When Tarek and I first got into the real estate investing business, we knew a lot about real estate, but we didn’t know a lot about investing. So, when we started our business, I started reading up on investing techniques and strategies, and I learned a lot about being a successful investor. While we still had to learn some lessons on our own, by committing to educating ourselves on the world of real estate investing and investing in general, we put ourselves in a better position to succeed.
Over the years since then, we’ve both built up a pretty extensive reading list of books that have helped us build our business and grow as real estate investors. Looking at our bookshelves in our office the other day, I found myself pulling down a few of the books that I feel have done the most for me and the ones that I really think should be essential reading for any real estate investor.
Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
By Roger Lowenstein, this biography of Warren Buffett tells you a lot about how this incredible man built his career as an investor and venture capitalist. You can see how Buffett’s perseverance and mindset had a lot to do with his success. It’s inspiring to see how many challenges he’s overcome and what you can do to become a better investor and to build your business.
Think and Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich has influenced a lot of really great investors and entrepreneurs over the years. The biggest point throughout the book is that you have to set goals in order to achieve what you want. Tarek and I may have started our house flipping business before we really had a clear idea of where we were going with it, but we had a goal of creating a business that would let us use our real estate knowledge to make money for our family so that we could have the lifestyle we wanted and time to spend with our kids. That goal really pushed us through and helped us stay afloat, especially in our earlier years.
In Conscious Capitalism, cofounder and co-CEO of Whole Foods John Mackey talks about how win-win scenarios are always the most profitable. As I read this book, I thought a lot about how as house flippers we help people out of difficult financial situations when we buy their distressed houses, how quality rehabs help neighborhoods grow, and how we can help buyers get great deals on newly renovated homes. Basically, the more positivity you put into your business, the better it is for everyone and the more sustainable it becomes.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Freakonomics, as it is pretty well known. Written by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, Freakonomics encourages people to take chances, follow their passions, and teaches them how to find creative inspiration. Freakonomics is a great read if you are just starting out in real estate investing. It will inspire you to work hard and not to give up when the going gets tough.
I could go on and on about all of the different books on investing, business, and life that have helped Tarek and me along the way to success as real estate investors, but these are just a few of the essentials. Read these and then pick up a few more inspirational books on business and investing, and see how they apply to your real estate investing business.