Crushing It: Winning With a Bad Hand (February Challenge PT2)

By
Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

Crushing It:  Winning With a Bad Hand

Post 2 will be about how your experiences have influenced your professional life and what your book would be about. I can share my book would be about the professional lessons below, and how they guide /guided me through great (and not so great) careers and business decisions.

  • In late 1987/early1988 at 19 years of age I started what would become Nelson Entertainment, Mobile & Night Club DJ Entertainment and lasted 30 years!
  • In April 1989 both my hands 80% amputated at 20 yrs. Physical recovery would take 3 years and the PTSD is still with me to this day.
  • In late 1989, bought my first house through both rent-to own and seller financing methods. This taught me a lot about real estate ownership and investing and set my RE investing in motion that continues to this day, I just bought another investment property in July 2021.
  • In 1995 I read Michael E, Gerber’s E-Myth Revisited and it changed my life as an entrepreneur and as a man, it set me on a journey of self-improvement and coaching.
  • In 1998 I started working part-time with my mom in real estate.
  • In 1999 at age 31, I became a licensed REALTOR*
  • In 2003 at 35 yrs. (a promise kept) Moved to San Diego, CA.
  • 2004 completely started my real estate business over in San Diego and expanded Nelson Entertainment to SD, keeping my Bay Area business running with the help of my business partner.
  • 2007 – 2011 THE CRASH taught me what I was made of as a man, a husband & father and a business owner. I DJ’d more than I sold real estate but managed to sell about a hundred short sales in that Great Recession.
  • 2017 I retired Nelson Entertainment after 30 years of performing and was honored to do my last gig for two close friends that were marrying each other on July 4th weekend that year out at Tower 23 in PB – SD, CA. I’m a full time REALTOR* and property manager now…no safety net of two careers. But I was confident in my real estate skills and ability to earn, adapt and overcome.
  • The pandemic of 2020-2022 colliding with all my Buffini & Company training and systems in place caused my business launch like a rocket to a new level, jumping from $8MM-$12MM/year in sales to $20 million/year!

My journey; I wouldn’t re-do differently, it’s led me here and I’m quite happy; it’s a good life, not always great, because people die, lie and cry, but always a good life because it’s filled with gifts amongst the challenges.

   

This is the Cincinnati Hydraulic Brake Press that tried to take my hands; it only got 80%, I recovered 80% use.

My accident with my hands taught me the most in life up until marriage and fatherhood, but I value the lessons that were born of this tragedy. Professionally (and personally) these lessons have served me well.  After being told I couldn't keep my left hand and I'd never use my right hand again, I learned the value of "stay the course" and keep the faith". I also learned the value of being relentlessly persistent and ferociously tenacious in achieving goals.

Ailina used to assist me (DJ) at weddings and wedding fairs. 1987-2017 (photo 2007)

Professionally what my total experiences have taught me are quite simple in principle and yet were so complicated to learn, because they almost ended me on at least four occasions-I had to really, really want it and to believe in some cases "getting through this hell", was the only way to find heaven. I have learned that common sense is uncommon in in life, but that and my gut feeling has served me well – trust yourself, trust your gut. Make decisions, don’t seek the council of naysayers and fools and learn from (and own) your mistakes.

    One of my first short sales (buyer) during the crash 2008                One of my very first San Diego sales 2006 (buyers).

But I can share that if you put your clients needs ahead of your own and you value your relationships more than the paychecks with them, you will build a career built on advocacy, founded in trust, competence and character that rewards you financially, emotionally and whole-heartedly.

(Part of) Team Nelson featuring Jason E. Gordon        My oldest clients: 21 years, 6 closed escrows in BOTH -                                                                                                                                     The Bay Area and in San Diego - we've lived in both together!!!

