I'll bet you've never heard of Earl Shoaff.
Earl dropped out of school after the 8th grade. He went on to become a success in network marketing. You probably have, however; heard of the 25-year-old youngster whom he "sponsored", and eventually became a life mentor to.
This young man has since become an author, award-winning speaker who has shared the podium with the likes of Zig Ziglar and Donald Trump, and until his recent death (and arguably still), holds the title of "America's Foremost Business Philosopher". I am talking, of course; about Jim Rohn.
There is an even more fascinating chapter to the story of what a "dropout's" influence may accomplish. While Jim Rohn was getting his seminar business established, he employed a purely commissioned sales force, who would cold-call on business owners and sell very expensive tickets to Mr. Rohn's seminars.
One of Jim Rohn's salespeople was a tall, energetic, and awkward 18-year-old. This young man went on to become Jim's top salesperson, and Mr. Rohn "took him under his wing" and mentored him, much as Mr. Shoaff had done for himself years ago.
The young man very quickly became a world-renowned speaker, bestselling author, and authority in the field of intrapersonal psychology, motivation, and human development. He was a millionaire, living in an actual "castle", by the age of 24. He has trained Olympic and professional athletes on how to run their brains for maximum effectiveness, helped the United States Army to improve its training programs, and is acknowledged as THE expert in his field by such giants as Ken Blanchard, who wrote the introduction to his internationally bestselling book, “Unlimited Power”, which he authored at the ripe old age of 26. Most of you will have by now figured out that I'm referring to Anthony Robbins.
Is all this to say that I am not a firm believer in the value of education? Far from it. I serve as Director of Education for our local Real Estate Investors Association, and have invested well over $50K into my RE Investing Education, travelling the country to attend pinpoint-specific seminars and workshops on the art. Earl Shoaff's formal education stopped after the 8th grade, but he continued to educate himself through a self-chosen program of study until the time of his death. Jim Rohn quoted the wisdom he learned from Mr. Shoaff in his speeches throughout his entire life.
So what conclusion may we draw from this? Simply that you will pay the price of Education in your Real Estate Investing endeavors in one of two ways:
- Up front, by learning from those who have successfully walked the path you wish to tread.
- Along the way, in the brutal school of ruthless experience. Trust me, this is not only the more expensive method in terms of dollars, but can deliver levels of emotional distress that knock many aspiring investors clear out of the business.
Lou Gimbutis, owner of Property Solutions, LLC, www.SoldCarolina.com, has been buying and selling houses full-time since 2004, first in Michigan, then after moving to NC in 2007. He serves as Director of Education for the Metrolina Real Estate Investor’s Association.