Robert G. Allen: Author Of “Nothing Down” And “Multiple Streams Of Income”
Episode 389: Robert G. Allen: Author Of “Nothing Down” And “Multiple Streams Of Income”
One of the biggest misconceptions about the real estate business is how you need to have a huge sum of money to get into it and find success. Robert G. Allen, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Nothing Down and Multiple Streams of Income, believes otherwise. In this episode, Robert sits on the other side of the microphone from Mitch Stephen to share with us his book, The Four Maps of Happy Successful People, where he redefines wealth and success, particularly on how we perceive money as the ticket to everything. More than the exterior, Robert focuses more on learning how to have the right mindset, first and foremost, so you can move past the fear that keeps you from taking action. He highlights how achieving success in this industry, as with others, is all about having the right mindset, heart, and drive. No matter how much information you know and money you have, if you don’t have these three, everything will be in vain. Moving from the technical side of real estate in this conversation, Robert and Mitch take you into the internal and more personal aspects of the journey, so don’t miss out.
Watch the episode here:
I have the distinct privilege and honor of having the one and only Robert G. Allen. It’s been a long road of using his principles, and a guy that changed my life in 1983. I was telling him it was the exact pivot point when I started to take control of my life and his book, Nothing Down is right in the middle of it. He’s written a lot of different books. With multiple streams of income, you might recognize, Cracking the Millionaire Code, The One Minute Millionaire. In this episode, we talk about this book that I think everyone comes to the conclusion. You can study all you want to about how to make money but until you get inside your house correct, yourself inside ready, all the external stuff that you do will not work. Robert, I’m excited to be with you.
Thank you, Mitch. I’m honored that you invited me to be here. It may be that 2020 is going to be the time for somebody reading this now, like for you when it was 1983. For me, it was 1974. We all have these moments when things change and you struggle until you figure that out. I’ve written all these bestselling books and have sold millions and millions of copies. I got thousands of success stories, but when I look back over what causes that success, as you were saying, you’ve got to get the inside right first. I did this crazy challenge that I’ve been famous for, I said, “Send me to any city, take away my wallet and give me $100. In 72 hours, I’ll buy an excellent piece of real estate using none of my own money.” The LA Times challenged me. They took me with a reporter. They flew me to San Francisco. I got off the plane, took away my wallet, gave me five $20 and said, “You have 71 hours and 59 minutes. If you haven’t bought a property in the next three days, your name will be mud in the Los Angeles Times.”
What I was trying to prove is exactly what you said. I was trying to prove that wealth is not money. The banker thinks you need to have cash, credit, cashflow and collateral. Those are the four Cs. If you’re strong in all those four areas, the bank will lend you all the money you want. If you’re weak in any one of those areas, either credit sucks or your income’s not good, or this COVID-19 situation threw you upside down, you then don’t have access to the money. What I was trying to say, by going to San Francisco is take away from me all that the banker thinks is money and let me show you what wealth is. They took away all the things. I had no credit, no cash, no job, nothing. I had five $20 and I followed a system that we talk about in Nothing Down. What I will hope to be famous for is what’s in this book, which is The Four Maps of Happy Successful People.
That’s where it starts because what took out in the street in San Francisco was your mind. You took your mind out there, your belief in yourself and your conviction. Without all that stuff, it doesn’t matter how pencil smart you are because you’re never going to get off square one.
