Choosing the Right Moment to Make the Jump

Choosing the Right Moment to Make the Jump post image

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This article is by my business partner, @AnythingIan.

*  *  *

I was having a conversation over dinner with one of my good friends the other night. He was telling me about his ex co-worker Daniel’s success in the real estate market.

He’d made a ton of money in the past few months.

Here is the business model (it’s genius):

It’s common for realtors who’ve made a sale to not see their commission for up to 60 days.

Daniel solved this problem for them by starting a business that advances commissions. For the service, he tacks on a big margin for himself.

He started with $5K in capital. Within three months he’s already generated $400,000K in receivables.

He’d practically made a fortune overnight!

My friend was astonished by Daniel’s success.

I wasn’t so surprised.

* * *

I happen to know a few things about Daniel:

  • He’s been in the real estate game for over 5 years
  • By trade, he is an accountant
  • He quit his day job 3 years ago to focus 100% on real estate

My friend knows this about Daniel too, but he’s focused on moments rather than trajectories of success.

Did Daniel stumble upon a gold mine out of the blue? No.

Daniel has been spending his best creative hours each and every week for 5 years working to understand a market and identify opportunities.

* * *

I met Daniel once over lunch when we both still had corporate gigs. He was just getting started in real estate. I was just getting started too.

Daniel was sharp. He used to make investments based on data he mined from big box retailier’s investments strategies. But as it turns out Daniel’s big win wasn’t his first idea– buying and renting properties.

It isn’t for most of us.

Daniel planted the seed for his first big win way back in 2006– that’s when he went in on his real estate investment.

He watered that seed with hard work. He read books, attended seminars, talked endlessly about his craft, asked questions– and maybe most importantly– quit his job and took the ‘big risk’ to spend his best energy on his craft.

I know, at least in some way, my friend wants to experience similar kinds of successes.

Most of us do.

There is no question he’s capable of it. He’s one of the smartest guys I know.

My friend’s problem is he’s still working at the same job Daniel left 3 years ago to start his real estate business. He’s still waiting for the right moment to leave that will lead to the moment of success that he truly desires.

By searching for the right moments, he’s looking for the “perfect storm” of events that would create a similar watershed in his life.

But if he could see Daniel’s success as a trajectory he might:

  • Choose anything.
  • Get going.

Or as Sebastian Marshall summed up Dalio, “Don’t postpone a decision unless you stand to make it better by an amount larger than the cost of the delay.”


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Published on 08.15.11
  • I think your friend should probably just bite the bullet and begin working his ass off if he wants to reap similar kinds of successes as Daniel has.  Daniel success didn’t happen overnight.  As you said he’s been in the real state market for years.

    My two biggest takes from this article are:

    1)  Success usually doesn’t happen overnight
    2)  We should stop searching for the perfect moment to start something

  • Scott

    Very true!  There is rarely a perfect moment…and since most of us are scared to make the jump anyway, we’re all too happy to procrastinate.  The difference for me was to circle a date on the calendar.  All of a sudden it started getting real and we started putting the pieces in place.  The result…my wife and I just got back from 3 months in Buenos Aires and are now preparing to leave for a few months in SE Asia!

  • Dan

    Balla! Well done sir. TMBA dude Aamir was telling me some compelling stuff about bio rhythms that make us unwilling to take on change… not sure about that but makes sense :) Congrats on your big move.

  • Dan

    I wish somebody would have sat me down and given me the “success” and “talent” talk when I was 10. I mean, I really thought successful people were basically lucky or talented until I was … .well … embarrassingly old, def. into my 20’s.

  • Scott

    Thankyouverymuch!  And I forgot to mention that the business I left was…8 years of owning a real estate company.  So, I can definitely identify with your friend.
    Anyway, we’ll be in Bali in a couple months…I’ll buy you a frosty adult beverage and we can plot to take over the internet.

  • Dan


  • Ian

    Scott, love that approach.  Everything seems to work itself out once you put yourself on a trajectory..

  • Great stuff. There’s so many business opportunities like that everywhere, I’m working to see them. I wrote the largest contract proposal of my life earlier this month in Japan – there’s a lot of back and forth on it, who knows if I’ll get it, but just going for things feels pretty fantastic.

