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FEATURED USER SteveO: From Employee to RE Investor to Golf Course Owner...

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MJ DeMarco

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I'd like to announce the "Featured User" vignette here at the forum where we profile a regular user here at The Fastlane Forum, of course, pending their permission and acceptance of the honor.

Our first featured user is @SteveO -- one of our longest standing members and known around here as our resident philosopher. When you see STEVE's posts here at the forum, make sure to pass him some REP and THANKS.

Here's his story:

THE START:
I left the workforce at the age of 42. The process was started at 39. I was a supervisor at HP. There was an attempt to guide one of the technicians towards performance improvements. He informed me that if the fun was taken from his job, he would quit. The focus at that point was on him and how he could do this. He informed me that he owned apartment buildings and mobile home parks that made more money than his job.

I asked him for advice on how to get started. His response?.... “Just go do it”. Of course I asked more questions to which he again responded “go buy something. That is how you learn”.
I spent the next few months reading, gathering data, and shopping the market. The plan was to buy a small apartment in a growing area. The plan needed to have a potential for upside though “added value” and location driven rent growth.

There was no money in my bank accounts to make a purchase. A bold step was taken to borrow what was needed. A great four-plex was located in a beach community. It had been overlooked by the owner for years. They were losing money and wanted out. I borrowed money from a line of credit and found a company willing to write a 3rd mortgage on my house. The seller carried 10% on an interest only note.

Sold this after about 1.5 years and moved the money into a partnership deal. It was 45 units or so and I had around 30% of the deal. Sold this after a couple of years and bought a 52 unit complex with a partner. I had 82% of this deal.

During the course of this happening, I looked at how much income was needed to quit my job. I had some money in retirement accounts that would be taxed and penalized heavily if cashed out. A deal that was not in my city presented itself. It was 24 units and came with more seller financing.

I quit my job, sold my house, and moved to Prescott, AZ.

THE GROWTH:
I had done a few more deals and had worked my way up to around 120 apartment units. An investor approached and offered to carry money on deals in exchange for my management of the process. He helped me sail up to around 800 units.

More deals with investors came into play. At one point, I was up to around 1100 units. I refinanced my original partner out and paid him completely. There was a strong comfort level with the new financing.

Networth at this point was around 10M. The idea of selling everything and stepping out of the business came to mind.

THE CRASH:
Then it happened. Most of my apartments were in Phoenix and the crash came fast and furious. There was a negative political spin on the illegal immigrant issue. The local sheriff was raiding workplaces and apartment buildings. Renters were rapidly dropping.

On top of this, the economy started tanking. Income dropped very rapidly as jobs were being lost. Vacancies went through the roof. Then people realized that they could easily move and get 2-3 month specials at other apartments. Some realized that they could just quit paying rent, wait out the eviction, and still find another place with a huge special.

Income dropped by more than 50%!!!!! Expenses were going through the roof with all the turnover and trashed units being left behind. The income would not even pay for the expenses not including the mortgage.

Money reserves were used up rapidly given the situation and most of the buildings went back to the financial institutions.

RECOVERY:
When all was said and done, the networth had dropped to below zero. I went into a severe withdrawal as my house was foreclosed on and the lawsuits started. My wife went back to work as an attorney and I went to bed. The pain felt insurmountable.
One day came the dreaded words. Ten years after the job was shed, my wife asked me to go back to work. Talk about a jolt to the system. I said “No. There is so much more money to be made out there.”. She did not want me to go back into the apartment business. We had no money or credit. I told her we could get past that. She said that she was not willing to put her signature on any “guarantees”. This felt like a knife though the heart. I needed that since she had the only income.

Lenders were looking at me like I was a pariah. No down payment, no credit, pending lawsuits, foreclosures…… There had to be another way. I managed to find a high networth individual with a strong income to back me on a small deal.
This guy really put the screws to me in the deal. He was able to see the situation well enough to know that my options were limited. But, I found a screaming deal on a 12 unit apartment. Only 2 units were occupied at the time of purchase. Within six months, I had all units renovated and occupied.

This lead to more investors and more deals. Then the big one hit. 87 units under contract by a group for a low dollar amount. There were a few of them and they were all players, like me, that had lost it all. They came to me for operations and help with investors. I suggested that since the deal was so good, that we go to hard money for 100%. Not only did they give us the money, they lent enough to cover most of the rehab. It was less than 50% occupied so there was no income. They also agreed to a deferred payment for a time period.

I kicked a$$ on this. Rehabbed and filled units at an incredible rate.

This was sold and gave me enough money to go back on my own. I had now developed a relationship with a lender and they were loaning to me based on ability.

Now burned out on apartments and rehab, the direction changed toward commercial properties. A retail center that was very nicely located and had been fully rehabbed was sitting for sale. It was only half occupied at the time. Nobody would buy it because it had sat empty for so long. The bank reluctantly went along. I had a renter for most of the remainder just after the deal was closed.

I decided to sell the remaining apartments and began looking for another commercial deal. The search went high and low with no luck finding anything that made sense.

One day I asked my wife…. “What do you think about buying a golf course? I found one down in Yuma…..”

THE GOLF COURSE
We thought we would play golf and work a little. Ha! This is a dynamic and challenging business. We are working our asses off! Our goal is to make the golf course playable. This is being accomplished and business is coming in. Still work to go though.

Thoughts on Life:
Why do we stress ourselves out?

I came to the conclusion that I was just as happy when I was living out of my car with very little money as I was when there was more than could be spent. Everything is an experience. We tend to view and label them as good and bad. This is derived from years of society conditioning our thoughts. They become belief systems that define our actions and how we feel. As I was lying in grief during a dark time of my life, there was a realization. I…. am not defined by society or its beliefs. It is not possible to shake them completely, but this understanding takes off a major grip.

Many on the forums believe that we should not do what we love as that will not lead us down the appropriate path. But, that should not stop us from loving what we do. Our drive and passion depends on some level of enjoyment.

HISTORY:
I worked fairly hard as a teenager. Paper routes, horse stable cleaning, truck yard maintenance, yard work, etc… I remember when the father of one of my friends hired me and asked me to give him a price rather than an hourly wage. The concept was foreign. I way underestimated but got the point of the process.

We were poor and lived on welfare programs. Clothes became more important in the teen years. Working was basically to earn enough for cigarettes and attire.

School bored me to death. School work was not challenging. Sports were though. My worlds collided here as I hung out with a trouble inducing crowd. I was one of the best distance runners in San Diego and a decent wrestler. The rest of the time was spent with trouble makers and people up to no good. Fights, truancies, total insubordination and I was on the fast track to get booted. Did not even manage to make it through 10th grade.

My father signed a legal document for me to go into the Marines at the age of 17. Same result as school.

I had moved out of my house at the age of 16 and was living with friends or in my crappy car that barely ran. The police started to recognize the vehicle so I had to find hiding places to sleep.

I managed to find fairly regular work and got an apartment. The focus was on construction but I had many jobs. The wages were low but I was finding success here. I did landscaping, plumbing, auto mechanic, general construction, etc. It was normal to hop around to where the work was.

One of my bosses handed me a check with only his signature one day. He asked me to go get supplies and fill out the check. As I sat there with a pen in my hand, the realization hit that I forgot how to write. The words did get down on that paper but it dawned on me that I have to keep doing to retain skills.

At the age of 20, I started my own landscape/construction business. I was not licensed and had a tough go of it.

I applied for a job at HP. Actually, I applied for jobs at many different places but this one offered me an interview. Somehow, I dazzled the supervisor and he hired me for a low tech assembly job. The hours were 11:pm until 7:am. Hours most people would not take. I was able to wind down my business and pay off my supplier debts with the earnings from the new job. It was a success for me as the economy was slowly taking my business down.

Here is where I sometimes disagree with many on what constitutes “Fastlane”. I spent the next 19 years learning, doing building skills, gaining valuable education, and advancing.

I quickly moved into better jobs and decided to get a degree in electronics. Then a new job came up that put me in a technical role assisting the engineers in research and development. I changed my degree path to electrical engineering.

I was still very active in sports and participated in the company softball and running teams. They were very competitive. I worked with HP to get them sponsored so my status went up with the groups. Many were engineers and managers.

I was promoted to supervisor of a technical department and dropped school at that point. It was no longer necessary to the career path. I was in jobs that required a degree from a prestigious school but at this point only had a GED. I had engineers and chemistry PHD holders working for me. I also had technicians.