It’s the four Cs inside. It’s your courage, creativity, chutzpah, conviction, and confidence. There are all kinds of those C words that are inside you and it’s all inside you. All wealth comes from inside you right now. If you think you can’t buy real estate with nothing down because you don’t have any of the things that you think you need. What I was trying to prove by that challenge was it doesn’t matter what you don’t have as long as you have the internal part. Most people don’t have the internal part because they’ve been beaten down by life. They’ve been told lots of lies about what success is. When I went back over my career, the last book I wrote was The Four Maps of Happy Successful People. It doesn’t seem like much of a money book, but frankly, the techniques in Nothing Down or Multiple Streams of Income, there are a lot of left-brain techniques in there and I call them system knowledge. It’s a step by step. What you do here and there?Wealth is not money. Click To Tweet
In addition to system knowledge, you need people’s knowledge. How do you negotiate? How do you persuade? How do you get somebody to trust you? That’s important. That’s usually not taught in any book and then when it comes to the mindset knowledge, what happens on the inside of you? Multiple Streams of Income, a very popular book, sold almost a million copies. I don’t talk about mindset at all in that book. In Nothing Down, I hardly talk about mindset at all because most people think what they think they need is the system knowledge, “Teach me how do I find a highly motivated seller?” The Four Maps are four maps that you draw every day. By doing this, it builds your four Cs. It builds your confidence, your clarity, your commitment, and your conviction. It builds you a step at a time. I’m going to teach that to everybody. Everybody, you get a blank piece of paper because you’re all going to do the same thing. In the bottom left-hand corner, you’re going to draw a frowny face and that’s not very hard to do. You just draw a little slit eye because it’s easier to draw them. I don’t want anybody out there to say, “I can’t draw.” If you can’t draw that, you are in serious trouble. You can draw this. You can do an emoji if you want to, but I physically want you to draw it. There’s something magical that happens when you physically draw the pictures.
Around this, you’re going to put a box. On this one, you’re going to put a roof because this is where you want to go. This is your dream lifestyle, where you live, how you live, with whom you live, how much money you make. This is now. Draw the date, whatever date it is for you and then draw out five years from now. I’d like you to pick a date and this is where you are now. The reason there’s no roof on your head here is that most people are stuck in a box of fear. They are surrounded by fear almost all the time. Therefore since they are immersed in fear, they find it difficult to take action because the fear holds them back. That’s why procrastination is the biggest habit that most people have.
They put it off because of these invisible fears. Sometimes they’re conscious or unconscious. They have lots of fears or five fears, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, the fear of success. All of us have one of those or a combination of those and those fears are expensive. They cost you a fortune. All we’ve got to do is get outside of those fears. You’ve got to get outside of that box and I’m going to ask you to look over the wall of the fear that’s holding you where you’re at. Look and see where you want to be in five years from now.
How good do you want it? Don’t ask how you’re going to get there. Don’t ask how you’re going to get rid of the fear. None of those questions are important. The only important question is, seven questions that are anybody in any grade school will know the questions. Number one is when do you want to live this lifestyle? I told you when. Five years from now or sooner. I’m not going to go further than five years but five years is a very realistic number. It’s a number you could believe. It’s all about belief. Question number two is where do you want to live? Where is your ideal lifestyle? Will you live in the same house, the same city, the same state, the same country? I’d like you to get clearer because this map is called the clarity map. It’s getting clear of what it is you want, and this is when you’re clear on what you don’t want. Fear is what you don’t want, and when you feel it, and when you’re intensely involved in it, you’re essentially sending a message to yourself, “I don’t want this.” What do I want? What is important to me? When and where and how much? I want you to get specific.
If you tell me you want to be financially free, tell me how much is that to you? Is that $1,000 a month? Is that $5,000 a month, $50,000 a month? Your brain is a computer, it needs a number. How much is it? Is that monthly? Is it yearly? Is it weekly? Is it daily? I want you to pick a number and I’m going to go totally against what everybody tells you that always say, “Pick a big number. You’ve got to think big and dream big,” and I’d say, “Do not think big.” I want you to think about three times bigger than what you earn right now. I want that number to be realistic enough in your mind where you don’t go, “That’s BS. That’s not possible.” Why? Because I have so many people come up to me at seminars that go, “I want to make $1 million a week.” Do I know people will make $1 million a week? Yes, I do. Is the person telling you that to me, you’re going to make $1 million a week? No, it’s never going to happen because they are just out to lunch. Don’t be out to lunch. Pick a realistic number 2, 3, 4 times what you earn because that’s believable and you say, “I don’t want to be believable. I want to be rich.”
