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The surprising answer: It’s learning to work for free

Key Takeaways

  • When you build a business, you invest your energy into the unknown to create something of value to a market.
  • Often this means you work for free to build your business — but if you succeed, your income potential is unlimited.
  • Many of the wealthiest Americans never completed college, but invested instead in an innovative business or product.


Very few real estate agents know what they’re going to make the next month, and that’s a difficult thing to manage when you have bills. However, if you can learn to live a lifestyle that can adapt to that uncertainty, the sky’s the limit on your income potential since there is no salary cap and no glass ceiling to break through.

The flipside of your business producing unlimited income is the challenge of sometimes working for free.

When you’re building a business, you have to create income — it’s not something that’s just handed to you if you work hard. You invest your energy into the unknown to create something of value to a market.

If it works, the market buys your product or service and there is no limit to what you may earn. If it doesn’t work, there is no safety net or minimum wage, at least not in a typical real estate business.

Is college and accreditations the path to success?

We are taught at an early age and throughout our lives that if we go to school, get good grades, then go on to more school (college), we are setting ourselves up for the best chance at success, to achieve the American Dream. Right?

It’s true that when you look at what you can typically earn as an employee, you often get paid more if you have more schooling. But this does not apply to entrepreneurs.”

The country was founded by entrepreneurs. A large reason the United States has become such a powerhouse internationally is rooted in the fact that we have allowed more entrepreneurs to dream big and have not held them back.

Most of the richest people in America are entrepreneurs, business owners who at some point risked it all and created something that changed the world. But when you study these people, you’ll find that many of them never attended or completed college. Rather than spending time and money on formal education, they chose instead to invest every penny they had into producing a business or product.

Working for free = investing your time

Young people often ask me for advice on their job search, and I tell them that instead of trying to get hired somewhere, they should pick a business where they’d be excited to work and figure out how they can be an asset to that business. They should tell the business owner why they want to work there, and that they’re willing to work for free to prove they can be a valuable asset.

A lot of people think they can’t afford to do that, yet they spend thousands of dollars to go to school. They’re essentially working for free then; they just don’t realize it.
Why not just go to the place you’d like to be employed and work for free there? If they say no, find out what their needs are and go get a skill that meets one of those needs. Then go back. You’ll impress them if you keep showing up with a new skill to offer.

This idea of working for free is a simplified way of saying you have to invest your time with no guarantee of return. However, the better you invest your time and efforts, the higher likelihood of a positive outcome.”

As the owner of your real estate business you have to be better than others, find ways to rise above the competition to better your odds, but even then, you can still fail. Running a business is hard and often not fair, but because there is no ceiling to your success it’s also very exciting. That’s the blessing and curse of being an entrepreneur.