"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

The Lazy Guide to Success; Three Principles

set and reach goal concept

Take Easy Baby Steps (Repeat ad Infinitum)

Being basically a lazy person (I’m always looking for a faster, easier way) I figured out a long, long time ago that the scariest mountain can be conquered one step at a time as long as you just keep at it. Ok to rest, ok to plateau every now and then but soon you got to get back up and go at it. Before long you will look back and go, “WOW! I can’t believe I did that.” I know it’s a cliché but it’s also true: “Inch by inch, life is a cinch.”

Have a Plan, Work Your Plan, Update as Necessary

Most folks go the same distance in life, just many go in circles. While one should always be alert for targets of opportunity and remain flexible, an average person with a plan will usually beat a genius without a plan.

Do What You Enjoy

When I was young I observed that there were at least 20 or 30 things out there I could enjoy doing or found interesting and that maybe 20 or 30% had the potential to create meaningful prosperity in my life. Since I only had time to do 3 to 5 things (much less master!) I decided to concentrate on that subset of things I enjoyed that created wealth. While at times I had to do things I did not particularly have fun doing in order to get to where I wanted to go, I made sure (by adjusting my course if necessary) that those tasks were on the periphery of my activities, not at the core. If you do it right, you hit flow and have the “Play that Pays”.

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

You WILL Pay the Price…

work hard it'll pay off

Yes, we all get lucky now and then and something wonderful falls into our laps and that’s terrific. However, as a general rule, “wishing and hoping” is a Lousy Life Plan. Truth is, there is a price to be paid for most everything worthwhile in life and we kid ourselves if we think otherwise. You can pay the “price” of meaningful effort, personal and professional enrichment now or you can pay the price later of a life of regrets or unfulfilled potential (and if that is what you want, fine by me, just don’t envy those who have done their homework or ask for a handout; reference Matthew 25: 1-13 and the Parable of the Oil and the Bridal Lamps).

While there is no such thing as a free lunch (TINSTAAFL), we do have some choices and one of them is how to frame things, how to interpret them, what our world view will be. I choose to frame many efforts, many things, not as a cost or price but rather as an INVESTMENT in the future, which if wisely made and diligently tended will pay rich dividends. I find the “investment” framing much more empowering; I also know that slow and steady usually wins the race i.e. I’ve found that small daily efforts are easy to make part of my routine and they add up powerfully. In college, I dutifully attended EVERY class, took notes, asked questions, and read EVERY assigned chapter; when time came for exams, my slow steady efforts paid mighty dividends, especially in comparison to those who were lackadaisical about attendance and tried to cram a semester’s worth of learning into a few days.

Closing Quotes:

“Recently I ran into a guy I played a round of golf with years ago who said to me ‘haven’t seen you at the club lately’. I told him, ’I haven’t seen you at the bank.’ What’s funny about this exchange is this guy has been struggling with his finances for years but continues to work on his golf game. I was making a point — I’m working my ass off and because of that I’m getting my financial house in order. Prior to 2008, I was playing golf 3x a week. I had gotten distracted and entitled, had started to rest on my laurels and put my family at risk. I decided to master my work and my money and if my golf game or social status suffer, so be it. It’s all right if you sacrifice fun today for freedom tomorrow.” – Grant Cardone

“For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.” – Jim Rohn, 1930-2009

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Mentor’s Reply to Young Entrepreneur’s Questions (Part XIX)


Hello Mr. Collier,

I hope all is well. When you get a moment could you please answer these?

Would you agree that using all of one’s cash or the majority of it per deal will take longer to grow versus using leveraging with debt wisely?
High leverage boosts both profit AND risk; wisdom is knowing how much you can handle. Sooner or later a deal will go south on you; that’s just the nature of life. That’s when you find out what you are really made of, crisis reveals character as much as it builds it. I’ve had at least three MAJOR economic apocalypses in my life, all resulting in sleepless nights, stress and strain.

Do you find opportunity first or find the right person to find the opportunity?
When I was young I found deals/opportunity personally; now it’s a team effort.

What are you working on?
Working on ground up development (300 apt homes in Ocala, like number in Port Orange, 300 beds in 3 micro sites in College Park north of UF); couple of acquisitions with partners; always trying to help my organization grow, get ever better; develop people, help them be their best selves; challenge myself to do the same.

Any reason why so much new development right now? Cheap land? Great deals? Cheaper to build than to acquire existing units?
No, No, No/Sort of. Land is definitely not cheap; the deals are good (we hope/project) but not especially great. New acquisitions are not particularly pricey re replacement costs BUT they do require HUGE hunks of cash/equity. Developing our own allows us to substitute sweat equity/risk premium for a portion of that equity; easiest way for us to upgrade our portfolio.

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier