10 years ago today my dad took me to a free weekend teaser seminar hosted by Russ Whitney.

The market bubble was in full swing and I was pretty much broke.   I had no car, no job & a recently bankruptcy.  Thank God I had Dad.

I remember being so excited and thinking, “Wow!  I could do this” and then deflating that hope when they presented us with the option to proceed with “Advanced Training” for 3 days at a cost of $2,000.  I knew better than to even ask my dad to cover something so expensive.  I knew we couldn’t afford it.

Imagine my astonishment when Dad turned and said, “We’re doing this!”  I have chills now as I write this post just thinking of that moment-that turning point in my life when my dad’s decision changed everything for me.

That wasn’t the end of the story.  The “Advanced Training” turned out to be an extended pitch for even more training.  Once again I was blown away when my dad struck a deal with another attendee at the event for he and I to split the package.  I figured my dad would go and bring back the knowledge.

Then my dad turned and said, “This real estate business is for you.  I’m staying back and you’re going to the training.  I’m an HVAC guy-not a real estate guy”  And he still is.

Off to Florida I went to learn how to invest in real estate (without any of my own money).  Diamond Equity Investments (D.E.I.) was born a short while later.  That was 2006.  Fast forward to 2016 and I’ve closed more than 400 deals and now flip houses and wholesale contracts in Chicago, Philadelphia, & Florida.

I didn’t realize this was 10 years already-this weekend-until Dad called and reminded me yesterday.  I remember how it was the year before 2006-before real estate.  I couldn’t seem to get a job since I had no college degree and no transportation.

The summer before real estate, in 2005, since I really had nothing to do, I would take the bus to my dad’s house to work on his house.  I’d bring my daughter and she used to think it was this great adventure-taking the city bus-because she was only 4 at the time.   I wasn’t really working for my dad-there was no negotiated pay or anything.  I just had this urge to go do the work.  By the end of the summer my dad and I have renovated our first house-HIS!

When I was growing up, my dad always used to tell me that you have to put the wood in the fire before the fire will give you heat.  What he was teaching me was to add value-to provide service-in faith before expecting better results.  You can’t stand before an empty fireplace expecting to get warmth.  You’ve gotta go out to the yard, chop the wood, fill the fireplace and then light the fire.  THEN you get the heat.

I didn’t do the work on his house with any expectations.  I didn’t expect a payday at the end or even wages for my time spent.  He gave me just enough money to eat.  Six months later is when he made the investment in the real estate education on my behalf.

It wasn’t until a year or two later that Dad told me he made that investment because of my actions that summer before.  My work without any future promise and no guarantees.  My diligence in sticking with that renovation day after day even though I wasn’t getting paid.  Because I put the wood in the fire, he provided the heat-or my entry point into the real estate investment business.

Thank You Dad for believing in me before I believed in myself.  I know I couldn’t have gotten  to this point without you!

Dan's Dad
Dad working on one of the Diamond Equity Investments houses

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