Looking back over nearly a combined 40 years of business experience, here are four tips we’ve seen first-hand that helped us immensely.
Get the Blessing
Back in the early 2000s, we had just started in real estate and hung our licenses with a small company in town. Yet we knew quickly we were supposed to do three things: a) branch and start our own company, b) create high-efficiency systems so that our business could one day run without us, c) invest in the lives of others.
But before we left this company we knew the Lord didn’t want us to just “up and leave” like so many others had done in the past – we wanted to get his blessing. The problem was, however, we were posting some pretty good numbers, so our Broker wasn’t happy about us leaving. Twice we approached him to get his blessing, and twice he said, “Nope.”
So we fasted and prayed and came back one more time. This time he had a complete change of heart and gave us his full blessing. Only God. That’s when we officially started the Benham Real Estate Group. By honoring the man who gave us our first shot in business we believe this set the foundation for our success.
Create the System
We realized early in our career that God was opening a very specific niche for us – managing and selling distressed homes. The first client that sent us a couple properties we ended up getting them measured, photographed, and listed in record time. The bank was so floored that they sent us every distressed house they had. Word started spreading about these crazy twins, and the snowball started rolling.
And it didn’t slow down. Within a few months of taking our first property, we had 60 houses in our inventory and were selling five houses a month. God was blessing the work of our hands. All the while, we were documenting our steps and building replicable systems. So seven years later when God laid it on our hearts to begin franchising, the heavy lifting was already done. We had systematized every facet of our business. Even David could explain our process, so you know it had to be simple!
During this season we chose to live well below our means…so much so that we actually moved our families in with each other. We were only able to do this because of our two rockstar wives. Living below our means wasn’t easy, but it’s what we had to do to get the business off the ground.
As we began making money the pressure to pay ourselves more was incredible. It’s in this moment that entrepreneurs are separated from see-ya-preneurs. A “see-ya-preneur” is someone who is able to say, “see-ya” to their business because the daily grind no longer owns them. It’s a word we came up with while building our path to financial freedom in the trenches of our business.
A lot of business owners eventually achieve “see-ya-preneur” status, but probably not as quickly they could have. Why? Because they aren’t committed to the discipline of delayed gratification. You gotta live low. More than being good with people or having natural investment smarts, what every entrepreneur needs in the ability to say, “No” to their own desires – to live below their means so they can transfer their active business income into passive investment income.
When you get to this point you have the margin in your day to do as you want with your time.
Seed vs Harvest
Most entrepreneurs view their profit as harvest money. In other words, they take what they make and buy nice things, or live at a higher level. We knew that if we wanted to achieve see-ya-preneur status, we had to use that profit as seed money. We had to take it and actively choose not to spend it on ourselves, but rather put it in the ground (business) and watch it grow over time. It’s not as fun upfront, but it pays dividends in the long run.
When you see your money as seed that needs to be planted, you can fulfill what Dave Ramsay says, “If you live like no one else, one day you can live like no on else.” The harvest will be plentiful!
By getting the blessing, creating the system, living low, and viewing money as seed instead of harvest you will be able to stand the test of time, growing your business slowly and steadily through the years.