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What Motivates You? A Quick Look at How I Got into Real Estate

Not long ago, I was speaking with a friend of mine, and I explained to him that one of the quickest ways to get me to do something was to utter one of the following phrases:

"Jason, you won't be able to do that."


"I doubt you will be able to get that done."


"That seems pretty unlikely, but good luck with it."

In 1996, I was working as a retail manager for CompUSA.  One of the other managers at our store in north Austin mentioned that he had an idea for a business that "someone should develop".  He was perturbed by the fact that he and his wife were looking at homes, and all of the fliers they picked up were black and white Xeroxes. 

"I think it would be a great business to offer to use these new digital cameras and great color printers to produce color fliers for real estate agents."

I asked him if he minded if I were to run with the idea, since he was not interested in doing it himself.

"Sure, go for it," he replied.

About four months later, I quit my job there to run a company called Digital Homefront full-time.  Can you guess what our service was?

A few months after that, I got my real estate license, and I have been self-employed ever since.

Along the way, I heard from my naysayer friends about how frequently small businesses fail, and how much money you have to have in savings to get started in real estate.  When I started my own brokerage almost five years ago, there were a few who seemed skeptical then, too.  Now that we have 18 agents, I don't hear those types of comments anymore, thankfully.

When I started blogging on ActiveRain in August 2007, a fellow member left a comment on one of my posts, stating that it might be hard for me to ever be #1 in Austin on AR.  Looking back, this one actually seems humorous now.  Needless to say, it didn't take me that long to hit that mark with consistent effort.

Why am I telling you this stuff, anyway?

Well, it's simple really.  I wrote this in an effort to get you, the reader, to give some thought to what really motivates YOU in your industry.  Do you like the idea of a challenge?  Are you in your business to help others?  In my own case, tell me that I can't do something, and stand back while I figure out how to get it done.  I like the notion of achieving something that isn't easy.  I also like being my own boss.

Give some thought to what your TRUE motivators are (hopefully, something other than money alone). 

Thanks for reading!       

Photo above courtesy of starbuddie84 from

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