Still had the same old issues though. I did not like to be told what to do or how to do things. This kept me and my bosses in conflict. I did not want to be there.

20170420_120635.jpg 20170420_120655.jpg

20160913_073716.jpg

Steve's great story is just an example of some of the awesome people with have here at the forum HELPING OTHERS.

So what wisdom can you grab from Steve's story to help move your story along to greatness?



 

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startinup

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This is an awesome idea!

Often I feel like I don't know much about the best contributors on TFLF. I'm sure they've all lived interesting lives and there are lessons to be learned just from their stories.

It also helps new members get an idea of what various members have accomplished and where their expertise lies much more quickly.

I wonder if we'll ever learn about the mysterious @jon.a. All I know now is based off his great marines story...

Edit: Almost forgot, this is an amazing story. Especially as someone interested in real estate in the long term.
 

jon.a

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Greg R

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I am really happy to see @SteveO featured here on the forum.

Key takeaways for me:
  1. Focus.
  2. Keep developing yourself
  3. DO NOT stop even when times get tough (I doubt too many people on this forum have embraced a $10MM loss).
  4. Happiness is internal.
  5. Follow and trust your convictions.
I want to personally thank @SteveO for taking the time to help me out over the last year. You've inspired me to keep trucking along when times were tough. Though our conversations were short, they have had a profound impact on me. I hope that one day I can see your course! +REP
 

jon.a

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I am really happy to see @SteveO featured here on the forum.

Key takeaways for me:
  1. Focus.
  2. Keep developing yourself
  3. DO NOT stop even when times get tough (I doubt too many people on this forum have embraced a $10MM loss).
  4. Happiness is internal.
  5. Follow and trust your convictions.
I want to personally thank @SteveO for taking the time to help me out over the last year. You've inspired me to keep trucking along when times were tough. Though our conversations were short, they have had a profound impact on me. I hope that one day I can see your course! +REP
I owe @SteveO a thank you too.
 

Greg R

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@Greg Rutkowski
Nobody owes me anything! Thanks to both of you as well. You know all about the fact that it is not easy to find people that think like us...
Since there are many other RE Investors on this forum that may benefit, I have to ask you:

If you had to do it all over again, would you have started with investing in apartments, or have gone straight to commercial real estate?

EDIT: Or a more appropriate question could be:
Would you have done anything differently?
 
Last edited:

motosnipe

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Absolutely inspiring. Great read and equally great story, gives me motivation to keep my chin up and keep on grinding.
 

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TKDTyler

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Key takeaway...

1. Even at his lowest point, where the person he love and trusted the most lost sight, he not only remembered, but also remained true to his core values. His self-awareness was so keen that he was able to push past depression and continue pursuing his goals regardless of societal pressure.

I think sometimes we are all put in situations where it is easy to lose sight of what we value the most. Easy to be distracted by comfort and opinions of the people we care for.

2. He found somebody who was willing to support him even though she didn't fully agree with his decision.

That's a hell of a story @SteveO. Glad I was able to read it.
 

SteveO

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Since there are many other RE Investors on this forum that may benefit, I have to ask you:

If you had to do it all over again, would you have started with investing in apartments, or have gone straight to commercial real estate?

EDIT: Or a more appropriate question could be:
Would you have done anything differently?
Tough question. I wish that confidence required to start earlier was there. Knowing the possibilities is the real key. One question might be whether the maturity and skills were there earlier.

I came up with a process for investing that started with a greater focus on adding value through rehab and lease-up. As time went forward, there was a leaning toward cashflow and 3rd party management. After the crash, the direction went towards great locations and extreme value-add. This is the game that I would recommend. Like anything, it is not easy to play.

Commercial is not as straight forward. With multi-family, one would simply apply the basic figures to determine financials. There was always a mystery around commercial. The ups and downs have the potential of being much greater. It takes long time and usually a lot of cash to turn a vacancy over. New businesses don't want to pay during their build-out and frequently want start-up relief as well. Besides the fact that it usually takes a long time to lease at the market rate. The biggest reward will usually come with buying a vacant building. The biggest risk comes the same way.

Commercial is best served up with experience.
 
Last edited:

MidwestLandlord

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Quite the throat punch, losing $10m+, home, stress on y'alls marriage, your business, etc.

