you pursue the funds with a legal team, how much is that going to cost relative to the reservation fee?

I know your background is finance so I know that I am preaching to the choir, but truly do your due diligence on the firm in question. Research the Directors to see if they have a history of 'flopping' firms and setting up as a different entity the next day.

As Guru says, use this experience to build a team of solid contractors around you that you trust.
Thanks bro. I did a lot of DD. Information on this particular director only became public knowledge after the reservation fee was transferred.

Thankfully although the fee is material it's not too sizeable an amount. I will determine if it's worth the risk continuing to pursue this transaction and update you guys on the progress.

I can handle a legal fight if it comes to that as I can divert the positive net cash flow from my other property.

The individual talking about "over leveraging" clearly lacks basic reading comprehension as that is not the problem here.
 

guru1000

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The issue is the fact I must make a decision as to whether or not to go ahead with this investment and if not then how to get the reservation fee back.
As to the first part of this question: Many details are missing, so I had assumed the following, based on my own experience:
  • You own the land already (as opposed to the developer conveying the deed at completion);
  • Developer requires a 25% deposit before commencing any work; and
  • The reservation fee is minimal in comparison to the 25% deposit
I would not feel comfortable making a larger, uncollateralized deposit with a potential insolvent entity, possibly involved in illicit activities.

Further, just because a particular job appears finished doesn't mean that it is. Upon use, you could find costly problems with the electrical, plumbing, fire inspections, roof, heating systems, etc. A reputable contractor with a name, although some of these problems may not be warrantied or mentioned under contract, would come back to service these issues to ensure the customer is happy. Would this developer even be around later to service incompetent or shvtty work? Even if the developer warrantied all the work, how could you enforce a legal order against an insolvent entity?

I make it a rule whether using a developer or contractor to get at least three personal references whom I personally call and interview. I would encourage you to do the same in the future.

 
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