It was a really bad year to be a real estate professional in 2008. Housing prices crashed so hard that real estate agents everywhere were scared to death and looking for ways to get out of the industry. Knowing we needed to make a change, my wife Christina and I decided to invest in a flip property with a close friend. After that ended profitably, we decided to take our business to the next level by solely buying and flipping distressed houses. While financial experts were telling people to stay away from real estate, we were building and growing a profitable real estate business. So what makes us so special?
Honestly, when the housing bubble burst, I was a little bit scared. But instead of looking at it as a disaster for me and my family, I took a note from Sir Richard Branson and started looking for opportunities.
If you aren’t familiar with how Branson started his airline, Virgin Atlantic, it’s a pretty great story. He was booked on a flight to the British Virgin Islands that got cancelled at the last minute because there weren’t enough passengers to make the flight worthwhile for the airline. “I had a beautiful woman waiting for me in BVI,” Branson said. So instead of giving up and waiting who knows how long to see that beautiful woman, he chartered a plane.
Then he borrowed a chalkboard and jokingly wrote “Virgin Airlines” at the top and sold tickets for $39 each to make up for the cost of the charter. Everyone who had just been standing around wondering how they were going to get to BVI after a cancelled flight suddenly found themselves with an incredibly cheap, luxury flight, all because one man didn’t give up and saw an opportunity instead of a disaster. In my opinion, we should all be a little more like Richard Branson. I work on unearthing my inner Branson every day by keeping these things in mind.
Don’t Take “No” for an Answer
When Richard Branson’s flight to BVI was cancelled, he didn’t say, “Oh, okay, I guess I’ll just leave that pretty lady waiting and go home now.” And when the housing bubble burst, Christina and I didn’t say, “Well, I guess we need to go home and figure out new careers in different fields now.” We looked for ways to solve the problem in front of us and support our growing family.
Of course, as we started to get into flipping houses, people told us that it wasn’t going to succeed and that we shouldn’t waste our time. We definitely heard the word “no” a lot, but we continued ahead with our vision.
Believe in Your Own Success
We definitely couldn’t have done it if we hadn’t believed that we could succeed. We did our homework and measured our risks, and throughout the whole process, we never questioned that we would succeed in our new business… and what do you know? We did!
Include Others in Your Success
What makes Virgin Atlantic’s origin story so amazing? Sir Richard Branson could afford to charter his own flight and head to the Virgin Islands by himself, but instead he chose to share his success with others. As a result, he didn’t just get to his destination to see the beautiful woman waiting for him – he started a successful airline that puts customer service first.
You really can’t build success in a bubble, so always include your friends, colleagues, and family wherever you can. These people have skills and resources that you can use to grow your business and build wealth for both you and them.
The more you look for creative solutions, believe in your own success, and share that success with others, the more you’ll build your career in whatever field you choose.