"The Less I Do, the More I Make.”
Perhaps you’ve heard this phrase before? Yeah, me too. I’ve always found it intriguing and inspiring. And I’d be willing to bet it’s no long shot that most people’s dream is to actually live it – to experience the reality of working less and earning more.
But as attractive as it is, many don’t believe it’s really possible, and tend to view someone making such a claim as “just full of it.” And let’s be honest. At first glance it does, in fact, seem to be an apparent contradiction of logic to claim the ability to earn more by working less. But let’s dig a little deeper.
Have you ever noticed how some people seem to be somehow able to accomplish a great deal more than others, and make a lot more money in the process? I’m talking about people coming from similar circumstances and backgrounds, and with basically the same opportunity. Some people still seem to rise to the dazzling top, don’t they?
Is it good fortune? Harder work? Sheer luck?
In the realm of wealthy, successful people, I would submit that those who were born into it or just “got lucky” are the exceptions. And that a healthy majority of those who are responsible for accomplishing much more, creating more value and building more wealth than the most of the people around them combined, have done so using the exact same number of minutes, hours, and days you and I have.
So without too much of a stretch one can draw the conclusion that some people seem to have “cracked the code” and know the secret of how to work less and make more than most others around them.
How do I know? Because I live it.
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like to go around “tooting my horn”. It can be hard to tell a successful story without sounding boastful. But for what it’s worth I can testify to you from my own experience that the “less I work, more I make” concept has become absolutely, 100% real for me in my real estate flipping business. And not only for me, but also for a ton of other folks who, like me, have taken the time to really understand, internalize and apply the life-changing truth behind this deceptively simple idea.
The Lesson of the Pulley
Here’s a hint. “The secret” has little-if-anything to do with working harder or longer. It doesn’t take a genius to see that there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish and earn as much as these people do by simply working harder. And often it’s the hardest working souls who earn the least for their labor.
It has to do with leverage.
Think about a pulley. It’s a simple wheel mounted to the ceiling. But lay a piece of rope through a groove in the wheel and suddenly you can lift things you never thought possible. But it’s not by your own strength, is it? It’s you, plus the leverage of the pulley that turns you into a Superman (or Wonder Woman).
Like so much else I’ve done, I’ve been able train my real estate business to make me money with as little as possible of my own time and leg-work required. While most of my colleagues are running around all day, working their tails off, “hopping houses” 12-16 hours a day, I do multiple real estate deals from my office, with a phone and a pen. Sometimes I’ll still do a drive-by, but often I’m deal-making in informed confidence without so much as seeing a house or touching the keys.
What’s My Secret?
You may be asking yourself, “How does this guy buy homes and make money on them without ever touching the keys?”
Are you ready for this? It’s not that hard. It’s strategic and intentional, but it’s also plain and simple. My leverage is knowledge + people.
It starts with me having taken the time to get to know my choice neighborhoods intimately. It’s really not that hard to get to know an area inside and out, and if you are serious about this business you’ll find it enjoyable. This is a key knowledge-gaining phase and a “must do” first step. But you really only have to do it once ever.
You see (and pay attention to this), a deal is found in THE NUMBERS, not in the house. And once you know a neighborhood, its values and the types of homes it contains, you’re armed with “insider information” and can buy and sell profitable deals literally from the comfort of your desk.
The second part for me is the people. More specifically, the people I refer to as my “deal network.”
What is a “deal network”?
It’s a select group of key people I’ve developed powerful relationships with. It’s a core group of people who would otherwise be my direct competition, but instead are bringing me a steady stream of potential paydays on an ongoing basis.
Why do these people feed me with potential deals day in and day out? Because I have made sure they understand that I’m willing to do whatever I can to help them be successful, and that doing business with me as a partner is easier and at least as profitable (maybe more so) than competing with me.
I have strategically invested time and energy whenever possible to help them become more successful and profitable in their businesses. And I’ve made it very clear to them what kinds of deals I’m interested in, and have invested my time and energy in them to help them grow their businesses.
And these people know that I will always do what I say I will do. They know I WON’T consider, and they’ll always have my attention when they bring me solid deals to consider. Also, they know they can trust me. I’ll never steal a deal from them, and I’ll never leave them hanging.
How to Buy and Sell Houses in Your Underwear
Ok, I don’t actually do work in just my underwear (most of the time). But that's the infomercial dream, isn't it? And the truth is, if I did, I wouldn’t miss a beat. Here’s a quick and dirty look at how it works…
When people from my insider’s “deal network” call me, I simply ask them to describe the homes to me and the necessary repairs. Oftentimes I’ll have them email me a picture of the home so that I can look at it from my desk.
Armed with a picture, some information from my network and some websites for checking out comparable sales, I can analyze the deal. It’s sort of like analyzing a stock purchase. I can get all of the information that I need from my desk, make a decision and make a purchase. Like a street-smart day trader, my specific knowledge and connections allow me to do my due diligence pretty quickly, and then simply make a decision to buy or not to buy.
I can email or fax a contract to the seller and then I can turn around and sell it from my desk. Via the internet I can communicate the deals that I pick up to other investors very quickly and efficiently, and I can have the homes sold before I ever actually settle on them or even touch the keys.
The Power of Strategic Leverage
Now if you follow my path and decide to build a business similar to mine, realize that you may have to actually go to a closing now and then. But more often then not if you have the right neighborhood knowledge and “deal network” built, you’ll hardly ever have to actually come up with a dime to buy most houses.
I have literally bought and sold homes within 5 minutes while sitting at my desk and made tens of thousands of dollars without touching the keys or writing a check. The return on these “day trades” is infinite. And frankly, you can’t say that too often about the stock markets.
Steve Cook is a successful real estate investor whose deep faith and love of mentoring has called him to a life of teaching others how to improve their lives and secure financial freedom through real estate wholesaling and rehabbing. A leader and participant in the Baltimore real estate investment field for over a decade, Steve is the author of several books and instruction courses that have enriched the lives of thousands as well as his own.