It Takes Courage to be Rich

On this, the final day of what for some is a long Thanksgiving weekend, I would like to share with you a column I first wrote in 2004. I’m doing this not just because I like the column, but because the weather is just so darn nice I’m feeling lazy. Normally I get up early on Sunday mornings and write my column, but Gail and I took our two youngest grandkids to the Holiday stroll last night in downtown Fort Myers and Ryker, our grandson, spent the night with us. That meant that this morning, instead of writing, I spent some real quality time with Ryker, the Fous name place holder in the family. I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was as fun and peaceful as ours. Enjoy.

It takes Courage to be Rich


There is a chapter in the book, “The Millionaire Mind”; (Thomas J. Stanley, Phd; Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2000) about the relationship between courage and wealth in this country. He makes a very strong case that wealthy people possess courage.

Courage is the ability to motivate yourself constantly to overcome fear: Cour”age (k?r”?j;48), n. [OE. corage heart, mind, will, courage, OF. corage, F. courage, fr. a LL. derivative of L. cor heart. See Heart.] 1. The heart; spirit; temper; disposition. [Obs.]

My good friend Micheal Ouellette, a top salesman for WCI and an avid real estate investor, uses an expression about potential clients that do not invest. He says. “They just can’t pull the trigger.”

If you have seen your friends and associates making money in real estate and wish you were doing the same thing. Perhaps it is because you lack the courage. “Making critical decisions about your career, business, investments, and other resources conjure up fear, fear that is part of the process of becoming a financial success.” You need to have the heart; spirit; temper; and disposition that will allow you to proceed against your fears.

Long before the famous Nike slogan, I used to tell investors “Just Do It”. But this ignored their fears and plunged them into a realm that they may not have been properly prepared to cope with. It did not DEAL with the fears; it implied that once you got going you would be fine.

The best way to develop courage is through preparation and education. Stanley interviewed thousands of millionaires. These millionaires listed the following top ten processes that help them overcome fear:

  1. Hard Work
  2. Believing in Myself
  3. Preparation
  4. Focusing on Key Issues
  5. Being Decisive
  6. Planning
  7. Being well organized to deal with Big Issues
  8. Taking immediate action to Solve Problems
  9. Countering Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones
  10. Outworking, Out-thinking, Out-toughing the Competition


Take risks, don’t gamble. In financial and real estate risks we have the ability to influence the outcome. In gambling we do not. Get to know the difference. Educate yourself, immerse yourself, and educate yourself about these three important steps in real estate:





Entry. How to find the right property; how to buy it: How to negotiate it, how to finance it: How to find a good broker, how to analyze the deal, how to negotiate.

Management. How to hold, to rent, to improve. How long to manage.

Exit. Know how you are going to get out of the deal before you get in.

I have always said you make money when you buy real estate, not when you sell. But all three of the above are critical to your success. The more you know about these steps, the less fear you will have and the more courage you will gain.

Stanley also talks about Mentoring. Most millionaires have mentors or:

– Seek advice from outstanding people

– Consult skilled advisors

– Share concerns with a trusted friend

– Share concerns with a spouse


Get a good set of advisors in your corner. And remember :You have to be moving to steer!


Gregg Fous

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