Prove to me over the next year that you’re actually doing your plan towards this realistic number and then I’ll give you the permission to add a zero to it, but until you do pick a number that’s realistic, that’s the third question. Who is going to help you? Who is going to be there with you? Who is going to win when you win? Who is going to help you with? You’re the real little red hand, so who’s helping you make the bread? Tell me who they are. Who’s important to you in your life? Some people are born with that. They want to be wealthy. I do not understand why we do, but that was certainly in my programming.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college to get a job, to be an employee like my father that I finally understood that I wasn’t an employee. There are two kinds of people in the world. Employees and entrepreneurs. Employees are security-minded. They want to make small, slow money. Entrepreneurs are freedom-minded and they want to make big, fast money. It’s the programming. It’s the way they are. I don’t know who you are, can you make money as an employee? Can you become wealthy on the side? Yes, you can. You can make this your side hustle, but mindset stops many employees because they won’t take risks. Security is a fundamental value. You have to realize that. Who am I? Am I an employee or an entrepreneur?
I was an entrepreneur. Nobody would hire me during the recession when I graduated from college and I sent out 30 letters to the 30 greatest corporations in the world, General Foods, General Mills, General Electric, and General Motors. Generally, everybody, I could think of and I got 30 rejection letters from these 30 major corporations. I still have them and I was devastated because I was employee-minded. I’ve been trained for my entire schooling to be employee-minded, get a job, work for your work for somebody else. About a week into it, with those letters laying on my bed and looking at those letters laid out in front of me, I had an epiphany. I had an a-ha. I got ticked off. I looked at those letters and I said, “Who are these people?” I questioned who they were and I said to myself, “One day, I will earn more money than all 30 of the people who signed these letters to reject me.” It was what an entrepreneur does.
They love a challenge and it bubbles out of them. Until that moment, I didn’t know I was an entrepreneur, but as soon as I knew that, I got pissed off. I said, “How will I do it? I read a book Think and Grow Rich.” It seems like that’s the book everybody’s read and another one on Rick Nickerson on how to by real estate and I said, “I’m going to take the $1,000 my dad gave me for graduation and I’ll buy a piece of real estate. I’m going to become a millionaire.” Therefore, without a job, without being hired by one of these corporations, I started buying my 1st property and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 10th, 12th, 20th, 30th property, and became a millionaire in years. I still can’t remember when it happened, but I watched it. I did my financial statement. What I’m trying to say is, I don’t know who you are, but if you’re an entrepreneur, I’m going to challenge you. I would tell you, “What are you thinking? Do you think you can do this? Why are you even listening to this guy? Why are you listening to us? What makes you think you can pull this off?” I’m going to say you can’t do it. I will tell you this. It’s a crock. Although Mitch has bought thousands of properties and I certainly have never bought that many, but I have students who bought thousands.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to go, “I’m going to prove that Robert Allen wrong. I’m going to find that guy. I’m going to show him I could buy a property with nothing down.” I have had thousands of people come up to me and say, “Robert, I bought my first property nothing down.” Clarity is what this map is about. Clarity means, what do you want? This is a very important question. Do you want more money? Do you want more love in your life? Do you want more help as a body? Do you want more free time? What kind of lifestyle do you want? What’s that? Why is that important to you? When do you want it? Where do you want it? How much do you want it? How are you going to get it? Everybody’s path is different.
Mitch’s path is different than my path. You have your own circumstance, own problems, own income, own relationships. I don’t know what they are. All I know is if you know clearly what you want, you’ll go to figure it out. You can use all the books that have been written about it but then remember they are system knowledge. I’ll teach you systems. I’ll teach you how to buy real estate. I’ll say how to bargain properties, how to fund those bargain properties, how to farm those bargain properties. Those are the three fundamental skills. The bottom line is if you don’t have the courage to do it if you don’t have the mindset to do it, the heart to do it, the drive to do it, why to do it, it doesn’t matter what I teach you.
The systems are simple. They’re basic. It just means do it and that’s hard for a lot of people to do because they get stuck in this box and the reason is they never get out of the box. I’m asking you to go out of your box every single day and draw this map. I want you to say to yourself, “I want this kind of love in my life. I want this kind of health in my life. I want this kind of free time. I want this kind of money. This is important to me. This is what I want,” and why do you want it. You should ask yourself that question. Why is it important for you to do this? To overcome the fear that slows you back, to get out of your box down here, what’s going to force you to get out of it? Is it your family? Is it your pride? Do you want to give back to the world? You don’t have anything to give back yet, but you’d like to get something to give back. First of all, you’re probably going to start off with a very selfish motive, selfish why or it will be a need why. I need this. “I’ve got a mortgage payment I’ve got to pay, I need it.” It’s going to be I want this. It’d be greedy, personally oriented to you.If you clearly know what you want, you will go to figure it out. Click To Tweet
Ultimately when you start making the money and you realize that you have the secret, that you figured it out, you have to give it back. You have to share it with other people. I wrote my book and Mitch read it along with millions of other people and many of them did it. Why would I teach people my secrets? Why won’t I keep all my secrets to myself so I can have all the bargain properties in America? That was not my why. My why was, I want to write a book. I want to share that message. I want other people to succeed as I succeeded. Eventually one day, you will do this and then you will write a book about it and you will share it with other people. You’ll tell other people about it. You can give it away for free like, “There’s his book. Look at that. A thousand houses, isn’t that amazing?”
