Most people have heard the phrase: Nice guys finish last. Well, I've never liked that phrase because I've always strived to be a "nice guy," and I've naturally always looked to be the peace maker and to make others happy. My personality has always been easy going in that I truly believe I could get along or deal with anyone – and I pretty much have. However, if there's ever been one thing I've learned about in my own journey and what I really think the key to achieving your goals and dreams is in life is that you've got to learn to FIGHT when it counts.
I'm not talking about fighting in the physical sense, although I would if I had to. But I'm talking about standing up for yourself, what you believe in, pushing back against adversity, and drawing a line in the sand when necessary. I can't tell you the number of times I've been rejected in almost every area of my life - including real estate. I've been laughed at, doors slammed shut, really hurt, and have had periods of long hours of hard work and trials with still little results...yet I've CHOSEN to still persevere and put a smile on my face. And it's been in those times when it would have been much easier to quit than to move forward, that I found out what I was made of. When I've learned to FIGHT and push past my own limits of what I think I can do or could handle - that's where success and breakthrough was truly born.
Sometimes I think the most powerful thing you can say in any hard a situation is that you're still standing. When you learn you can absorb punches, be dealt huge blows or losses, and NOT be knocked out you start to gain confidence that you can withstand any storm. In 2008 when the real estate market tanked we already owned many investment properties and suddenly found ourselves thousands and thousands of dollars "underwater" in value. Almost everyone that I had helped out to that point or was in business with was foreclosed, gave up, or had their properties taken back. But I never gave up. My daughter has slept through the night probably only a handful of nights her entire life for 10 YEARS now and has battled intense fears no child should have to endure, but we will not give up that fight for her peace. My wife has faced more medical trials and setbacks than probably anyone I know, but she will not give up and we will not give up the fight for her. I've had some gut wrenching, soul-searching moments over the past number of years with real estate and just life in general, but I've always had faith that in the end hard work, perseverance, faith, and a commitment to finish what you started pays off.
In today's world most people want something right now (actually yesterday), with little to no effort and will give up after minimal conflict or hardship. I love Disney World, but life is not a fairy tale. Let me tell you from experience, you're going to have to work harder and longer than you ever thought you possibly could to get the results you want...in any area of life. There is no magic pill, proven system, franchise formula, or 4-hour work week that will replace pure hard work, determination, and a will to win. And while everyone notices the 15 minutes of fame, not many see the hours and hours of blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get to that moment. And most are not willing to go through the PAIN it will demand.
It's going to require an enormous sacrifice and commitment to follow through for whatever you're looking to achieve. And you must be on guard to FIGHT in every area of your life...for your family, for your kids, for your relationships, for your business/career, for your prosperity, for your faith, and for peace. Nothing great is achieved without GREAT effort and sacrifice and you MUST fight when it counts and not check out or back down. Every day is a fight between light or darkness, good or evil, pride or humility, joy or anger, and peace or chaos. You have to first acknowledge you’re in a fight, and maybe more importantly when you get knocked down you have to get right back up and fight again. Not every day is victorious, not every fight is won, but you must resolve to not throw in the towel. And over time you will begin to see how far you've come and what you've been able to accomplish. And people respect a fighter.
My ace up my sleeve for my entire life has been not talent, or smarts, or connections, or luck, or a silver spoon, it's been the fact I will give everything I have if I'm committed to something and then some. I will fight, and I will lay it all on the line. I will not back down through adversity. I will risk failure and rejection to overcome. I will learn from my mistakes, make changes and try again. Today, I’m proud to say by not giving up back then our investment properties are now thriving, our business is growing, and slowly but surely our family is healing through many personal trials and setbacks.
Today I can proudly say I'm still a nice guy, but I'm a FIGHTER at heart. I will not give up EVER - not today, not tomorrow. And neither should you. People will let you down, losses will come, and adversity will undoubtedly show up, but you get to decide how you’re going to respond. We need more people today to battle through adversity and show others that it's possible to overcome. So, FIGHT like your life and everything that matters to you depends on it...because it does.
Aaron Kohlmeier, Welcome Home Real Estate Group