What does the title of this post have to do with investing? Well, a lot, at least for me. I’ll get to that in a moment.
I became a mother within a few months after arriving in the United States. Shortly thereafter, I was introduced to a children’s book called, “The Little Engine That Could.” I loved reading children’s books to our own kids because (1) I knew they loved being read to, (2) those books always had more pictures than words and it was a non-threatening way for me to learn new English words, and (3) I liked feeling like a kid again myself. Through children’s books, our kids and I were starting to learn new words together, literally.
Lately, I keep thinking to myself, “I think I can, I think I can.” Here is why. Sometime ago, I set a goal to publish my book #2 at some future point. It will be a sequel to book #1, an autobiography. This time, the focus is on investing outside of Wall Street, reflecting what I have been doing since the market crash of 2000.
So far, however, it has not been clear whether book #2 would ever see the light of day. This is because I had established a simple prerequisite before giving myself permission to get it published. The criterion is to have achieved a minimum of 12 consecutive months of positive cash flow through our real-estate business, to which our CPA can attest. I am experiencing difficulty in achieving this seemingly simple goal despite the fact that I have learned, implemented, and proven to myself that I know how to generate revenues. In fact, I have closed over a dozen deals since I started wholesaling a few years ago. That’s not a lot by any stretch of imagination but I am proud of how far I’ve come.
For the last several months, I have been trying to sort out a dilemma. An increasing number of people are showing interest in my book #2 to be published. On the other hand, I have been stubborn about meeting the prerequisite – for a good reason. After all, how can I give others solid advice through book #2 if I have not even proven to myself that what I have been doing translates to sustainable passive income?
For reasons briefly explained below, I decided to slightly relax the self-imposed, strict rules as follows:
***WARNING: What follows are NOT to be taken as advice. They are merely what I have decided to do to increase the probability of publishing book #2 sooner rather than later without compromising my minimum requirement.***
- Forget positive cash flow – but only for the time being.
- Forget 12 consecutive months – instead, 12 closings within a 12-month period will do.
Forget positive cash flow – but only for the time being
Obviously, sustainable positive cash flow through passive income from investments is the symbol of a crowning achievement. Thankfully, with the original rental properties in Michigan that survived both the capital and real-estate market crashes, we’re already there. So why the need to generate additional revenues, you might ask?
In “A great opportunity in disguise,” I alluded to the issues I have faced. When the capital market dried up, we had to rely on credit cards to keep afloat our second business, which is focused on wholesaling real estate. These credit-card balances bother me a lot. So I’ve been on a mission to wipe them out. Now you know why.
The most important thing on which to focus, at this stage of the game, is to keep generating revenues consistently, which helps pay down the credit-card debts rapidly to where no balance is carried forward each month. When this is achieved, monthly positive cash flow will become a reality automatically.
Forget 12 consecutive months – instead, a dozen closings within a 12-month period will do
I experienced a situation where I purposely wanted to delay closing on a deal just because I was blindly focused on “consecutive months.” In retrospect, this made no sense at all, not to mention the fact that others involved in the deal could get annoyed by my decision. By the same token, closings can and do get delayed for reasons beyond my control. So, whenever a deal is ready, we should close without delay. If I can generate a dozen closings within a 12-month period, that should be sufficient to prove that I know what I’m doing.
How I will have secured sustainable positive cash flow (i.e., passive income) – enough to replace reliance on income from pension and Social Security – will be of interest to millions of baby boomers, I believe. This is precisely why it is critically important for me to prove the concept to myself first.
With the aim of a dozen closed deals within a 12-month period, whether they’re bunched up or spread out, I keep saying to myself, “I think I can, I think I can.”