That was a couple of thousand houses ago but who’s counting? I do want to say it’s the same transition. I started out wanting to make a lot of money. At some point, I figured out money wasn’t the end goal. It was just a part of the deal and that there had to be a higher reason, a bigger reason for the whole thing. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get to that part faster, and this is what you’re talking about.
Finishing up the map, there are two more pieces to the map. You could write down 50 things you want and many people tell you, “You should write down all your goals. You should write out 5,000 goals because it inspires your mind.” I’m going to say the exact opposite. I want you to decide on three because it forces you to get clear. What is number four and you have to decide, “Is number four more important than number three to me? If it isn’t number three, then it’s zero.” I want three specific targeted objectives for you. I want you to commit to them and saying, “I don’t care what else happens in my life. I don’t care how many children I have, what places I travel into the world, what my golf score is, how much I weigh. I don’t care. These three things are so important to me that I’m going to write them down every day. This is what I want.”
It could be money things. It could be a relationship with things. It could be healthy things. It could be time and places you want to travel to. For me, they are business targets. I usually have three financial goals that I’m focusing on. I do my personal growth things on a different map. This map is like, how do I want my business life to be? Write down three things and make sure they’re specific. Meaning, they’ve got to be number oriented. It’s got to be numbers attached to them and then I do want you to tell me what don’t you want? What are the three things that if you could eliminate with a magic wand, they’re gone?
What would you like to eliminate? Why do I bring that up? I was talking about the negative power of fear and how it keeps you stuck. Some people are motivated by not having something. They’re motivated by lack. They’re motivated by fear, by a nightmare. Some people are motivated by dreams and some people are motivated by nightmares. They have a nightmare. They have a problem going on. It forces them out of their comfort zone. They go, they do, and they make it happen. We call that moving away from. In NLP, they call it, they move away from motivation.
There are people who are motivated by moving towards something, towards a dream. About a third of the people you’ll meet are motivated by moving away from what they don’t want. Therefore, for that reason, I’m going to have you make sure you write down what it is you don’t want and how badly you don’t want it. I want you to write down three things that you do want. There are two forces that are getting you out of this box. There’s the force that pushes you and it’s something negative. You’re tired of being broke. That’s a negative motivation. “I never will live in a neighborhood like this again.” That’s a negative motivation. “My dad beat the crap out of me, I will not treat my kids that way. Never will I touch my children.” That’s a negative motivation.
What is pushing you outside your box of fear? What pulls you? Most people have this negative motivation, the fear, but they don’t intensify this because sometimes they think it’s not realistic for me to have this kind of dream, like “Who am I to have this kind of dream?” Therefore, they don’t even like to dream. Maybe because they’ve failed a bunch of times and they’ve dreamed and it didn’t come out and they failed. They go, “I don’t even dare dream anymore. It’s so disappointing when I fail.” Sorry, you are going to have to dream.
A dream is important. I need you to get clear, make sure your dream is more realistic. Usually, that will be helpful to you so that you can reach it. I want you to sign your name to that. “This is what I don’t want. This is what I do want. This is why I want it. This is why it’s important to me,” and I want you to draw this map every day, at least for the next 30 days in a row. The book, The Four Maps of Happy Successful People, explains it with the pictures that you can see like that. It shows you how I drew what I drew that you can see. It’s easy to draw and when you draw it every day, it forces you to get clear and what will happen in the 30 days is that you will go, “Do I want that?” It will actually cause you to question and sometimes you’ll shift your priorities and throw some of them off completely.
