I don't know if I'm weird or not but did you know I really enjoy paying bills? It gives me a great feeling of accomplishment. Maybe it's because there were times in my life where I couldn't pay the bills. I wanted to, but one ingredient was missing. Money! Didn't have any and didn't know where to find it. I was always a hard worker and very motivated but unfortunately I just couldn't seem to make ends meet no matter how hard I tried. My biggest mistake was, I underestimated myself.
When I was young my family didn't have much money and I was never really pushed to be successful. Independent but not successful. I think I was too independent. I was a rebel. I never liked authority and did not like people telling me what to do. Because of this I left school at 16 and moved out on my own at 17 and never went back. I always worked and made decent money but seemed to have a problem taking it to the next level. I thought real success was for people that had an education. Then something life changing happened to me. I started waiting tables in an upscale Spanish restaurant located in Clearwater Fl., Tio Pepe's. I know what your thinking, "Broker Bryant, you were a waiter for Pete's sake, how did this change your life?" Well, let me tell you.
If you have ever waited tables in a fast paced, upscale restaurant, then you know that it is very, very hard work. And you can make pretty good money. I was making $50,000 a year 25 years ago. Back then that was a lot of money. But most importantly, it was the people I was waiting on. We had business owners, movie stars, TV stars, sports stars, politicians, stock brokers and many successful folks that dined with us regularly. The parking lot on any given night looked like an exotic car lot. Lamborghinis, Porches, Ferraris and Limos seemed to be the ride of choice for these folks. Heck, I can remember serving the chauffeurs Filet Mignon in the parking lot while their bosses ate inside. I worked there for almost 10 years and these people became my friends as well as my customers. And you know what? They weren't that smart. They were just like me! It was a revelation. But, the one thing they all had in common was passion. Passion for what they did. They found the one thing they were good at and excelled at it.
I soon realized, that I too could be successful, if I could just find my niche. When I was in my mid 20s I bought my first piece of Real Estate. It was a condo in Clearwater, Florida, where I lived. I liked the feeling of owning something so much, that in a short period of time, I bought 3 more in the same complex and used them as rentals. So here I was 26 years old, waiting tables and I had a pretty nice Real Estate portfolio in the making. I started looking at life differently. My confidence grew and I knew in my heart that I could become something more than just a waiter. My perception had changed. And trust me folks, when I say, perception is everything.
Also, from working as a waiter I learned how to treat people. I truly liked waiting tables and enjoyed making people feel good about their dining experience. Whether they were ordering soup and salad or bottles of wine at $2,000 a pop, I made them feel special. They were all treated the same and I would bend over backwards to serve them. I excelled at this job. I would have customers that would wait for an hour or more just to sit in my section. Other waiters would be sitting around with no business and my section would be full with several parties waiting for me. I was the first one in every night and the last one to leave. Most of the waiters were making $60-$70 a night, while I was making $150-$200. It was awesome!
What does any of this have to do with Real Estate? Well for me, everything. With out this experience in life I may have never found the confidence that I needed to be successful. I may not have learned how to service people and treat then with respect, no matter what their status in life. I would still be working menial jobs thinking that was all life had to offer me because I was uneducated.
So folks, remember it's not so much what you do but how you do it that counts. It's all about passion and attitude. Find your passion. You too, can be what ever you want to be in life. And that, my friends, is a very good thing.
Have you had a defining moment in your life?