The Flip Flop “Lifestyle”…

10/07/2020: Today, I had my “every 6 month check-up” with my primary doctor. My doctor is a really cool dude, typically takes about an hour, most of the time waiting for him, then about 15 or 20 minutes of him checking me out. I have had a weight issue most of my life. Carrying an extra 100# causes me constant pain in my feet, knees, back and shoulders. I find it difficult to be motivated enough to work out to lose weight, so I watch what I eat and limit my total calorie intake. Over the last few years, I have steadily climbed my weight, but today, the doctor informed me that I have lost 17 pounds since my last visit 6 months ago. It was a great feeling, that did not last very long…

There are days that are REALLY stressful and the last couple have been just that. Dealing with issues that should not happen, but they do. So my number one problem is stress. Mostly because I put too much on my own plate to try and get done, then it all comes around and crashes in on my at the same time.

I don’t use it nearly enough, but getting out on a nice day and riding for an hour or two really lets me get into my own head and clear out the clutter. I don’t know what it is about riding, but I have been doing it since I was 15 years old. The style of my bike has changed over the years, but the thrill is still there. Now I know why the “old guys” have trikes!

Every few months, I will use the bike to drive the neighborhoods that I like to find the real estate “opportunities” out there. Those houses that look like they are a problem for someone. Overgrown, boarded up windows, run down, and just plain “ugly” that no one really wants. Those are what I call the “diamond in the ROUGH” opportunities. Solving someones’ problem and turning that into a regular monthly payment for them is where deals happen. So don’t be shy, relax, go out and hunt some problems then figure a way to help those people out by taking those problems off their hands and turning them into profit. There are deals to be had, you just have to go out and find them.

Be well, go take a walk with bare feet in the grass, you will be glad you did!

—–

3/12/2020: In the 52 years that I have been on this planet, I cannot think of ANYTHING less appealing than a “regular” job. NOW, don’t take this statement the wrong way, if you get up and go to work (selling your time for money, as in an hourly wage) I applaud you for doing so. That effort that you make is what makes the world go ’round! My main problem is that I don’t “work and play well with others” so working for someone is very difficult for me. However, I too get up and “go to work” but it is on my time schedule, and on my motivation level to get out there and do what I do.

Since early 2019, I, along with a partner have purchased and managed a block of properties. Most needed work, some more than others, with lots and LOTS of flooring, paint, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom sinks! One of the things that I dislike most about the real estate business is the “rehab” process. Simply the management of people gets old & tiresome after a while. The “thrill” that I get from real estate is the hunt for the deals, the rush, the negotiation, going in for the “kill” and getting the deal done. On more than one occasion, I have found myself at the closing table, and realized, “Crap, now I have to do rehab” which I really do not like. However, like getting a root canal, once the pain of the process is over, you can take pictures, and show off all of your hard work!

I am VERY fortunate that I was brought into the business by family, I caught the bug early and have been investing in real estate in all forms since I was 20 years old (wow, 32 years!). I think that I have done every type of investment out there, FSBO, purchase from realtors, distressed properties, pre-foreclosure/foreclosure at the court house steps, raw land, tax liens, tax deed sales, tax sale overages, and EVERY type of auction you can imagine. The deals that I have needed money have been almost exclusively owner finance. I prefer the “no money down” technique with maximum leverage. The only things that I have NEVER done is gone to a bank or hard money lender and gotten loans or wholesaling. EVEN during the “glory years” of 2001-2008 when they would give you money simply by fogging a mirror with no income verification. I have always felt that my credit (mid 600s) has never been good enough. I have worked for myself in one way or another most of my life and have never been one to finance vehicles or furniture so my credit has always suffered. That happens when you pay cash for most things that you buy.

I thank “my lucky stars” in many, many ways that I am fortunate enough to be able to make a living on my terms, in my own “uniform” and with no particular direction except for the rules and pressure that I put on myself. Chasing cash is ALWAYS on my mind.

Get the motivation to “chase the side gig” and do some work for yourself. Deliver “Doordash”, drive “Uber”, get a contract to clean a business on a regular basis, put ATM or vending machines out there, become a notary and offer your services, rake lawns, clean gutters, pools, organize garages, pressure wash driveways. Whatever you can do, above and beyond your regular gig that pays your bills will be extra money you have to invest in something. There are real estate opportunities out there that you can go after with just $500-$1000! Search out the deals and figure out how to make them happen. Nothing is more powerful than your desire to take care of your family or to have those things that are just out of reach.

Be well, strive for your best, imagine your future, then make it happen!

——

10/02/2013: In 2009, Steve left the “rat race” of the Tampa Bay area with his 1st wife and their 2 children to move back to Flagler County to be close to what little bit of family he had left. He left behind aspirations of Fire Department “public service” for life as a business owner, and real estate investor. There is a soul-ripping conflict between public service and private business.

Upon leaving Tampa, he made the decision to do several things:

  1. He was going to never wear a watch again.
  2. He was going to start surfing every day like he did as a teenager
  3. He was going to stop wearing shoes, and wear nothing but “flip flops” and enjoy the beach culture that is Flagler County.

So here is how it worked out:

  1. He has not worn a watch since 2011. With cell phones in every pocket, who needs a watch anyway?
  2. Surfing about killed him.
  3. He is still wearing flip flops both personally and professionally unless the weather is below 50 degrees, then he will wear shoes. But he does so with GREAT disdain!

Part of the flip flop lifestyle is about attitude. That freeing feeling that you get when you can walk with your toes in the grass at the golf course, when you can dip your feet in the water at the beach and not worry about sand in your shoes, that feeling when the “cow mud” squishes between your toes, (hey, it’s the country after all) and yes, Cow Mud is exactly what you think it is.

Every once in a while you have to get back to basics and re-align your attitude to not stress out, to not let the little things take control of your life, and not let stress jeopardize your health.

In the summer of 2012 he met Michelle, the love of his life. She is now his second wife and the stability & motivation that he relies upon to work and play hard. His desire is to grow old with her and for them to be successfully spend the days drinking margaritas & sitting under the palms, enjoying the sun and cool breezes that is retirement.

Steve & Michelle were married in April of 2014 in Las Vegas, NV by Elvis under the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. One of the things that Steve promised Michelle when they got serious about their relationship was that she needed to “hang on, it’s going to be one HELL of a ride!”

As of today, their life is, and continues to be “one hell of a ride”.

Slow down, enjoy the little things in life, understand what is important, and what does not matter in the grand scheme of life. Take your shoes off and run the carpet between your toes, walk in the green grass, and smell the flowers along the way. Life is short, enjoy the journey.

In the end we all end up the same way…

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