Eventually over 30 days, you will settle in on, “This is what I want. I wanted and nobody’s going to stop me from getting it.” That’s not number one. Mitch, I don’t think we have enough time for me to teach the other three maps, but I’ll tell you what they are. Map number one is a right-brain map. It taps into your dream site and it’s extremely important. It’s also into the emotional part. I want you to feel what it feels like to live this. Once you get there, feel what I like in all five senses. You’ll get a sense of what it’s like when you achieve that. The second map is almost the exact opposite. It’s like the left-brain map. It’s the attorney map, frankly, coming out. It’s a map that goes, “There are a lot of things that could stop you, brother. Sister, you’ve got some challenges.” If you’re not smart about this, you can’t go off halfcocked. Most entrepreneurs do go off halfcocked that’s why 90% of them fail and a few of them succeed because they figure it out.
Most people do not think about the consequences at all. Most entrepreneurs don’t have that as a part of their thinking. Their gene is missing when it comes to the consequences but I’m going to ask you to write down what five major consequences could happen. Once you’re prepared for the consequences of mistakes, failure, challenges, and sudden storms. Was the COVID-19 a sudden storm? They shut the country down. Could you have anticipated that? No. That’s why it’s one of the challenges in map number two, it’s called the anticipation map. To anticipate, to look in the future just a little bit and be realistic with me. What could go wrong? Number one that could go wrong is you get so overwhelmed with all the little things. You’re doing the little things on your to-do listing, leaving the big things last, and therefore you’re always pushing them off. That’s called the whirlwind and we’re all in a whirlwind. I’m in a whirlwind. You’re in a whirlwind. We’ve got stuff I’ve got to do every day. We have to fit it all in. You have to fit in this every day.
You talked about the picture superiority effect and that when you see and draw something, it has a bigger effect on your brain than when you write or read something. You’re doing this very specifically. You’re not telling us to read like the old, Psycho-Cybernetics with Maltz, read your goals. You’re pushing it further saying, “I want you to not just have the picture, but I want you to physically draw it.”
I want you to draw this and let me tell you why. What percentage of people are left-brain versus right-brain oriented? I don’t know the actual number. I just know that it’s predominantly, most people are visual, and yet all of the training tools, all of the organizational tools are all left brain.
That’s how we fall asleep.The systems to achieve success are pretty simple and basic. It just means to go do it. Click To Tweet
Therefore three-quarters of us are told to use a tool that it’s like, “We speak Spanish and the tool is in German and therefore it’s a tool that doesn’t work for us.” They tell us to use the to-do list. A to-do list is one of the worst tools you can use. It makes you fail because it rewards you when you cross things off your to-do list for doing this fun, fast, simple, easy things. When you cross those things off, it’s almost orgasmic like, “I get to cross things off my to-do list.” Some of the things on your to-do list will never be crossed off because they’re your life. Most people never put their family on their to-do list and therefore, they never crossed them. They don’t even notice them. They’re always looking at in consequences crap. What this is, is it forces you to visually imagine and feel what it feels like to have that. When it comes to the anticipation map, it highlights the challenges, being stuck in the whirlwind. Most people are stuck and they’re doing little things and they’re never getting anything big thing done. The learning curves, the marshmallows, the cliffs, the sudden storms. We had a sudden storm here and when you do the anticipation map, it takes a couple of minutes.
You’re saying to yourself, “I want to get here and these five obstacles are going to try to stop me. I’m not going to let them, I’m going to draw them out.” As soon as I noticed one of them in real life, I’m going to go, “That’s the whirlwind. That’s the learning curve. That’s a sudden storm.” In other words, by naming them in advance, you steal their power. Most people don’t name their fears in advance therefore when they show up, they are not prepared to deal with them. In this anticipation map, it prepares them. The third map is called the ritual map. Everybody who’s successful has a ritual and they do their ritual every day. The ritual is preparing themselves to go into the world. As my mentor, Stephen Covey would say, “Every day you need a daily private victory so that you can go into the world and have a daily public victory. Your ritual is your daily private victory.” It’s planning, it’s preparing, it’s meditating, it’s praying, it’s organized against reading. It’s working on the three fundamental areas of you, your body, your brain, and your spirit. When you focus on and work on all three of those in preparation mode, every day before you go into the world, you are more ready for whatever the world throws at you. It builds your will. This is a place to build your willpower and willpower is the power.
