Engage Today: Chase the Vision Not the Money

Engage Today Chase Vision Not MoneyWhat makes you want to become a real estate investor?

For many of us the answer is financial freedom. Others may say passive income. But, as I’ve said before, there is a problem with these labels.

You will face some significant issues if your journey as a real estate investor begins in pursuit of passive income or financial freedom.

This was part of the lessons taught by the brilliant minds on stage on Day 3 of Engage Today 2009.

Brendon Burchards Lifes Golden TicketThe day devoted to growth began with Brendon Burchard. His big message was that there are no self made millionaires in the world. Anyone that has made millions has done it with the help of others. At the age of 32 the list of things he has accomplished in his lifetime are enormous, including being the author of a book called Life’s Golden Ticket: An Inspirational Novel and the creator of the world’s largest nonprofit partnership in history all to serve the children of the world.

After Brendon’s partnership model presentation, Richard Branson took the stage. The room was alive with electricity. Every single person in that room was excited to be in the presence of a man who has created enormous success for himself and is using his fame and fortune to create a better world.

And like the Dalai Lama, his message was simple.

Chase your vision. It’s not about money, although the money is nice and definitely necessary. But, ultimately, chase your vision and help others along the way.

But, for all you budding entrepreneurs anxious to make a difference, he gave us all some important advice:

Early on in a business it is about survival. You MUST focus on making your business survive and thrive. Then, as soon as you get over that hump, pursue helping others.

This simple message was reinforced by Barbara De Angelis as she explained that we must change ourselves to change the world. We must strive to serve each other even when nobody knows about it. And most importantly, we must get rid of the feeling that it’s all or nothing. She said  “Think big but start small. Don’t go for glory go for service.

Tony Hsieh echoed these messages when he shed the hoodie sweathshirt he’d been wearing all week to get on stage for 90 minutes. (By the way, he was in jeans and a collared shirt. The hoodie went back on after the presentation. And it’s funny because his laid back approach and the attitude that if you hire the right people you don’t have to watch over them and tell them what to do was contrasted by an email Dave received the same day from the office where he hangs his hat as a commercial mortgage broker saying that a business attire dress code was going to be enforced from now on.)

In a calm, subdued and casual manner Tony shared the story of zappos.com and how he grew it into a business so big Amazon bought it in July for just under $1 Billion! (His first business, by the way, was a pizza business in university, then he created LinkExchange which he sold to Microsoft for $265M in 1998).

And his big message was not about profits or revenue it was about service. It’s service to their employees and their company culture. And service to their customers. It was about delighting people to the point that 75% of their customers are repeat customers.

It’s the old saying … people may not always remember what you do or say but they will always remember how you made them feel.

He was chasing the vision of making people happy. He wants happy employees and happy customers. It’s not about chasing the money, it’s about chasing the vision. He asked us all to consider:

What’s the larger vision beyond profits?

The day wrapped up with productivity secrets from Alex Madossian who was brought in via telephone from the UK!

But I want to go back to how this all relates to real estate investing … because more than any other day … this day holds an important consideration for anyone pursuing wealth with real estate.

It’s not enough to pursue financial freedom or passive income. There needs to be a much bigger reason. There must be a clear vision.

Someone – I think it was Barabara – suggested you just keep asking yourself WHY. For example:

Why do you want financial freedom?

Because I want to be able to leave my job and live my life the way I want.


Because I want to spend more time with my family and because I believe I have more talents to offer than my job allows me to use.


If you keep going down this path you’ll eventually end up in a place that lets you know that you are pursuing all of these things for the simple reason that you think they will make you happy.

When you realize this, you might just find there are things that will get you to a point of happiness a lot faster than real estate. You may just realize you were led to believe by the late night guru that real estate is the best way to get rich quick and therefore the fastest way to happiness.

When you realize that, and accept the fact that it’s not that quick and it’s definitely not that easy, you may find that real estate is not at all the place to start.