Zig Ziglar truly summed it up with “Help enough people get what they want in life, and you can get anything you want in life.” CAUTION:  I’ve seen a a work-friend lose his marriage, real estate career and go broke giving away his money and time to charities, causes and non-profits, thinking it would come back 10-fold. The adage is “Give it out in SLICES and it comes back in loaves”. My friend went overboard. Be generous, but “charity begins at home”. It does you no good to be a “hero” in public if you’re MIA at home. Get your house in order.

Posted by


Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
I Offer Rebates to Veterans
& Active Duty

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(858) 232-8722
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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

 
 
Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (20)

Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Thomas and thanks for sharing your history with us here in the Rain.  Good to learn more about you!

 

Feb 27, 2022 08:40 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Thank You Will Hamm 

Feb 27, 2022 08:43 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Great job in overcoming substantial barriers both in your business and personal life. We should all get back together for a meet-up sometime soon. Thanks for sharing!

Feb 27, 2022 08:51 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI that would be great, if I could only convince Jeff Dowler, CRS to move the meetups to Encinitas (subtle hint Jeff) and lighten the commute for me.

The Ocean Beach Harbor, while fun,  is too far a drive for me these days with what has become with my schedule.

Feb 27, 2022 09:34 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Thomas,

What an inspiring story and outline of your career and those whose wise advice your heeded.  Like you we are big on trusting our gut feelings.  They never fail us. A

Feb 27, 2022 10:26 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Thomas you've got quite the determined and focused professional history. And wow - you've had a lot to deal with and somehow you figured it out over and over.  A true success I'd say on many, many levels.  Trust yourself and trust your gut - very true. And  the MIA is a big mistake many make.  Charity does begin at home!  Thanks for both your entries into the February Challenge!!

Feb 27, 2022 11:43 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I appreciate you checking them out and your feedback Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker 

Feb 27, 2022 11:48 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Thank You Ron and Alexandra Seigel so true, and they way I see it, I'd rather be wrong trusting my gut than wrong for not...one's much easier to live with than the other.

Feb 27, 2022 11:50 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets 
You might take the prize for overcoming the greatest challenges. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. 

Feb 27, 2022 12:30 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I have always enjoyed playing the hand that I have been dealt Thomas. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday 🙂

Feb 27, 2022 01:22 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Thomas- I just read one of your posts and then this one. All I can say is your story is an inspiring one. Despite things, you have made a nice pitcher of lemonade from the lemons you  were handed. 

Feb 27, 2022 04:41 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Whoa, I am still trying to wrap my head around you having both your hands 80% amputated in 1989.

Feb 28, 2022 06:12 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - I can "see" how the significance of quotes play a role in your daily life.  In thought and in action.   

Feb 28, 2022 06:23 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Thanks Carol Williams no a prize I was seeking, but life is what happens when we're busy making other plans. 😉

Feb 28, 2022 07:50 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Kathy Streib sometimes the lemons lay on the counter for a few days, but I eventually get around to making lemonade. I was raised to do so and it's hard to ignore the benefits.

Feb 28, 2022 07:51 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Thomas, did not know most of what you shared, and the accident with your hands would have been SCARY! 

Feb 28, 2022 07:51 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Brian England yes me too some days. While I rarely dwell on it 33 years later, but when I do it's typically to remind myself, "are you really whining about this? C'mon man you've gotten through much worse!" It helps snap me out of pettiness.

Feb 28, 2022 07:53 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Yes indeed Michael Jacobs - I have to keep myself up in a down mind some days, so the quotes and my scars remind me of triumphs and possibilities. Night precedes the dawn, clouds part and there's Mr. Sun. It's been a 33 year journey to elevate my mind.

Feb 28, 2022 07:56 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Thanks Joan Cox - yes, 33 years ago I didn't know if I'd ever use them again, but a determined mind and a 20 year old male ego did the trick!

Feb 28, 2022 07:57 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets, with great determination and hard work, you've achieved many can only dream of. Your story is truly inspirational, thank you for sharing.

 

Feb 28, 2022 02:38 PM