Most people have run out. When you do your to-do list, you usually do the little things first so it uses up all your willpower. By the time you get to the end of the day, you have depleted your willpower and therefore you go, “I’ll do that tomorrow,” and then you write your to-do list the next day, the same way you did it, which is, “Let’s do all this fast and fill those things.” Therefore, it destroys your willpower. It forces you to look for the little things to do. I do the opposite. “What’s the hardest thing I can do? Let me do that first. Let’s get that out of the way.” It might take all day long.
I saw a word in your writings. It was neuroplasticity. Can we talk about that?
That’s the way your brain stays young. It is exercising your mind, your brain and that’s neuroplasticity. That’s making your brain more usable, more flexible and more plastic. I’m 72 and cranking along just like I was 32. I read. I have my ritual I do every day. I read a lot. If Warren Buffett can read five hours a day, I can read at least an hour or two.
I find it interesting because a lot of the things that I had to discover in myself by trial and error, or just by finally screwing up enough that it became apparent, you’re dissecting. One thing I found is when you figured out what you are afraid of, and you started to address it, that dragon shrunk dramatically. When you decided to get nose to nose with it, and that we’re going to have a war and I’m not going to run from you anymore, I’m going to go like the bully on the neighborhood. Even the bully at school might whip your ass, but you’ve got to make it to where it’s not worth it to do it again. I found every time I named my fears and said, “I became a rule. Every time I’m afraid of something I’m going right to that. I’m going to go right to that until I understand. Why am I afraid of it? Why is it making me afraid? How do I stop that?” Soon, those dragons would shrink immensely.
It’s hard to invent new concepts or new ways, but sometimes someone’s voice has a better way of reaching you and I find your voice for me to be magnificent. You’ve reached me. You have a way of cutting through all my stuff and getting to me. I think you’ve had that effect on a lot of people for a lot of years, because of the way you put it, the way that you diagram it, the way that you explain yourself. If you have a chance, tell them how to get more information for you, how to learn more about this book, how to get this book, tell them what you want them to do.
The Four Maps of Happy Successful People is available on Amazon. You can order it physical or Kindle. It’s very inexpensive. It’s my lifetime summarized into four major skills that if you want to be successful, how you organize your life. That’s the task map. This is what your decision looks like. This is not a to-do list. It’s a drawing that shows you how to focus on the three projects that you’ve got to do every day. You can reach me at RobertAllen.com. Go there and enter your email address. For those people who respond there, I send out every week a communication, usually it’s on email, something that I’ve written for you to study that week about mindset or money set. I did my favorite side hustle, that thing, if you want to learn more, go there and I’ll communicate with you regularly and we could become friends.
Before we go, Robert, I’d like to ask you some bullet point questions, answer a little bit about the man Robert Allen. What drives Robert Allen?
I like to create.By naming your fears in advance, you steal their power. Click To Tweet
What person or event has had the biggest influence on you?
That’s a hard one because there are so many. I told the story of me having trouble finding a job in a terrible job market. Many people are finding that. I use that as an excuse to become an entrepreneur and it was from the worst recession that came to my greatest fortune. I was within five years by the time we were out of the recession, I was a multimillionaire.
It’s a great answer because some of the worst things that happen to us are the best things that ever happened to us. It’s not for a while until we figure out that it is.
We wouldn’t say, “You’re going to grow this much if you have this kind of pain.” You would go, “No, I don’t think so. I’ll stay inside my comfort zone.” Life is designed to force you outside of your comfort zone a thousand times, and you either shrink or you grow as a result of it. You can see the results everywhere you look. Some people are shrinking, some people are growing.
There is no neutral. You’re either being worth more or worth less. You’re either growing or you’re shrinking. You’re not holding where you’re at. You’re going backward if you’re not moving forward.
If some of you are interested in writing a book, I did a program. I coach people on how to write a bestselling book. If you go to RobertAllen.com and enter your name in there, I’ll tell you more about that.
It’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. You write twelve good books, that’s quite an endeavor. When did you start writing? When did you find out that writing was your gig?