    But yeah, there’s opportunity anywhere that anyone is frustrated and has bad feelings that can be fixed, or if there’s an area where someone will be immediately recognize and be excited about a gain.

    I was seeing a really brilliant girl in Mongolia who speaks like five languages and works hard. She translates government regulation and contracts from Mongolian into English, Chinese, and Korean (and she speaks Russian too). But she only makes like $400 per month in salary and works 10 hours a day 6 days a week.

    I outlined for her exactly how she could be making a ton more quickly online, I offered to help her set it up (which would’ve taken me a few hours at most), but she didn’t want to jump on it and seize it. It just… didn’t click that she could be making $4,000 per month in about 20 hours of work each week. $25 an hour? Unheard of!

    So people overlook ridiculously big opportunities. Seriously, she can translate high level, technical documents across 4-5 languages. But she’s getting paid peanuts and doesn’t want to seize on more.

    Or whatever. I think all of us do this. Your real estate friend, he didn’t do it. He said, “Hey, real estate brokers are stressed and have cashflow problems… hmm, I’m an accountant, I know about receivables and factoring… well, what the hell, why don’t I offer a deal that’s a ridiculous no-brainer good deal for me and see if anyone takes it?”

    And he did, and it worked.

    I have hunches on stuff like that sometimes. A lot of them, I don’t act on. Some I do, and they’re frequently right. But getting to the point where you just rapidly seize on opportunities, test them quickly to see if they’re right, and then double/triple/quadruple down on them if they’re particularly lucrative? That’s where it’s at. It’s worth striving and training to get there.

  • Chris Thomas

    Lovin’ the rapid posts lately!

  • Ian

    Sebastian, love it.  

  • Dan

    I’ve only recently found that writing blog posts is easier than doing meaningful things for my core business.

    Blog posts it is!!!!!


  • Dan

    Ah the pain of the beautiful Mongolian talentent woman… I smell a movie script. I now want to date a Mongolian girl.

    One of the most painful situations in life– and I’m sure you get this all the time as a development blogger– are the folks who say they want something and aren’t capable of taking up the opportunities to get there.

    My new approach is to consider these failures mine. There must be a possible way to communicate something– to inspire someone– to take the action that I can see that will help them take steps toward what they truly want.

    So this sad situation is one that I now inherit– I’m not a good enough communicator if I can’t inspire people to take relatively simple steps toward what they really want.

    Just toying with that one….

  • Hi,

    Great story and insight. Cheers for sharing.

    Best Regards


  • > My new approach is to consider these failures mine. There must be a possible way to communicate something– to inspire someone– to take the action that I can see that will help them take steps toward what they truly want.

    What’s your success rate like when trying to get someone to take action for their life?

    I think most people who take action are either (1) driven action-taking people in general, or (2) get a major fire lit under their ass somehow.

    My girl in Mongolia, she was comfortable and led a nice life. She was young, pretty, she lived with her sister and her sister’s husband (who were also well-off by Mongolian standards, he was an attorney and both girls are from a business family). $400 is a lot by Mongolian standards, and they eat well, drink when they want to, and are basically happy.

    So, no fire. The prospect of making 10x more money in 1/3rd of the hours just doesn’t excite her, since she’s already making twice what most people in Mongolia make and lives a happy life.

    But yeah, if you can figure out a way to consistently light the fire, I’m all ears. It sucks sometimes seeing a person with a lot of potential who wants something in theory, but won’t act on it.

  • Dan

    Thanks Andrew! 

  • Dan

    Well I’m so-so at it… I think you are right to say its on them… I think I’m trying to shift my mindset from feeling bummed about not being able to motivate them to leaving them with something that’s better than they started with.

    I found that when I became frustrated, even if I didn’t express that consciously it would prevent me from doing something useful there.

    So nah…. no advice.

    Regarding the Mongolian girls– seems like she didn’t quite have that heartbreaking “I really want it but I’m not going to go for it” kinda thing, which is nice.

    Most people most people. 

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