You know when you go to a fast food restaurant, and you see food already prepared? And then when a family pulls up to the drive-thru they use that food to fulfill the order? That's referred to as cooking “on spec” – making something with the expectation that it will be sold later.
There's obviously no guarantee that those food items will be sold, but the restaurant can assume that there's a good chance of it. So they speculate a bit, and get the food ready in advance.
Today's Extreme Entrepreneur operates his business in a similar way – except his spec items are multi-million dollar houses. His name is Frank McKinney, and he is “the daredevil developer & king of ready-made dream homes.”
His “crazy” risks and outlandish homes are legendary. And his journey to success is not only fascinating, but incredibly valuable for any Expertpreneur® to understand.
That's why today we are going to explore the success habits of a man who has created a living doing what seems impossible.
You'll discover the huge strategy he used to discover his “niche” as an Entrepreneur…
How his “lunch-pail approach” can make or break your business…
And the harsh reality about our work life that gives us fear.
From Digging Holes to Building Mansions
Frank McKinney got his start as a “hole-digger” at a golf-course/resort in Florida. He was tasked with creating sand traps at a rate of $2 an hour.
Since he didn’t make much digging holes, he decided to earn a little extra teaching tennis lessons on the side. He soon discovered how lucrative teaching tennis lessons to the wealthy resort members could be. So he traded in his shovel for a racket and began his upward climb.
However, being incredibly self-aware, he recognized that sustaining 8-10 hour days of tennis lessons for the rest of his life would become taxing. So he vowed to uncover a new method of making money. One that would earn him wealth without directly trading his time for money.
Since he was already working with affluent people, he took the opportunity to pick their brains about what made them rich. He would make the first 45 minutes of his tennis lessons so vigorous, they would “give up” for the last 15 minutes, and happily sit down to chat.
And that's when he would ask the right questions – Where did you make your money? Where do you invest it? What is the key to your success?
He wrote down everything they told him and made a conscious decision to emulate everything they had done.
It turned out that a common response among the wealthy was that real estate was a great way to create wealth. So Frank sought a way to get into the business to put into practice what he had learned.
He started out by building and flipping inexpensive homes for the new homeowner demographic. He made some good money doing that, but he knew he could do even better by selling to a wealthier demographic. Now, he's known for his multi-million artistic dream homes. One of his greatest achievements is building the world's largest and most expensive certified green home. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
The Secrets to His Success
There are so many amazing facets to Frank McKinney's success, it's hard to list just a few. Before I get to them, I want to reiterate a point from his history: when he decided he wanted to be rich, he did hands down the most important thing any person can do…
He spent time with people who were where he wanted to be.
Not only did he hang out with them, but he asked questions, took notes, and set out to do exactly what they did. Becoming wealthy isn't rocket science, but you need a map to get there. And you have to be willing to listen and take action.
That said, here are some of his best tips for making your own Expertpreneur® journey successful:
1) Create a Vision and Mission Statement – Frank is a huge proponent of creating a new vision and mission statement every single year. He believes that while having long-term goals is helpful, it's more effective to work in the short term.
You should set aside one weekend each year to plan it out. Once you've solidified your mission, you must decide how you will achieve it. What steps you will take this year to get closer to your goals.
And understand that much like your business plan, it's a living and breathing document. You are not obligated to have the same goals next year. Things will change, but you must write down your plan. It will single-handedly improve your progress.
2) Carve Out a Niche – Frank discovered that real estate was a good place to make money. However, it's a huge market with many options – you could be a broker, or you could buy houses, fix them up and then resell them. You could buy when the market is low, and hang on to the properties to sell when markets rebound. Or you could specialize in selling condominiums, or single family dwellings in a particular neighborhood.
There are all kinds of ways to make money in real estate but one of the best ways is to specialize in a niche where you develop expertise and establish a name for yourself. Frank chose a niche and became known as the ‘go to guy’ for that type of property.
As an Expertpreneur®, you want to differentiate yourself as much as possible. Perhaps you're the fitness coach who specializes in working with women over 60 with arthritis. Or yoga fanatics in their 20's and 30's.
Frank ended up focusing on building and selling houses on spec. It's specific, but as Frank says, you should “choose to carve your niche a little deeper and a little wider than most.”
3) Take the “Lunch-Pail” Approach – You've no doubt heard the old adage “work smarter, not harder” right? Frank takes that to a whole new level – he believes you should work smart and hard.
That may sound like it betrays the lifestyle of freedom that wealth brings. But his point is that in order to achieve your dreams, you need to “show up” and do your work every single day, no matter what. Much like the construction workers you see coming to work every day with their lunch pails, prepared to do 8 hours of labor.
That kind of dedication to your business is at the heart of every success story. Spending time mastering what you're good at and putting it out there. And don't stray from your path.
4) Fall in Love and Don't Hesitate on Anything – If you read last week's blog post on Barbara Corcoran, you know she believes heartily in jumping into situations both feet first. Face your fears head on.
Frank feels exactly the same way. He preaches that fear is a result of risk. We believe something is “risky” if faced with a significant change or challenge in our lives. And what is more challenging than falling in love with something and pursuing it?
What we truly fear is change. Leaving our comfort zone. Getting out of the “9 to 5” mentality.
Every opportunity is risky. However, if you recognize your fear as a positive sign that your life will change for the better, then all you can do is take it by the reigns and run with it. That's the truest path to success.
5) Recognize Success is a Journey, Not an Event – This is a huge point. In today's society, we are fed the belief by the media that success happens “overnight” and only those lucky few get to “live the dream.”
Frank did not start out in his business selling mansions. For the first five years, he didn't work with a house worth more than $100,000. He actually started in areas where new homeowners with little money sought the “the American Dream.” Places that bigger investors wouldn't touch.
It was there he mastered his craft. Then, after becoming successful and confident in his skills, he moved into more and more expensive homes. And now he is a well known figure in the industry.
But the truth is, except for “reality show” or “lottery” scenarios, everyone who is successful has worked hard to get there. Progress is slow and steady. That's why it is important to show up every day, be willing to work hard, and be open to opportunities.
How to Become a Richer Expertpreneur®
Much like Frank himself, these success habits are bold and require a strong, positive mindset to carry out. Many people look for the “easy button” to success. But to truly make it there, you need perseverance, confidence, and a willingness to fail.
It doesn't have to be scary, though. When you recognize that fear is just a sign of something good coming, you'll start to embrace it with all of your being. You'll seek out “fearful” scenarios just to grow as a person and a business owner.
See how you can implement some of his ideas into your every day life. For starters, I would recommend his plan of creating a vision and mission statement – it's invaluable to your success as an Expertpreneur®.
And if you like Frank's powerful mindset and renegade lifestyle, you can read his full book on this very topic: Make it Big! 49 Secrets For Building a Life of Extreme Success. You will enjoy it.
Stay tuned next week for a look at another renegade who went so far as to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a hot air balloon to promote his business. I'll be sharing a few incredible insights from his life and career.