“How In The World Did I Get Here?”
I struggled for years to find my place for years. I was an entrepreneur from the very beginning, but I failed at everything; copier sales, knife sales, MLMs, window tint business, the lawn maintenance business, the striping business, realtor…you name it, I tried it. Somehow, I always managed to keep my good name and my good credit.

 

While bar-tending for extra income at age 20, I bought an efficiency condo to live in, but it was soon to small. I bought another two bedroom condo thinking if I rented out my first condo and rented out the extra room in my new condo, I could live for free…even make a few bucks.

 

Shortly after that I sold them both. i had more money in the bank than I could make all year at my bar-tending job – waaay more! That started my interest in real estate investing, however, it would be many years before I I’d actually come to understand, “You don’t need money to play the real estate investing game.

 

That wouldn’t happen until I was about 34 years old. Meanwhile, I would bounce from place to place, job to job, relationship to relationship…trying to find myself.
In the late 90’s I almost went broke with 25 rent houses…and then…I discovered Owner Financing; everything changed.

 

I started buying with OPM and selling with Owner Financing – 100’s of properties a year ran through my company. In a few years I became a multi-multi millionaire. My world was good and the future bright.

 

When my brother died I got lost again. I was 40 and he was 38 when it happened; suicide. Without knowing it, I sat down and wrote a book…an 800+ page book. I didn’t mean to write a book. I found out later from my friend, author and private lender, Doctor J. W., that it was all reactionary…a reaction to my brother’s death. I was grieving through writing. I was cataloging my life; why am I here? what have I done? what should I have done? where have I been? where should I be? what am I going to do now? how did this happen? what was my role in my brother’s death? …and how in the world did I get here?

 

My life was centered around creative real estate investing so everything I pushed out was from that position outward…and thus, MY LIFE & 1,000 HOUSES: Failing Forward to Financial Freedom was born. That book changed the trajectory of my life.

 

It took me so long to find myself. Why didn’t anyone tell me about business and money and investing and mentorship and private money? After the responses started coming in from the first book, I knew there were others out there that were just like I was; trying desperately to understand why they can’t get ahead…trying to find them self and live a full and rewarding life.

 

I went on to write two more books in response to the most frequently asked questions derived from the first book. I would write those book on purpose this time, and with a known purpose; to try and help others find them self and their financial freedom. Somewhere there are several English teachers rolling over in their graves…this was definitely not in the cards for the jock in his letter jacket, sitting in the back row of class, exchanging notes with the cute little girl seated in front of him, choosing NOT to pay attention to anything else.

 

Life is crazy. Life is NOT fair. unpredictable! Follow your heart. Open the door when opportunity knocks…you have to listen for it. Opportunity rarely uses the door bell.

 

Opportunity often comes at the worst possible time or in the worst possible circumstance. Somehow, I learned to know these truths. I didn’t let things pass. I knew I may never get another chance. I chose to be honest, loyal, and relentless, and with God’s help, I’ve gotten this far..

 

There is always more to do…more to see…more to experience…always another level to achieve. So I am headed there; wherever that is.

 

–Mitch Stephen–

 

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