Or you might find, as we have, that real estate is something that you’re passionate about because it’s an effective vehicle to help you achieve the big WHY’s in your life. But, I will give you a hint, when we got down to the root of what makes us happy it isn’t money. Don’t get me wrong … we need money. We all do. Even the Dalai Lama said everyone needs money. But, once your basic needs are taken care of, to feel happy, you need a lot more than money. That is going to be the WHY in your life. That is going to be the vision you should chase …

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Filed under Personal Development, real estate

15 responses to “Engage Today: Chase the Vision Not the Money

  1. Dave

    Great write-up Julie! Reading this brought a lot of strong feelings for me as I recalled all the amazing words of wisdom (WOW’s!) from these collectively brilliant, pleasant, giving entrepreneur’s.

    Can’t wait to go with you next year!

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  3. Just wanted to say – awesome post! 🙂 I really enjoyed the message…completely true and sometimes you just have to remind yourself of it. Thanks Julie!

  4. @Dave – thanks for your comment!! I am glad we were able to go together!

    @Shae – thanks for stopping in. It’s funny because most of what we learned at the event aren’t new lessons but they are ones that are easy to forget as we go about our busy lives! It was a great refresher. I checked out your blog and I really like it. I’ve bookmarked it to check it out later.

  5. Yep, that’s exactly right, Julie – so easy to forget! Thanks for checking out my blog….I recently celebrated my 1st blogoversary 🙂 I added yours to my reader last week….heard about you from Patrick Riddle. This is a great site and I’m looking forward to reading through the archives. Following you on Twitter as well. I’m @ShaeBynes. Have a great day!

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  9. John

    Hey Julie,

    Just a quick note to say congratualtions – you have done a superb job in recapping Engage Today 2009. My wife and I attended, and I know I was transformed. Unfortunately, the day after it ended we were in a serious car accident that has taken up so much of my time this last week that I have not been able to follow up on all the notes I took. Thanks to you, I have a resource to draw upon as I get back to my notes as soon as I can.

    I noted somewhere you are attending the Book Publishing 2.0 event in Calgary. I hope I have the privilege of meeting you.

    Yours in happiness and prosperity!

  10. @John – Thank you SO much for your comments. I am thrilled to hear from someone else that was there. It was such an incredible experience I actually found it difficult to write about it. There were so many things that I found hard to put into words and many things that I could have written 10,000 words about!

    I am glad that you are able to use my posts to take you back while you recover from your accident!

    I do look forward to meeting you as you are correct, I will be at Book Publishing 2.0. Please look for me and I will do the same. Thanks again!

  11. Julie,

    Thanks for the reminder! It’s easy to get lost in the HOW and the WHAT you are doing and forget the WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. When I was starting out, I needed to develop a solid WHY. It took awhile for me to really search inside and ask the questions that you mentioned to finally have a WHY that was big enough to outweigh the fear and uncertainty that is often associated with REI and entrepreneurship. Once I had it, things started to get rolling and it’s been a great journey thus far The cashflow affords me the ability to realize my WHY but I had to realize that money is only a means to an end. Lucky for me, ny WHY is manifested everyday in activites and attitude towards the people I get to help.

    Another point you bring up is that there is no such thing as a self-millionaire. That if you take a look, you’ll see that they have/had hundreds if not thousands of people helping them get to where they are now. In a capitalistic society you must help and serve as many people as quickly and as effectively as possible. That rings true for us REI investors with our single family properties and apartment complexes but it’s not for everyone. Finding the most effective system for you as a person that helps fulfil that WHY is key. Another book along the lines of what you’re talking about is Seven Spiritual Laws of Succes by Deepak Chopra. Very similiar to 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey but from Eastern perspective. Again, it focuses less on the superficial and more on the deeper reasons we’re in the businesses we’ve taken on. More about the journey and cultivating an abundance mentality.

    Thanks again for the article. It reminds me to take a minute and refocus on the WHY of it all.

    Bryan Batson

    • @Bryan Batson – thanks for your thoughtful comments on the post. Isn’t it amazing how quickly we all get lost in the to do list of our lives?! This event was an incredible opportunity for me to sit back and remember WHY I started down the path I am on. Instead of immediately getting lost in my list when I wake up in the morning I am now spending a few moments EVERY DAY reminding myself of the bigger WHY’s in my life. Powerful… and so important yet so few people do it. Thanks again. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us.

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