And then not only recovering, but succeeding all over again. Don't know what else to say but, amazing!

Anything specific you did to mentally get back in the fight?
 

TheSilverSpoon

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@SteveO I wanted to say thank you. We met very briefly back at the 2013 meetup.

While the wealth of business stories and knowledge you have contributed is truly great, I find myself quite regularly going through your posts and digging for your philosophical thoughts.

Over the years, the reading (and rereading) of these philosophies has had a big impact on me. They have helped me immensely to keep sight of what is important. It's all too easy to get caught up in the day to day and lose focus.
 

ZeroTo100

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For one, I must say that it seems to me like @SteveO and his wife have s phenomenal relationship.

If you read between the lines, there are not many out there willing to go through the ups and downs of being married to an entrepreneur. For all you single guys that disagree with marriage, when you find a winner there is nothing better than family! No dollar in the world can replace that. If you believe the opposit, it's because you've never had either.

I can relate to most of his story, especially about how much hustle he put in throughout the early years and how it got him to where it is today.

My favorite quote to which I'm also a believer in

"what we love as that will not lead us down the appropriate path. But, that should not stop us from loving what we do. Our drive and passion depends on some level of enjoyment."

Thanks for sharing @SteveO.
 
Last edited:

SteveO

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Anything specific you did to mentally get back in the fight?
Just like being sick, it has to run its course. I learned a lot about myself during this time though. There was no way that going back to work was an option. Other pathways besides RE were being evaluated as well.

The basic human belief systems were completely re-evaluated as a result of the kick to the head. All past beliefs were evaluated and I looked deep into myself. Turns out that I liked what I saw.
 

SteveO

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While the wealth of business stories and knowledge you have contributed is truly great, I find myself quite regularly going through your posts and digging for your philosophical thoughts.
I don't have philosophical thoughts. @Greg Rutkowski provides those. :)

I have beliefs though. I believe that we ALL take life much too seriously. This tends to take the fun out and add turmoil. Any and all emotions that we present to ourselves are opportunities to look. They are ALWAYS telling us something about our beliefs.
 

rollerskates

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What a great feature! Thanks, @SteveO for being the guinea pig. :clap:: But mostly thank you for sharing the dark nitty gritty and the ugly details. I much prefer hearing that someone lost all their money and their house and came back from it than a mushy gooey feel good business story, because it helps me feel like I can do it too after some dark things.
 

GuitarManDan

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Thanks @MJ DeMarco and @SteveO , this is an awesome format and a great story. My biggest takeaway from this story was from the following quote:

"I came to the conclusion that I was just as happy when I was living out of my car with very little money as I was when there was more than could be spent. Everything is an experience. We tend to view and label them as good and bad. This is derived from years of society conditioning our thoughts."

As someone who's done everything "right" in accordance with the typical story society tells us (get good grades, go to a good college, get a good job, etc) it's intimidating to think about going against the grain and taking some calculated risks, but this really shed some light into that issue for me.

It isn't the end of the world to fail. With perseverance and the awareness to learn/grow from your mistakes, you come out of stronger from the tough times.
 

KSR

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Just like being sick, it has to run its course. I learned a lot about myself during this time though. There was no way that going back to work was an option. Other pathways besides RE were being evaluated as well.

The basic human belief systems were completely re-evaluated as a result of the kick to the head. All past beliefs were evaluated and I looked deep into myself. Turns out that I liked what I saw.
I applause you for sticking with your beliefs even with the added pressure of your wife, money and normalcy etc.

This story deserves its own feature film starring Bradley Cooper with a 70m budget.
Very inspirational read, keep on keeping on @SteveO.
 

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samsig03

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I'd like to announce the "Featured User" vignette here at the forum where we profile a regular user here at The Fastlane Forum, of course, pending their permission and acceptance of the honor.

Our first featured user is @SteveO -- one of our longest standing members and known around here as our resident philosopher. When you see STEVE's posts here at the forum, make sure to pass him some REP and THANKS.

Here's his story:

THE START:
I left the workforce at the age of 42. The process was started at 39. I was a supervisor at HP. There was an attempt to guide one of the technicians towards performance improvements. He informed me that if the fun was taken from his job, he would quit. The focus at that point was on him and how he could do this. He informed me that he owned apartment buildings and mobile home parks that made more money than his job.