When I was 24, I took a class from Stephen Covey. He challenged us to write our goals. Why I wrote these three goals, I don’t know, but I said, “I want to go scuba diving,” and I did. “I want to go skydiving,” and I did, “I want to write a book,” and I did. The book happened after I graduated from university. This would have been 4 or 5 years later after the class that Stephen Covey wrote but that thought had always been implanted in my head. I want to write a book. I had this epiphany one day driving down the freeway, “It’s time to write your book now.” I was a real estate agent at the time, dealing with people who were buying investment properties and I would buy them too. I walked into my boss’ office and I said to him, “I’m sorry, I have to write my book now. I’m going to give you back my real estate license. I will never sell another piece of real estate as a commissioned agent ever again.” I can make these statements and I gave him my license back. I began to write Nothing Down.
We went to Hawaii for our anniversary that year. I told my wife on it, “Let’s write my book in Hawaii.” I wrote the main outline of Nothing Down and I came back and found somebody who had had a number one New York Times bestseller and I said to her, “Diane, show me what to do,” and she said, “We’re going to go to the bookseller’s convention,” and the rest is history. It was just me deciding it was time to write the book and it came out in 1980. It’s just as we were coming out of the recession. As things started opening up and Reagan had won and the book were at a time when the Baby Boomers wanted to buy real estate and a lot of them didn’t have any money. If I’d wait in a year or two, it would have been too late. It was a perfect time, the perfect storm. Still, I get royalties every six months from a book I wrote years ago.
You’ve written the editions, Nothing Down for the ‘70s and the ‘80s and ‘90. You always brought it back and revamped it. I have some personal interest in these answers to these questions. Was writing a book excruciating for you, or just difficult or fun? How difficult was writing a book for you?
I don’t have a problem with it. One of my skills is I like to organize, and what are the steps to take them to the result? How do I make them simpler? That’s another one of my skills.
That’s what I need because I’m a slow study.
I have to have the drive to continue to write the words down.
How long were you in Hawaii to write your outline?Life is designed to force you outside of your comfort zone a thousand times, and you either shrink or grow as a result of it. Click To Tweet
We were there for two weeks and in two weeks I came home with the outline. I found my mentor within another couple of weeks. I have not written the entire book but had one chapter written with an outline, sexy titles, silkscreen covered. We went to the Booksellers Convention and I handed it out to the top publishers and Simon & Schuster wanted it.
My friend, anything you want to say to those entrepreneurs out there before we part?
I love your story, Mitch. You did a whole heck of a lot more than I did. I might’ve been up to you, but you went and did it like crazy.
One of the things you said about confidence. The reason why I like to keep small goals and I never was a big goal maker either. I needed something within my reach because once I reached it, I would get confidence and confidence was all I needed. Trying to find private money to fund your deals. Everybody’s scared to death of that topic. You get one guy it’s Katy, Bar the Door, but you’ve got to get the one. Once you do the one house, you’ve got the fever. Once you do a nothing down deal on time, it’s like, “I get it now. I did my nothing down deal on accident,” but I was based on your principles.
I kept pushing back scenarios that I could do because I didn’t have any other choices. I would always push back my offer. You had resonated in me like, “Don’t let the deal die on your side of the table and push back something you can do no matter how ridiculous it is because someone’s going to say yes sometime before it’s over with.” I pushed back this ridiculous, “I can’t make a down payment. I can’t make a payment for two years. I can’t do anything,” and the guy said yes and that was my first house. A house every 4 to 5 days.
I quit in March of 1996 and I did 45 houses. The next year, 1997, I did 65 houses. The next year I did 150, and then that was too many, I bumped back down. Ron LeGrand embarrassed me in front of a whole program. I did 150 houses this year. I was right at the end of the year when I was at his convention, he goes, “Ladies and gentlemen, this guy is a dumbass.” Here I am standing up in front of 300 people because he said like, “Why don’t you do a little bit less, make more and have a life?” He was dead on right and after that statement, when I was turning red in front of everybody, he said, “A lot of people would like to be as dumb as this guy.” He joked but he said, “I’m trying to suggest to you that maybe you do less, do better quality and have a real life and get under control. One hundred fifty, that’s acquiring and then a closing selling almost every day and that’s almost impossible.” It’s a lot of stress. He was rough.
