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Blogging the Bonanza – Day 1

1.) To follow the path, look to the master,

Follow the master, walk with the master.

See through the master, become the master.

2.) From the withered tree, a flower blooms

-Zen Proverbs

Day I

What is interesting to me, and I mean really interesting, is that the more we become connected as a global society, and the more that information becomes freely available through the internet, the harder it is to find people that are not only true experts in their chosen discipline, but who are also able to teach their subject matter with great facility and in doing so create a student who is ultimately capable of emulating their success.  Listeners of my radio show know that, whenever people offer to be your ‘mentor’ without you asking, you need to run the other way.  Along these lines I have found, personally, that it is hard to find people who lead by example and have integrity.  Knowing this, when you do find these people full of integrity(and this is especially true in the world of real estate investment education), you need to seek out these rare individuals and work hard on become their students. In doing so, you will not only find success but you will also find confidence –and in this business, my friends, confidence is the name of this game.

Enter Investor Bonanza.

As a long time real estate investor who prefers to be more of a student than a teacher, and after having invested tens of thousands of dollars in home study courses, when I say this I say it with the genuine fiber and conviction of someone who has been changed – inexorably – and been given a new understanding of what it means to be a true real estate visionary.  Ergo, it is critical that you sense my conviction when I issue the following statement, publicly, and in writing:

I honestly believe that Don Derosa and Pete Youngs are two of the greatest real estate educators in the world today.  Period.

Now, I am hosting the Investor Bonanza here in Atlanta in October 2009, and to be honest wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I was asked(and honored) to emcee the event.  Yes, of course, I mean everybody has read about Don Derosa in The New York Times Bestselling book The Millionaire Real Estate Investor; Pete Youngs, well, everybody knows the 1996 Olympic Committee pretty much asked him to build the housing facilities for the Olympic staff and international athletes.  Yes, of course I knew these things – I mean who doesn’t, right?  But knowing these simple facts did not prepare me for what I was about to encounter.

Now, I could get into Pete Young’s Day 1 instruction, which was not only comprehensive but underscored a deep rooted understanding of real estate investing and construction, precision crafted and honed by hundreds if not thousands of transactions, rehabs, problems, construction jobs, or unexpected events – not to mention Pete’s mastery of mold identification.  I could tell you these things, but I won’t.

I could tell you about the simple and genuine way that Don Derosa teaches students how to negotiate real estate deals, and negotiate these deals not solely with the idea of using some cliché techniques, but rather with the idea of empowering students – of enabling them – so that they can emerge from an intensive 5 day event and begin to engineer real estate transactions which are not only profitable but also which substantially reduce risk.  And I could inform you that Don isn’t the guy who subliminally infers to an audience “I did 200+ transactions with none of my own money and you didn’t” type of mentality; rather, he is the gentle teacher who, like a Zen master, allows the student to learn with the goal of developing true mastery; if only because what was once a fearful and complicated subject has become reduced to something…well, something so damn simple and achievable the students in the workshop, myself included, find themselves wondering why they haven’t thought of these things before?

I could also tell you about the incredible lineup of speakers who have arrived at this event, and the way that their topics work so synergistically together within the framework of Pete and Don’s curriculum.  To me as a teacher(Masters in Education, btw), it is just so evident that Don and Pete have made the conscious choice to give students not only the tools that they need to succeed; but chose to do so without the hollow upsell. Experienced investors, you know what I am talking about.

Yes, these things I could describe  to you the way a sports reporter relays a boxing match – a technical description and summary of something that only more seasoned aficionados would recognize as a true art form.  But I cannot attempt to do justice and describe accurately the crisp and articulate, dare I say, caring – way that these two gurus have chosen to dedicate a week of their lives, away from their families, to give back to their students who they are so truly committed to helping duplicate their long record of personal successes.  Instead of sharing that with you, I would rather relay to you the sentiments that a workshop student shared with me tonight, which demonstrated to that me Don and Pete, well, they are pretty smart guys who know a bit more than they let on, and that the workshop has been designed by them purposely from the ground up to empower their students and, equally as important, to provide the students with incredible value.

During dinner tonight, one of the students said to me ‘I have not made an investment yet, but today I realized that I can be successful and I can DO THIS.  The only thing that is hard for me is that my [spouse] doesn’t think this can work, and it is hard for me to feel like I can succeed without my spouses’ support.  But Pete and Don have made me realize that I can do this alone if necessary, and that alone is worth the price of admission.  I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings!!!

It was in that moment – in that…brief…span of time that I realized, truly began to grasp, that beyond the techniques of acquisition and structuring financing, and beyond learning how to negotiate and develop exit strategies for real property, the thing that is the most critical element for us on this journey is when somebody gives us the gift of FAITH in ourselves, and in doing so we begin to believe that we are actually capable of such earth shattering things it actually becomes scary  to think that for all these years we slept dormant, unaware of what we have been capable of…it is in this awakening that we begin to grasp how truly precious our time here is, and how little of it there is to waste.  It is in this gift that we begin to see that the money real estate investing promises us is not the ultimate goal of the journey, but simply a tool we acquire on the journey which for all of us is so distinctly personal and yet in many ways so similar – I find myself beginning to wonder if everyone ending up in the same room here is merely a coincidence, or the suggestion of Providence???

Faith then, of all things, becomes the catalyst that empowers us, and in becoming empowered we begin to realize that we are, in fact, meant to do something greater with our lives than simply go to work each day while we wait to expire.  And interestingly, that is a sentiment I hear so often in my interactions with real estate students across the country.  People want to believe that they were meant to be successful, and to do something meaningful, although that often goes against the ideas that we encounter growing up.  Most of the time, we are taught that people who succeed are the exception, not the norm.  You know, we aren’t on TV but the successful people are, so that must mean we can only, possibly, be average – at best. Right?  Isn’t that really the lesson we are subconsciously taught from our youth?

Evidently, Pete Youngs and Don Derosa don’t like that lesson very much and thought that it was time for a change.

And today I realized that change is very, very good.

If Faith in ourselves is the element of success in understanding what we are capable of doing as real estate investors(and as people), much in the same way that Faith is a core component of a healthy and robust spiritual life, then Don Derosa and Pete Youngs have simply chosen to become the metaphorical real estate preachers who, inevitably, have begun to lead us down the path to what is both equally a real and at the same time metaphorical form of real estate salvation. It is uncanny too, because their leadership is so natural, and so almost, well, let’s just say effortless, that these two gentleman end up leading by example not only because of their breadth and depth of subject knowledge, but also by demonstrating, consistently and without fail, true integrity and deep caring for their students.  Experienced investors in this industry will agree with me that these things, sadly, are often sorely lacking at events such as these. Yet that statement makes the presence of almost one hundred students absolutely engrossed in this seminar a refreshing sight indeed.

I find myself emerging from the end of Day 1 both exhausted but also renewed, cleansed in newfound knowledge and ideas of empowerment.  Recognizing this, I can only say one thing;

Preach on, boys.  Preach on!


Blogging the Bonanza is Robert Feol’s feeble attempt to capture the spirit of Don Deorsa’s and Pete Youngs’ Investor Bonanza, a national real estate investing workshop  which features some of the greatest real estate educators in The United States today.  Want more information?  Visit Robert’s blogs at DiscountPropertyWarehouse.net or join him on the live feed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/investor-bonanza