Do you ever wonder how the decisions you’re making today will influence your life in the weeks, months, and years to come?

Some people live for the moment.

They think about getting through the day rather than setting themselves up for the success they want to enjoy in the future.

As a result of the bad decisions I made as a young man, I had to think differently.

If you think back five years, ten years, or 20 years, what decisions would you make differently?

I learned the lesson about introspection while I was locked inside of a county jail as I embarked upon a dark journey that would keep me imprisoned for 26 years.

While locked in that jail cell, I trained my mind to think about the steps I could take to make things right with society. I set a goal of reconciling for the bad decisions I started making in my teens.

The strategy of making things right required me to set priorities.

First I would focus on educating myself.
Second, I would focus on contributing to society.
Third, I would focus on building a support network.

If I adhered to those disciplined, principled plans, I believed that new opportunities would open.

That strategy of setting priorities became a step-by-step pathway that I would follow to build success—as I defined success.

For me, success meant returning to society unscathed, ready to live as a contributing member of society.

How are you defining success?

If building prosperity is part of your definition, then perhaps it would be helpful to watch a free 20-minute video I prepared on the importance of setting priorities. You can access the video by clicking the following link:

How to Set Priorities

(If you like the video, please subscribe to my YouTube Channel and share☺)

That strategy of setting priorities led to my building assets that were valued at approximately $5 million within the first five years of my release from prison.

I built those assets even though I came out with a 0-0-0 credit score, without a work history, and with a long record of imprisonment.

The salient point is that a disciplined, deliberate plan can lead you from where you are, to a more successful future, if you follow incremental steps:

Define success
Create a plan
Set priorities

As I wrote previously, my first priority was to build assets worth $1 million. Since there wasn’t any way that I could acquire those assets from earnings on a job, I thought about other options to acquire assets.

First, I took a broad view of the market.

Here’s what I found:

In 2012, the real estate market was in the tank. Our economy had been growing through a recession and many people lost their homes. Banks were not lending on real estate. From a historical perspective, prices were low.

I was in the San Francisco Bay area. Historically, San Francisco was one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States.

Overall, I had a lot of confidence in the U.S. economy and I believed that the recession would end.

When it did, I believed that real estate markets would rise.

I set a priority of investing in real estate so that I could own an asset that would appreciate in value when the market started to appreciate in value.

Does that make sense?

But I had weaknesses. For example, in 2012, I was transferring from a federal prison to a halfway house.

I still had a year to pass through before I would complete my prison term. I didn’t have any credit or a job history.

None of those weaknesses mattered because I could focus on my strengths.

If I focused on my strengths, I would overcome my weakness and move forward in a methodical, deliberate manner to achieve my goals.

What priorities can you set today that will lead you to the success you want to become in the months, years, and decades ahead?

This strategy of acquiring real estate, even though I didn’t have credit, cash, or a work history, led to my building assets that are worth $5 million in five years.

In tomorrow’s email, I’ll share the specific action steps I took to get started.

In the end, I used debt to acquire real estate. As that real estate increased in value, my equity rose.

I could then build case studies. I used the case studies as a tool to create more resources that would advance my goal.

Think about the strategies you’re using to build wealth.

If you use debt wisely, you’ll be on your way to creating prosperity with real estate investments.


Make life happen!

Michael Santos

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