Congratulations, Mitch. Honestly, I have never heard of you before, Mitch.
I’m the best-kept secret in the whole wide world.
What’s shocking to me is I’ve had bunches of people pop up, who I have never heard of before, who gives me as part of the credit of their success and I am stunned by how a few ideas can change people’s lives so much and it’s very humbling.
I hope you never get tired of it. I could get emotional about it because I was in a very bad place. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a college degree, no one wanted to pay me. I was lost and my family wasn’t talking about it. My school didn’t teach me anything about it. No one was telling me anything that you told me and between you and Maltz controlling my thoughts. You telling me that I could do something with nothing and then Think and Grow Rich telling me that some of the richest people in the world never had one ounce of schooling and they were placed in corners to where they had to invent their own business because no one would hire them in a million years.
Every time they figured out how to increase that business, they were the 100% recipient of it. That’s what happened to me. I made a conscious decision to take having a job off the table because I was told by a POW one day that how he made it through was, “If you had enough water and enough protein and if you could keep a hold of this, that your body would figure everything out and it would survive everything.” I believed that guy. He was a prisoner of war, the Bay of Pigs. He was in Castro’s prison for 24 months as a trader to his country where they did awful things to him every day, starting in the morning. I thought, here I am in San Antonio, Texas and I knew what I needed to do.
I needed to invent my own thing because if I wasn’t going to be entrepreneurial, no one was ever going to pay me. I’d already been ten years doing this stuff and I couldn’t make more than $15 an hour. I didn’t have the credentials, but I was making them lots of money. I was responsible. I was honest and they weren’t paying me what I needed to be paid. I took having a job off the table. I thought, “What are the chances that I’m not going to get enough clean water in San Antonio, Texas?” That’s a zero. “What’s the chance I’m not going to get enough protein or I’m not going to eat? The greatest country in the world and a booming city with a supportive family.” I didn’t have to control my mind from going insane as this POW did. I had to control my mind to not take a job so I could back this body in a corner so hard that it would have to come out and do something and they had invented how to make money.
My first goal was tiny. I want to know how to make $15 an hour I don’t have to answer to anybody else. I didn’t do it overnight, but then I did then when I learned how to make $30 an hour, I was 100% recipient. When I learned how to make $50 an hour. One time, I got up making $800 an hour. You think that’s fun, but it has its downsides too. You have to constantly be learning from people. My wife would say to me, “Mitch, can you pick up the dry cleaners?” I’m like, “Honey, I’m worth $800 an hour. Can someone just go to the dry cleaners?” I learned that mindset from someone else too. I did an event that they said, “You can’t work all your wages.” I learned a lot of this stuff from these people but was that a fun night at my house? No, it wasn’t.
Let’s do another episode where I can take them deep and show them some more stuff. I’m happy to do that with you.
We did principle one. Let’s have one on principle 2 and principle 3 if you want to. We’ll schedule it. I’ll have Julie call you and you say when, and if that’s what you want to do, we’ll do. If you want to do something different, we’ll do something different but I am completely enthralled in the way that you’re putting it because I think you’re right on. I’m a fan of yours, but you’re topping yourself right here.
I taught myself even. Mitch, you have a wonderful day. I love you all and I’ll see everybody. God bless.
I’d like to thank each and every one of you for stopping by to get you some Robert G. Allen, and maybe we’ll see him again here soon. We’re out of here.
- Nothing Down
- Cracking the Millionaire Code
- The One Minute Millionaire
- The Four Maps of Happy Successful People
- Multiple Streams of Income
- Think and Grow Rich
- Ron LeGrand
About Robert G. Allen
Robert G. Allen is the author of numerous books about making money. Allen was born in Canada. The National Speakers Association has named him “America’s Top Millionaire Maker.”
Robert Allen has been teaching ordinary people how to achieve extraordinary success and financial freedom for over 30 years. He is the author and co-author of some of the most influential financial books of all time including the New York Times bestsellers Creating Wealth, Nothing Down, Multiple Streams of Income, The Challenge, and The One Minute Millionaire. Millions of his books have been sold worldwide.
Today there are thousands of millionaires who attribute their success to Bob’s systems and strategies. The National Speakers Association has named him America’s Top Millionaire Maker.
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