I asked him for advice on how to get started. His response?.... “Just go do it”. Of course I asked more questions to which he again responded “go buy something. That is how you learn”.
I spent the next few months reading, gathering data, and shopping the market. The plan was to buy a small apartment in a growing area. The plan needed to have a potential for upside though “added value” and location driven rent growth.

There was no money in my bank accounts to make a purchase. A bold step was taken to borrow what was needed. A great four-plex was located in a beach community. It had been overlooked by the owner for years. They were losing money and wanted out. I borrowed money from a line of credit and found a company willing to write a 3rd mortgage on my house. The seller carried 10% on an interest only note.

Sold this after about 1.5 years and moved the money into a partnership deal. It was 45 units or so and I had around 30% of the deal. Sold this after a couple of years and bought a 52 unit complex with a partner. I had 82% of this deal.

During the course of this happening, I looked at how much income was needed to quit my job. I had some money in retirement accounts that would be taxed and penalized heavily if cashed out. A deal that was not in my city presented itself. It was 24 units and came with more seller financing.

I quit my job, sold my house, and moved to Prescott, AZ.

THE GROWTH:
I had done a few more deals and had worked my way up to around 120 apartment units. An investor approached and offered to carry money on deals in exchange for my management of the process. He helped me sail up to around 800 units.

More deals with investors came into play. At one point, I was up to around 1100 units. I refinanced my original partner out and paid him completely. There was a strong comfort level with the new financing.

Networth at this point was around 10M. The idea of selling everything and stepping out of the business came to mind.

THE CRASH:
Then it happened. Most of my apartments were in Phoenix and the crash came fast and furious. There was a negative political spin on the illegal immigrant issue. The local sheriff was raiding workplaces and apartment buildings. Renters were rapidly dropping.

On top of this, the economy started tanking. Income dropped very rapidly as jobs were being lost. Vacancies went through the roof. Then people realized that they could easily move and get 2-3 month specials at other apartments. Some realized that they could just quit paying rent, wait out the eviction, and still find another place with a huge special.

Income dropped by more than 50%!!!!! Expenses were going through the roof with all the turnover and trashed units being left behind. The income would not even pay for the expenses not including the mortgage.

Money reserves were used up rapidly given the situation and most of the buildings went back to the financial institutions.

RECOVERY:
When all was said and done, the networth had dropped to below zero. I went into a severe withdrawal as my house was foreclosed on and the lawsuits started. My wife went back to work as an attorney and I went to bed. The pain felt insurmountable.
One day came the dreaded words. Ten years after the job was shed, my wife asked me to go back to work. Talk about a jolt to the system. I said “No. There is so much more money to be made out there.”. She did not want me to go back into the apartment business. We had no money or credit. I told her we could get past that. She said that she was not willing to put her signature on any “guarantees”. This felt like a knife though the heart. I needed that since she had the only income.

Lenders were looking at me like I was a pariah. No down payment, no credit, pending lawsuits, foreclosures…… There had to be another way. I managed to find a high networth individual with a strong income to back me on a small deal.
This guy really put the screws to me in the deal. He was able to see the situation well enough to know that my options were limited. But, I found a screaming deal on a 12 unit apartment. Only 2 units were occupied at the time of purchase. Within six months, I had all units renovated and occupied.

This lead to more investors and more deals. Then the big one hit. 87 units under contract by a group for a low dollar amount. There were a few of them and they were all players, like me, that had lost it all. They came to me for operations and help with investors. I suggested that since the deal was so good, that we go to hard money for 100%. Not only did they give us the money, they lent enough to cover most of the rehab. It was less than 50% occupied so there was no income. They also agreed to a deferred payment for a time period.

I kicked a$$ on this. Rehabbed and filled units at an incredible rate.

This was sold and gave me enough money to go back on my own. I had now developed a relationship with a lender and they were loaning to me based on ability.

Now burned out on apartments and rehab, the direction changed toward commercial properties. A retail center that was very nicely located and had been fully rehabbed was sitting for sale. It was only half occupied at the time. Nobody would buy it because it had sat empty for so long. The bank reluctantly went along. I had a renter for most of the remainder just after the deal was closed.

I decided to sell the remaining apartments and began looking for another commercial deal. The search went high and low with no luck finding anything that made sense.

One day I asked my wife…. “What do you think about buying a golf course? I found one down in Yuma…..”

THE GOLF COURSE
We thought we would play golf and work a little. Ha! This is a dynamic and challenging business. We are working our asses off! Our goal is to make the golf course playable. This is being accomplished and business is coming in. Still work to go though.

Thoughts on Life:
Why do we stress ourselves out?

I came to the conclusion that I was just as happy when I was living out of my car with very little money as I was when there was more than could be spent. Everything is an experience. We tend to view and label them as good and bad. This is derived from years of society conditioning our thoughts. They become belief systems that define our actions and how we feel. As I was lying in grief during a dark time of my life, there was a realization. I…. am not defined by society or its beliefs. It is not possible to shake them completely, but this understanding takes off a major grip.

Many on the forums believe that we should not do what we love as that will not lead us down the appropriate path. But, that should not stop us from loving what we do. Our drive and passion depends on some level of enjoyment.

HISTORY:
I worked fairly hard as a teenager. Paper routes, horse stable cleaning, truck yard maintenance, yard work, etc… I remember when the father of one of my friends hired me and asked me to give him a price rather than an hourly wage. The concept was foreign. I way underestimated but got the point of the process.

We were poor and lived on welfare programs. Clothes became more important in the teen years. Working was basically to earn enough for cigarettes and attire.

School bored me to death. School work was not challenging. Sports were though. My worlds collided here as I hung out with a trouble inducing crowd. I was one of the best distance runners in San Diego and a decent wrestler. The rest of the time was spent with trouble makers and people up to no good. Fights, truancies, total insubordination and I was on the fast track to get booted. Did not even manage to make it through 10th grade.

My father signed a legal document for me to go into the Marines at the age of 17. Same result as school.

I had moved out of my house at the age of 16 and was living with friends or in my crappy car that barely ran. The police started to recognize the vehicle so I had to find hiding places to sleep.

I managed to find fairly regular work and got an apartment. The focus was on construction but I had many jobs. The wages were low but I was finding success here. I did landscaping, plumbing, auto mechanic, general construction, etc. It was normal to hop around to where the work was.

One of my bosses handed me a check with only his signature one day. He asked me to go get supplies and fill out the check. As I sat there with a pen in my hand, the realization hit that I forgot how to write. The words did get down on that paper but it dawned on me that I have to keep doing to retain skills.

At the age of 20, I started my own landscape/construction business. I was not licensed and had a tough go of it.

I applied for a job at HP. Actually, I applied for jobs at many different places but this one offered me an interview. Somehow, I dazzled the supervisor and he hired me for a low tech assembly job. The hours were 11:pm until 7:am. Hours most people would not take. I was able to wind down my business and pay off my supplier debts with the earnings from the new job. It was a success for me as the economy was slowly taking my business down.

Here is where I sometimes disagree with many on what constitutes “Fastlane”. I spent the next 19 years learning, doing building skills, gaining valuable education, and advancing.

I quickly moved into better jobs and decided to get a degree in electronics. Then a new job came up that put me in a technical role assisting the engineers in research and development. I changed my degree path to electrical engineering.

I was still very active in sports and participated in the company softball and running teams. They were very competitive. I worked with HP to get them sponsored so my status went up with the groups. Many were engineers and managers.

I was promoted to supervisor of a technical department and dropped school at that point. It was no longer necessary to the career path. I was in jobs that required a degree from a prestigious school but at this point only had a GED. I had engineers and chemistry PHD holders working for me. I also had technicians.

Still had the same old issues though. I did not like to be told what to do or how to do things. This kept me and my bosses in conflict. I did not want to be there.

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Steve's great story is just an example of some of the awesome people with have here at the forum HELPING OTHERS.

So what wisdom can you grab from Steve's story to help move your story along to greatness?


Wow that was really inspiring and I appreciate the time it took in writing that. Thanks for sharing.

There are many paths to go on in life and many ways to arrive at your destination, but only you will know at the end if you really fought the good fight and lived a life truly worth pursuing. @SteveO you have and are still living a life worth pursuing. Cheers!
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Bump.
 

ZF Lee

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Brilliant. Thanks @MJ DeMarco
The best contributors here are very exemplary and elite in value providing. To give them bigger voices as a stronger form of identity behind the online profile is really a boon. How confounding!

May I request featured stories of @Vigilante, @MidwestLandlord and @MustImprove in future updates? Their recent posts and stories have been quite excellent.

Congratulations, @SteveO. Golf courses may not be easy to run, but they are an actual influx of cashflow assets. A typical golf course will have tennis courts, a golf freeway (of course), maybe a pool and a gym. And add a conference hall that brings in rent (very big rent, can be jacked up with extra costs for sound systems and refreshments for meetings). People will pay for lessons or usage for all these facilities, and even a chip off the payments will total up excellently. If magnitude for real estate is desired, a golf course is one of the best.

They have their costs, but usually high net worth individuals go to golf courses. Well assured of high consistent cashflow. I used to go to a golf course for its gym and saw lots of possibilities. I'm sure you will continue to trump big!
 

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Great idea @MJ DeMarco, and great format.

What a story @SteveO. It just goes to show the entrepreneurial journey has its ups and downs.

My biggest takeaway is the power of persistence. You never gave up and ground it out.

Love those pictures of you on the golf course. It looks idyllic. It looks like you're at home.


For me, Steve has always been one of the wiser heads on the forum. When the young guns talk about cutting people out of their lives because they don't "think fastlane", Steve just shakes his head and brings it back to reality again.

As he says, don't take life so seriously.

Thanks Steve.
 

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For me, Steve has always been one of the wiser heads on the forum. When the young guns talk about cutting people out of their lives because they don't "think fastlane", Steve just shakes his head and brings it back to reality again.
Thanks Andy. Thinking fastlane is one aspect of life. The question for me is why are they in our lives? If they are a softball or fishing buddy and I like to play softball or fish, why would they be cut out? Maybe, I don't like them which would be a great reason. But, maybe their company is great for these activities.

Perhaps all of us will talk about things at work at some point. Perhaps we will not get direct mentoring from them. But, I will get to enjoy what I like to do.
 

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Love those pictures of you on the golf course. It looks idyllic. It looks like you're at home.
Hahaha. They were pure pose. I had one of the maintenance guys snap those very quickly one day. We were going to run around the golf course and take a few doing different things with the idea of having a nice background. Of course we are always so busy that we split after the pics on one green to get things done that needed "fixin".

I do feel at home on the course. My superintendent checks the greens for speed (which is what was being done in the pics). I am either trouble shooting irrigation issues, trapping gophers, grading areas with the tractor, cutting down trees, spraying weeds, mowing, spinning bunkers, redoing lake edges, evaluating pumps, looking at energy issues, digging holes, accidently spraying golfers with high pressure water, etc... You know, fun shit like that... :)

All of our sprinklers come on with radio signals from a central computer. We can turn them on manually with radio commands as well. I have hit multiple people with simply missing one number and turning the wrong station on. It is a horrible feeling when the station you are expecting does not come on. This is usually followed up with the command to turn everything off followed by a quick drive to see if anyone was hit. The worst was when a lady got a full blast up the back of her skirt as she was preparing to putt. She was good natured about it but her companions were calling it an "enema".
 

Iwokeup

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Hahaha. They were pure pose. I had one of the maintenance guys snap those very quickly one day. We were going to run around the golf course and take a few doing different things with the idea of having a nice background. Of course we are always so busy that we split after the pics on one green to get things done that needed "fixin".

I do feel at home on the course. My superintendent checks the greens for speed (which is what was being done in the pics). I am either trouble shooting irrigation issues, trapping gophers, grading areas with the tractor, cutting down trees, spraying weeds, mowing, spinning bunkers, redoing lake edges, evaluating pumps, looking at energy issues, digging holes, accidently spraying golfers with high pressure water, etc... You know, fun shit like that... :)

All of our sprinklers come on with radio signals from a central computer. We can turn them on manually with radio commands as well. I have hit multiple people with simply missing one number and turning the wrong station on. It is a horrible feeling when the station you are expecting does not come on. This is usually followed up with the command to turn everything off followed by a quick drive to see if anyone was hit. The worst was when a lady got a full blast up the back of her skirt as she was preparing to putt. She was good natured about it but her companions were calling it an "enema".
Ah man, thanks for the literal LOL mental image. Haha!

I love that you love this gig. You continue to be an inspiration. Please keep on, keepin' on..
 

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